Before high-speed rail planners can do anything with the Central Valley route, they are looking at an estimated $360 million to buy out 356 privately-owned land parcels along the route.
According to a recent legal decision, holdouts will be bought out through courts, "whether they like it or not," to use Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom's infamous 2008 statement on another matter.
In July, the Legislature and Gov. Jerry Brown passed legislation to approve the first $6 billion segment of high-speed rail tracks. This first segment starts with a $1.5 billion leg from Madera to Fresno in the Central Valley.
During Assembly and Senate floor debates and speeches, Democrats repeatedly said, "This is our moment." They talked of the significance of voting for the biggest infrastructure project in California history. And they blathered incessantly of their own importance in voting for the project.