SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California officials have put a private company’s plan to build a high-speed train between Las Vegas and Southern California one step closer to reality.

A state committee chaired by Treasurer Fiona Ma on Wednesday approved $300 million in tax-exempt private activity bonds for the project by Virgin Trains USA. The state will consider approving the same amount again next year.

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Officials say that would allow Virgin Trains USA to issue about $2.4 billion worth of debt. That’s roughly half of what it would need to build the train.

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California’s move is the first step to financing the project, which has faced delays and ownership changes.

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The company wants trains running by 2023.