Some critics worry that the L.A.-Anaheim segment will duplicate existing Metrolink and Amtrak service, both of which have the potential to go 110 mph if improvements are made.
It "isn't practical," to start with that segment said Michael McGinley, who previously headed Metrolink's engineering department and has worked on the local high-speed rail project as a consultant. "The first $4 billion should not be spent on that little spur. It overlaps and competes with an existing service."
Richard Katz, an influential Los Angeles transportation official who recently joined the high-speed rail board, is among those pressing less costly design models. "You've got to be realistic and take a hard look at what the demand is" between Los Angeles and Anaheim, said Katz, a former state Assembly leader who also sits on the MTA and Metrolink boards.
Up to $2 billion might be trimmed from the local segment's costs by improving and sharing existing track wherever possible, Katz and Kempton said.