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California High-Speed Rail

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California High-Speed Rail
CAHSRA Logo.svg
San Joaquin River Viaduct under construction in 2019
San Joaquin River Viaduct under construction in 2019
Overview
OwnerCalifornia High-Speed Rail Authority
Area servedNow under construction:
   San Joaquin Valley
Future extensions:
   north to San Francisco Bay Area
   south to Greater Los Angeles
   north to Sacramento, California
   south to San Diego, California
LocaleCalifornia, United States
Transit typeHigh-speed rail
Number of stations5 proposed in Initial Operating Segment
up to 24 allowed in completed system
Chief executiveBrian P. Kelly
Website
Operation
Operation will start2029 (Initial Operating Segment)
Operator(s)DB E.C.O. North America Inc.
Technical
System lengthc. 171 mi (275 km) Initial Operating Segment (IOS)
c. 520 mi (840 km) (planned Phase 1)
c. 800 mi (1,300 km) (entire proposed system)[1]
No. of tracks2 (4 in stations)
Track gauge4 ft 8+12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Electrification25 kV 60 Hz AC overhead line[2][3]
Top speed220 mph (350 km/h) maximum
110 mph (180 km/h) San Francisco–Gilroy[4] & Los Angeles–Anaheim[5]

California High-Speed Rail (also known as CAHSR or CHSR) is a publicly funded high-speed rail system currently under construction in California in the United States. Planning for the project began in 1996, when the California Legislature and Governor Pete Wilson established the California High-Speed Rail Authority, tasking it with creating a plan for the system and presenting it to the voters of the state for approval. In 2008, voters approved Proposition 1A, which authorized bonds to begin implementation, established a route connecting all the major population centers of the state, and set other requirements.

In the major metropolitan areas in the north and south of the state the HSR trains will operate in a "blended system" (sharing upgraded tracks, power, train control, and stations with local commuter rail). The first of the pure HSR segments, the Initial Operating Segment (IOS), is planned to begin operations in the Central Valley in 2029. Extending the IOS to connect to the north and south metropolitan segments is dependent on future funding, so their timing is uncertain.

Maximum train speeds will be about 220 miles per hour (350 km/h) in the dedicated HSR segments, and about 110 miles per hour (180 km/h) in the blended segments. Once the full Phase 1 system opens, the non-stop trains will have a maximum trip time of 2 hours and 40 minutes between San Francisco and Los Angeles, which are about 350 miles (560 km) apart by air.

The high-speed rail system is anticipated to provide environmental benefits (reducing pollution and carbon emissions), traffic benefits (reducing vehicular traffic and air travel congestion), and economic benefits (especially in the Central Valley). The implementation of the project has been controversial, due to its selected route, construction delays, cost over-runs, delays in land acquisition, and a lack of funding to finish the entire system.


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High-speed rail

High-speed rail

High-speed rail (HSR) is a type of rail system that runs significantly faster than traditional rail, using an integrated system of specialised rolling stock and dedicated tracks. While there is no single standard that applies worldwide, lines built to handle speeds above 250 km/h (155 mph) or upgraded lines in excess of 200 km/h (124 mph) are widely considered to be high-speed. The first high-speed rail system, the Tōkaidō Shinkansen, began operations in Japan in 1964 and was widely known as the bullet train.

California

California

California is a state in the Western United States, located along the Pacific Coast. With nearly 39.2 million residents across a total area of approximately 163,696 square miles (423,970 km2), it is the most populous U.S. state and the 3rd largest by area. It is also the most populated subnational entity in North America and the 34th most populous in the world. The Greater Los Angeles area and the San Francisco Bay Area are the nation's second and fifth most populous urban regions respectively, with the former having more than 18.7 million residents and the latter having over 9.6 million. Sacramento is the state's capital, while Los Angeles is the most populous city in the state and the second most populous city in the country. San Francisco is the second most densely populated major city in the country. Los Angeles County is the country's most populous, while San Bernardino County is the largest county by area in the country. California borders Oregon to the north, Nevada and Arizona to the east, the Mexican state of Baja California to the south; and has a coastline along the Pacific Ocean to the west.

