Unlike most of California’s Central Valley counties, such as Merced and Fresno, which have consistently supported the High Speed Rail (“HSR”) project, Kings County has been openly opposed to the plan to construct a high speed rail through its fertile farmland. That opposition reached a flashpoint yesterday as Kings County, and two Kings County residents and outspoken critics of the HSR, filed suit against the California High Speed Rail Authority (“CHSRA”) claiming that the planned initial starter segment for the HSR is illegal because it violates Proposition 1A’s requirement of a “usable” starter segment.
The CHSRA has stated that, while the starter segment initially could not support high- speed trains, the track could be used for conventional rail transportation. The Plaintiffs in the Kings County suit, however, claim that Proposition 1A mandates that the initial starter segment be able to support high-speed trains. The Hanford Sentinel reported on the lawsuit yesterday afternoon. A copy of that story may be found here.
Although the filing of the lawsuit is not surprising, and is probably just one of many to come around the bend challenging the legality of the CHSRA’s actions, in the short term the CHSRA continues to find itself on the litigation fast track.