USA: The federal government has agreed to return $929m in grants to the California High Speed Rail Authority following the settlement of legal proceedings with the state of California.

The settlement on June 10 ends legal action which was triggered in 2019 when the previous federal administration had sought to claw back grants which were first allocated to the California high speed rail programme in November 2011.

‘Tonight’s action by the federal government is further proof that California and the Biden-Harris Administration share a common vision — clean, electrified transportation that will serve generations to come’, said California Governor Gavin Newsom, welcoming the settlement. ‘Restoring nearly $929m in grant funding back to California’s High-Speed Rail project will continue to spur job creation, advance the project and move the state one step closer to getting trains running in California as soon as possible. We thank the Biden-Harris Administration and Secretary Buttigieg for their partnership on this important step forward.’

‘This settlement agreement follows intensive negotiations between the parties and reflects the federal government’s ongoing partnership in the development of high-speed rail’, added Deputy Federal Railroad Administrator Amit Bose. ‘It also underscores CHSRA’s commitment to deliver this transformative infrastructure project. The Department of Transportation is excited about re-establishing this important relationship with the state of California and is committed to fulfilling its oversight responsibilities.’