California High-Speed Rail Faces Crucial Court Hearing

SACRAMENTO (AP) — California’s plan to begin building a massive high-speed rail system could be stopped in its tracks by a crucial court decision.

Central Valley farmers are asking a Sacramento County Superior Court judge to grant a preliminary injunction that would prevent the California High-Speed Rail Authority from buying land and continuing with its engineering work.

The judge is expected to decide Friday.

Groups representing the farmers claim in lawsuits that the rail authority failed to conduct thorough environmental reviews required by California law and want all the work halted until their case is heard.

High-speed rail officials say any delays could set the project back by months and even imperil $2.3 billion in federal grants. The agency has already surveyed more than 300 parcels of land.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.)

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