GOP Wave Could Sidetrack High-Speed Rail Projects

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California, New York Anxious for High-Speed Rail

One project may stay on track because of the election results. California Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman had promised to delay the $45 billion high-speed rail project from Los Angeles to San Francisco, saying the state could not afford it. Whitman lost to Democrat Jerry Brown, a long-time supporter of high speed rail.

And today New York's Governor-elect, Andrew Cuomo, reassured the federal government that if other states didn't want their high-speed rail money, he would be thrilled to have it for projects in upstate New York. In a letter to the Secretary of Transportation, Cuomo said his Administration "will aggressively pursue all funding opportunities to make high speed rail a reality." He urged the administration to "redirect federal funding to New York" if Ohio and Wisconsin pass up their high-speed rail dollars.

The Department of Transportation today declined to comment about specific rail projects and their future. But department spokeswoman Olivia Alair said, "We recognize that there is an incredible demand for high-speed rail dollars around the country. The Obama administration's high-speed rail program will create jobs, spur economic development and provide people with cleaner, greener alternatives to driving and flying."

Those who have long supported rail were clearly unhappy with the possibility that some projects could be abandoned. "I think it would be a tragic step in the wrong direction," said Ross Capon, President and CEO of the National Railroad Passengers Association. Capon told ABC News, "Americans need more travel choices."

That sentiment was echoed by Art Guzzetti, Vice President for Policy at the American Public Transportation Association.

"Let's not lose sight of the fact that many government leaders are excited about bringing high-speed rail to their area and most importantly, the American people want it," he said.

ABC's Riana Positano contributed to this report.

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