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Irvine

March 23, 2000|Mathis Winkler, (949) 764-4311

Mayor Christina L. Shea, who was unfazed by the state's high-speed rail planners' comment that a $25-billion transit system is unlikely to swoosh through Orange County, said she plans to travel to Sacramento to make her case.

"I want to make it clear that Irvine is the hub of Orange County," she said. "I'd like to get our face in front of them and let them know how important this is to us."

The California High Speed Rail Authority, which would oversee the proposed 700-mile transit system from Sacramento and the Bay Area to San Diego, hopes to get trains moving by 2016.

The authority is considering two routes in the Southland. One would guide trains through Orange County, while the other would make its way via San Bernardino and Riverside counties.

It's the latter option that has more potential, authority officials have said. Railway tracks along the coast would present serious environmental challenges, said Dan Leavitt, the authority's deputy director.

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