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Can California afford a multi-billion dollar bullet train?

22 August 2012 Last updated at 01:22 BST

The US election campaign is fast becoming an ideological debate between Republicans and Democrats over how much the government spends.

President Barack Obama says he wants to invest in America's infrastructure and one of his big plans is to help begin a network of high-speed rail systems across the country. Republicans in Congress have attempted to derail funding for such grand schemes.

California recently voted to approve America's first bullet train even though the state is already billions of dollars in debt.

The BBC's Alastair Leithead reports from California's Central Valley where the first leg of the track will be laid, but where questions are already being asked over its viability.

Produced by Maxine Collins and Regan Morris.