United States

United States

The United States of America, commonly known as the United States or informally America, is a country in North America. It consists of 50 states, a federal district, five major unincorporated territories, nine Minor Outlying Islands, and 326 Indian reservations. It is the third-largest country by both land and total area. The United States shares land borders with Canada to its north and with Mexico to its south. It has maritime borders with the Bahamas, Cuba, Russia, and other nations. With a population of over 331 million, it is the third most populous country in the world. The national capital is Washington, D.C., and the most populous city and financial center is New York City.

California High-Speed Rail Authority

California High-Speed Rail Authority

The California High-Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) is a California state agency established pursuant to the California High-Speed Rail Act to develop and implement high-speed intercity rail service, namely the California High-Speed Rail project.

Central Valley (California)

Central Valley (California)

The 'Central Valley is a broad, elongated, flat valley that dominates the interior of California. It is 40–60 mi (60–100 km) wide and runs approximately 450 mi (720 km) from north-northwest to south-southeast, inland from and parallel to the Pacific coast of the state. It covers approximately 18,000 sq mi (47,000 km2), about 11% of California's land area. The valley is bounded by the Coast Ranges to the west and the Sierra Nevada to the east.

Current status and plans

Project plan showing the awarded construction contracts as of November 2022.
Project plan showing the awarded construction contracts as of November 2022.

Phase 1 runs from San Francisco to Los Angeles and Anaheim, and is being implemented in sections. In the Central Valley the Authority is in the process of constructing a self-sustaining Initial Operating Segment (IOS) running from Merced to Bakersfield – a distance of about 171 miles (280 km). This segment will connect to other transit systems for passenger transfers. The Authority indicates the IOS will go into service before 2030. "Bookend" investments are also being made in the Bay Area and Southern California upgrading existing infrastructure to be able to support eventual HSR service.

After completing the IOS, the Authority plans to advance construction on the Merced-San Jose segment, linking the Central Valley to the tracks of the Caltrain System. This will allow HSR trainsets to run from San Francisco to Bakersfield. Funding for construction of this segment has yet to be secured.

Phase 1 must be operational before Phase 2. Phase 2 will extend the HSR system north to Sacramento and south to San Diego. These extensions are still in the preliminary planning stages.

The California High-Speed Rail Peer Review Group has noted a number of concerns about the progress of the project, including issues acquiring property in the Central Valley, delays due to lawsuits, an early lack of requisite management experience, and weak legislative oversight. Inflation has also become a major concern due to the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the War in Ukraine (2022).[6]

The project will require legislative action, so the issues raised by the Peer Review Group and the project consultant (KPMG) will help the legislature select from the Board's proposed plans or other alternatives.

2022 Business Plan

CAHSR connections to other rail systems and "bookend" investments. (Not all the other lines are named.) Red stars indicate investments in other rail systems
CAHSR connections to other rail systems and "bookend" investments. (Not all the other lines are named.) Red stars indicate investments in other rail systems

The 2022 Business Plan includes information regarding the project's status, goals, and activities. In order to make an effective, self-supporting Initial Operating Segment, and due to financial constraints, the Authority is focusing on five actions:

