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China Railway International Looking Into Financing Portion Of Proposed Californian High-Speed Rail Project

In a rather interesting turn of events, it appears that China Railway International is working with the Chinese Export-Import Bank to potentially finance a portion of the proposed Californian high-speed rail line between Los Angeles and San Francisco, according to reports.

The Chinese organizations responded to the California High-Speed Rail Authority’s “expressions of interest” — apparently, shortly after a deal was reached with XpressWest Enterprises to partly fund the Victorville (California) to Las Vegas private high-speed rail line.

california flag

So, China is now looking to fund Californian high-speed commuter rail projects, huh? Hmm, who would have predicted that 50 years ago?

Reuters provides more:

China Railway International, the Chinese team proposed it could provide big elements of the project, including design expertise, construction, equipment procurement, and rolling stock. It also proposed financing from the Export-Import Bank of China.

By packaging large pieces of the high-speed rail line together, for delivery by a single contractor, the project’s cost and construction timeline would be greatly reduced, the team proposed.

The United States is a key target for China’s rail industry, even though policymakers have been split over the need for high-speed rail and some have taken a dim view of Chinese involvement. Last month, a unit of China’s CRRC Corp, the world’s biggest train maker by revenue, agreed to a deal to help build a high-speed link between Las Vegas and Los Angeles.

California still needs a large amount of funding to complete its rail line. About $13.2 billion of the estimated $68 billion has been raised through state and federal funds, plus a pledge of cap-and-trade proceeds, or funds paid by companies to offset carbon emissions. The Chinese team proposed that under “appropriate loan conditions,” the Export-Import Bank of China could “satisfy the financing needs of the project.” But the Chinese also warned that California should provide additional public financing and guarantee future project debt to appease uneasy investors.

This news follows news that Chinese firms have been winning a number of major rail contracts in Russia lately.

Written By

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy. You can follow his work on Google+.


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