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Korean Firms Looking to Build California's High-Speed Rail

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With the recent federal cash influx and the passing of Prop. 1A, state officials have said they could break ground later this year on the high-speed rail link from Anaheim to SF, and connecting in Union Station (eventually reaching San Diego and Sacramento). The complex process of how this thing will be paid for is still unclear, but design and construction companies are looking at the $45 billion deal, and now the Korea Times reports that South Korean companies are trying to get their name on that contract. "Second Vice Minister Choi Jang-hyung of the Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs visited California this week and signed a [Memorandum of Understanding] with the California High Speed Rail Authority Thursday." Doesn't mean a Korean company has the deal--Germany, China, Japan, and Italy also want the project. Germany recently built a train that travels almost 250 miles per hour (pictured), and is being considered for the California line. Helping Korea's bid is that the nation's Hyundai Rotem corporation recently exported 131 train cars to Metrolink, LA's commuter rail system. Korean companies have also helped build China's burgeoning high-speed rail network, which the New York Times points out is spurring growth and finding riders, even among the nation's lower-class. Meanwhile, the Export-Import Bank of China has said they'll provide a loan for the proposed maglev from Anaheim to Vegas, which would zip passengers between the cities in a little over an hour. [image of Sapsan train, courtesy of The Voice of Russia]
· Korea Eyes $45B Train Deal [Korea Times]
· China Sees Growth Engine With High-Speed Rail [NY Times]
· Chinese May Pay for LA-Vegas Maglev [Curbed LA]