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Freight Company Doesn't Want to Play With High-Speed Rail Folks

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Freight company Union Pacific has posed problems for California's high-speed rail before, but their latest — a strongly worded letter — has raised eyebrows in the train world. The company says that the high-speed rail authority's recently revised plans, including an alignment running along Route 82 rather than on Union Pac-owned tracks, are "not acceptable." In fact, Union Pac's opposition to the bullet train has long been registered — last August, it was their unwillingness to play along that had a judge rule that the rail authority needed to rethink their Peninsula plans. But even now, after revisions have been made, Union Pacific's still playing hard to get. Watchers think it's all a negotiating tactic — they apparently pulled the same stunt when Caltrain wanted tracks in the early 90s. (Well, Union Pac also says a freight train might derail and crash into a passenger train, causing a disaster of epic proportions.) Anyway, "if they want to do that kind of tactic," says one critic, "they're going to have to pay for it some way. What comes around goes around." If they're for real, of course, it means that the rail authority might have to call in the eminent domain hounds. Either way, it's not going to be pretty.
· Union Pacific vows to fight high-speed rail [IBA]
· Updated High-Speed Rail Plan Could Take A Couple Route 82 Lanes [Curbed SF]
· High-Speed Rail Ruling Confuses, But It's Some Sort of Setback [Curbed SF]