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California Assembly Approves $1.1 Billion To Electrify Caltrain

SACRAMENTO (CBS / AP) – Lawmakers are sending Gov. Jerry Brown legislation to spend up to $1.1 billion in high-speed rail bonds to help electrify the Caltrain system in the San Francisco Bay Area.

The state Assembly approved AB1889 by Democratic Assemblyman Kevin Mullin of South San Francisco late Wednesday.

In addition to freeing up the funding, the legislation changes the current wording of existing law to say that California's $64 billion high-speed rail does not have to be up and running for electrification projects to be funded.

Bay Area officials hope electrification of a 55-mile corridor of track from south of San Jose to San Francisco will speed up travel times and train frequency.

Critics say the high-speed rail bond voters approved in 2008 does not allow spending on such projects.

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