  1. Adding the additional 52 miles to create a 171-mile (275 km) HSR-operable segment between Merced and Bakersfield. Advanced design contracts have been awarded for both extensions, and work on route acquisition and construction will be performed as funding becomes available. The Merced station will provide a transfer point to the Altamont Corridor Express (ACE) and San Joaquins (Amtrak) rail routes to Sacramento and the Bay Area (San Francisco and Oakland) as well as local buses. The Bakersfield station will have a transfer to Thruway Bus Service for travel to Southern California.
  2. Procuring a Track and Systems contract for the initial 119 miles of right-of-way. When track and systems work along the initial 119 miles is completed, there will be a two-year period of testing HSR trainsets, trackage, and control systems while construction proceeds on the Merced and Bakersfield extensions. The Authority plans to restructure and re-issue the Track and Systems procurement in 2023.[7]
  3. Completing environmental review approvals and advanced design and engineering for the entire 500-mile (800 km) Phase 1 system by the end of 2024, so that all segments in Phase 1 will be ready to be constructed when funding becomes available. The routes from San Francisco to Palmdale and from Burbank to Los Angeles have been approved. Palmdale to Burbank is expected to be approved in 2023, and Los Angeles to Anaheim in 2024.[8]
  4. Continuing to advance "bookend" investments. In Northern California, these include electrification of Caltrain and grade separations between San Francisco and San Jose. The Authority will also be working with Union Pacific Railroad to extend electrification to Gilroy. In Southern California, these include phase A of Link Union Station, which through-tracks LA Union Station, and other improvements such as early grade separations in the Burbank-to-Los Angeles shared corridor and the Rosecrans-Marquardt grade separation. These investments provide immediate benefits in the San Francisco and Los Angeles areas, while also readying those transit systems for eventual shared use by HSR trainsets.
  5. Opening the Initial Operating Segment to public use before 2030. The contracted Early Train Operator (ETO) selected to run the system is DB E.C.O. North America Inc. The plan is to have the IOS run fully double-tracked from Merced to Bakersfield, use five stations (Merced, Madera, Fresno, Kings/Tulare, and Bakersfield), and operate at high-speeds. In May 2022, the Authority applied for federal funds to purchase "six fully electric train sets capable of speeds in excess of 200 mph."[9]

Also, a major addition to the development and operation plan is a new emphasis on risk analysis and risk mitigation (with these now integrated into the formal authorization process), and contingency reserves are being increased. Revenue and expense projections indicate that constructing an operable 171-mile (275 km) segment is feasible.

A preview of the 2023 Project Update Report indicates it will include:

  • A new funding strategy.
  • An updated program baseline budget and schedule.
  • Design of the IOS extensions and the Merced and Bakersfield stations.
  • Completing the remaining Phase 1 environmental clearances.
  • New ridership and revenue forecasts presented by the Early Train Operator (DB E.C.O. North America Inc.).
  • Updated capital costs to complete Phase 1.

Financial status

Fig. 3.3 from 2022 Business Plan (p. 59).
Fig. 3.3 from 2022 Business Plan (p. 59).

As of September 2022, the Authority's plans indicated[10]: 59  $23.4 billion in identified funding through 2030, with a budget of $17.9 billion for Central Valley construction (about 119 miles (192 km)), design work for the Merced and Bakersfield extensions, the "bookend" projects now underway in the northern and southern metropolitan areas, completing the environmental clearances needed for all of Phase 1, and $4.6 to $6.0 billion for double-trackage and trainsets for the IOS.[10] As of November 2022, there is an additional $8 billion in funding sought via grants from the federal government for:

  • Construction and land acquisition to advance the extension south to Bakersfield,
  • Purchase of the trainsets needed for the Initial Operating Segment operations,
  • Design of the Merced and Bakersfield extensions,
  • Construction of the initial four HSR stations, and
  • Double-tracking the initial 119 miles.[11]

Per the 2022 Business Plan, the expected new funding will be budgeted to:

  1. "Deliver an electrified two-track initial operating segment connecting Merced, Fresno and Bakersfield as soon as possible.
  2. Invest statewide to advance engineering and design work as every project section is environmentally cleared.
  3. Leverage new federal and state funds for targeted statewide investments.
  4. Develop a funding strategy to extend high-speed rail beyond the Central Valley and to the Bay Area as soon as possible."[12]: 3 

Cost estimates to complete the entire Phase 1 system[10]: 79  range from a low-estimate of $76.7 billion, to a mid-estimate of $92-94 billion, to a high-estimate of $113 billion. (A major unknown is the cost of tunneling, which will not be known until exploratory field studies are done.) It is expected that new figures will be provided in the 2023 Project Update Report in March 2023.

