Critics pan proposed Cal high-speed rail segment

Supporters of California's planned 800-mile high-speed rail line say building the first segment has to start somewhere.

Critics, however, are already panning a proposal to lay track between two small towns in the Central Valley as the "train to nowhere."

Last week, the California High-Speed Rail Authority recommended running the first 65-mile route from the farmlands of Borden through Fresno to Corcoran. Rep. Dennis Cardoza, a Democrat who had been supportive of high-speed rail, criticizes the authority for picking a route that doesn't link Fresno to population centers of Merced or Bakersfield.

The authority's CEO contends that starting construction in the recommended route will help California attract more federal funding and private investment to complete the system.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.