Home For Reports And Litigation On Aspects Of The California High Speed Rail's Finances

As a team of experienced financial experts we reviewed and analyzed the financial aspects of the planned California High Speed Rail project, and documented the financial risks of this project in more than 40 reports. We are proud to present these reports as well as legal and analytical documents to which we contributed.

If you are visiting this Web site for the first time, please click on the "1. Background Information" area to the left or below for guidance on how to find the information you seek.

Legal News Flash - November 16, 2015 - Lawyers representing the plaintiffs Tos, Fukuda, and King’s County against the CHSRA filed a Supplemental Brief in support of the upcoming 526 (a) portion (Part II) of the case.  This Brief summarizes the legal significance of a secret document recently uncovered by the Los Angeles Times, which the California High Speed Rail Authority had resisted releasing.  The Press Release and the Supplemental Brief are available in Sections 6.0 and 6.1 of this Web site.

Legal Update - November 2, 2015 - Lawyers representing the plaintiffs Tos, Fukuda, and King’s County against the CHSRA filed their Legal Briefs and supporting documents in Sacramento for the 526 (a) portion (Part II) of the case which was not heard in 2013 (The Writ portion [Part I] was heard in 2013, see below).  These documents are available in Sections 6.0 through 6.2 of this Web site.

News Flash - April 22, 2014 - In support of a Senate Bill being proposed to call for a "re-vote" on HSR this Fall, Mr Grindley presented "The California High-Speed Rail Project – To Have The Train OR To Obey The Law: That Is The Question", pointing out the many technical, financial, legal, and marketplace issues now facing the High Speed Rail Project.  The Bill failed to be approved by the Senate Committee.  This presentation is available in Section 3.1 of this Web site.

News Flash - April 8, 2014 - Comments regarding the Draft 2014 Business Plan were submitted to the Authority by Mr. Grindley and Mr. Warren.  These comments ranged from pointing out the illegality of the Authority's projection for a possible need for an operating subsidy in the initial operation years of the Initial Operating Segment to an analysis of the automobile marketplace that would lead one to disbelieve the CHSRA's Ridership Forecast of the penetration of this market by HSR.  None of these comments were acted upon before the Draft Plan was accepted by he Board of Directors.  These comments are available in Section 3.1 of this Web site.

News Flash - April 2, 2014 -
This Briefing Paper "Why Cap & Trade Funds Cannot Be Used To Finance High-Speed Rail In California" provides four different papers that speak to the issues associated with the use of Cap and Trade funds to construct the HSR project. With the Governor proposing to allocate to HSR $250 Million of Cap and Trade funds over the next year and a third of all available Cap and Trade funds in future years, this analysis is timely.  This report is available in Section 3.1 of this Web site.

News Flash - March 13, 2014
- This Briefing Paper "If You Build It, They Will Not Come" looks at the California High-Speed Rail Authority's proposal to bring a new service to the market in 2022.  Its initial +$31 billion cost may make it the most expensive ‘launch’ in history, and a lot depends on whether it will be able to attract enough riders to make it profitable.  If the travel times or costs to passengers for using rail and buses can’t beat going by highway or flying, Californians will have to subsidize its operations forever.  This report is available in Section 3.1 of this Web site.

News Flash - February 7, 2014 - An Addendum has been released to the July 2013 Briefing Paper “Diminishing Prospects For The Initial Construction Section/Central Valley Project”.

This report looks at the contractual and legal issues that exists between the California High Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) and the DOT/FRA, as well as the obligations of Prop 1A and AB 3034.  Underneath this complex set of obligations and constraints, the projected construction costs for the Initial Construction Segment and the available funding are analyzed.  The conclusion is that in all likelihood the existing funding may be insufficient to accomplish the objectives of the CHSRA's 2012 Business Plan.  The addendum points out that, based on recent cost estimates from the Authority, our initial estimate of $7 Billion to build the ICS needs to be revised upwards to $7.8 Billion. This report and the addendum are available in Section 3.2 of this Web site.

News Flash - January 29, 2014 - This Briefing Paper “Fleecing Local High-Speed Train Riders While Big City Executives Ride Cheaper” refutes California High Speed Rail Authority’s claims, in their 2012 Business Plan, of lower per mile ticket prices for local high-speed rail (HSR) passengers. Riding a HSR train in the Central Valley, Southern California or the San Francisco Peninsula will cost 3-4 times the present-day rail fares between the same destinations. This report is available in Section 3.2 of this Web site.

Note: Between August and October 2013 there were a series of submissions to the court and court rulings with respect to the Tos lawsuit.  These documents can be found in Sections 5.5 to 5.9 of this Web site.

Note: As of June 2013, the California High Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) has a new Web site.  It is www.hsr.ca.gov

Their old Web site, which was at www.cahighspeedrail.ca.gov, has been shut down.  Any attempt to access this Web site, and any of the information or documents that was contained on this site, will be re-directed to the new site’s home page.  Our Web site contains reports and documents that reference, via footnotes, CHSRA documents with a direct link to the old CHSRA’s Web site.  Therefore we are providing a list of these CHSRA documents and their new direct link, on the CHSRA’s new Web site.  Please go to Section 1.1 for this information on accessing the new CHSRA Web site.

Legal Update in 2013 and 2014:  The Writ portion of the Tos case (Part I) was heard in 2013.  Sections 5.0 through 5.9 of these Web pages contain the documents prepared by the Plaintiffs.  On April 26, 2013, following the CHSRA's filing of their court papers by the Attorney General's Office (which represents the CHSRA), the lawyers representing Tos, Fukuda and King’s County filed their Closing Briefs and supporting Declarations.  These documents are in Section 5.3 and 5.4 of this Web site. Oral argument, on Part I only, took place on May 31, 2013 in Sacramento Superior Court, Department 31.   A complete set of all Plaintiffs’, Defendants’, and Court documents can be found at http://transdef.org/HSR/Taxpayer.html

The Court issued its Ruling on Submitted Matter on August 16, 2013. The ruling determined that the California High-Speed Rail Authority had failed to comply with the requirements of Proposition 1A, the HSR bond measure.

After a number of legal challenges regarding the possible remedy a hearing was held in Sacramento on November 8, and a ruling issued on November 25, 2013.  A writ was issued January 3, 2014, with a 60-day return date for the recession of the funding plan.

This ruling was appealed by the California High-Speed Rail Authority which filed an appeal and an Extraordinary Writ petition to the California Supreme Court, and the Court’s Writ ruling was ultimately overturned as the Court of Appeal neutralized the Writ decision in early 2014, ruling that Plaintiffs did not have a remedy at that stage of the process.

Legal Note:    2011 Background - On November 14, 2011, Attorney Michael Brady filed a lawsuit on behalf of plaintiffs John Tos, Aaron Fukuda, and Kings County, asking the Court to interpret Proposition 1A, and find that the proposed Central Valley project of the California High-Speed Rail Authority was ineligible to receive bond funds.  On March 15, 2013, lawyers representing the Tos and all plaintiffs against the CHSRA filed their Legal Briefs and supporting Declarations in Sacramento for both the Writ and 526 (a) portions of the case.  We are pleased that much of our work over the past few years was of assistance to the attorneys working on this case, and that we were also given the opportunity to contribute our own declarations in support of the case.  For a copy of the March 15 2013 Press Release, please go to Section 5.0. For an overview of the case and the Legal Briefs, please go to Section 5.1.  To see all the declarations, please go to Section 5.2.