Calif. high-speed rail seeks to reassure on safety

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - California high-speed rail officials are seeking to reassure the public about the rail project's safety in the wake of deadly European train crashes this summer.

Members of the board overseeing the project said at their meeting Thursday that a train that crashed in Spain last week, killing 79 people, was not operating on a system like the one planned for California.

Chairman Dan Richard says the segment of track where the accident occurred did not have automated train controls that would have overridden the driver and slowed down the train. Spanish officials have said it was traveling at twice the speed limit as it neared a curve.

The train also was not part of Spain's high-speed train network, but a regular train that could travel fast.

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