Calif. high-speed rail project could cost billions more than expected

SACRAMENTO, Calif.

New environmental reports released Tuesday show the first segment of the line in the Central Valley will cost between $10 billion and $13.9 billion, far more than the 2009 estimate of $7.1 billion.

The first stage of the line would stretch about 140 miles from just north of Bakersfield to near Merced.

Critics have blasted the rail line as a "train to nowhere" because the first section would link relatively small towns away from the state's major population areas.

State lawmakers who have supported California's ambitious /*high-speed rail project*/ questioned whether the state can afford it.

Supporters of the rail projet said the private sector will be a significant source of funding and that the money will start flowing once work begins.

The Associated Press contributed to this story

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