Construction status

Three separate construction packages are underway, which together include a total of 119 miles of guideway and 93 structures. As of September 2022, 48.6 miles of guideway are complete, 38.4 are underway, and 32 remain to be started; of concrete structures, 33 are complete, 35 are underway, and 25 remain to be started.[13]: 8 

The groundbreaking ceremony for CAHSR was held on January 6, 2015 (in Fresno, California) in CP1.

  • CP1 comprises 32 miles (51 km) from Avenue 17 north of Madera to East American Avenue south of Fresno. It includes 12 grade separations, two viaducts, one tunnel, a major river crossing over the San Joaquin River, and the realignment of State Route 99. The contractor is the joint venture of Tutor-Perini/Zachry/Parsons.[14] The design-build contract was signed August 16, 2013. Construction is forecast to be completed by Dec. 31, 2025.[15]: 13 
  • CP2-3 comprises 65 miles (105 km) from East American Avenue south of Fresno to 1 mile (1.6 km) north of the Tulare / Kern County border. It includes approximately 36 grade separations, viaducts, underpasses, and overpasses. The contractor is the joint venture of Dragados USA/Flatiron Construction.[16] The design-build contract was signed June 10, 2015. Construction is forecast to be completed by Mar. 21, 2026.[17]: 22 
  • CP4 comprises 22 miles (35 km) adjoining the end of CP2-3 to the intersection of Poplar / Madera Avenue northwest of Shafter. It includes at-grade embankments, retained-fill over-crossings, viaducts, aerial sections of the high-speed rail alignment, and the relocation of four miles of existing Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) tracks. The contractor is California Rail Builders, a joint venture of Ferrovial-Agroman West, LLC and Griffith Company.[18] The design-build contract was signed February 29, 2016. Construction is forecast to be completed by Mar. 21, 2023.[19]: 31 

For the Bakersfield and Merced extensions (52 additional miles (84 km)), advanced design work, right-of-way mapping, and identification of utility relocation work is underway. For the Heavy Maintenance Facility (HMF), the planning and approval process is proceeding.[20]: 42 

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Merced, California

Merced, California

Merced is a city in, and the county seat of, Merced County, California, United States, in the San Joaquin Valley. As of the 2020 Census, the city had a population of 86,333, up from 78,958 in 2010. Incorporated on April 1, 1889, Merced is a charter city that operates under a council–manager government. It is named after the Merced River, which flows nearby.

Bakersfield, California

Bakersfield, California

Bakersfield is a city in Kern County, California, United States. It is the county seat and largest city of Kern County. The city covers about 151 sq mi (390 km2) near the southern end of the San Joaquin Valley and the Central Valley region. Bakersfield's population as of the 2020 census was 403,455, making it the 48th-most populous city in the United States of America and the 9th-most populous city in California. The Bakersfield–Delano Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Kern County, had a 2020 census population of 909,235, making it the 62nd-largest metropolitan area in the United States. The more built-up portion of the metro area that includes Bakersfield and areas immediately around the city, such as East Bakersfield, Oildale, and Rosedale, has a population of 523,994.

COVID-19 pandemic

COVID-19 pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic, also known as the coronavirus pandemic, is an ongoing global pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The novel virus was first identified from an outbreak in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December 2019. Attempts to contain it there failed, allowing the virus to spread to other areas of Asia and later worldwide. The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the outbreak a public health emergency of international concern on 30 January 2020 and a pandemic on 11 March 2020. As of 1 December 2022, the pandemic had caused more than 643 million cases and 6.63 million confirmed deaths, making it one of the deadliest in history.

Altamont Corridor Express

Altamont Corridor Express

The Altamont Corridor Express is a commuter rail service in California, connecting Stockton and San Jose during peak hours only. ACE is named for the Altamont Pass, through which it runs. Service is managed by the San Joaquin Regional Rail Commission, and operations are contracted to Herzog Transit Services. The 86-mile (138 km) route includes ten stops, with travel time about 2 hours and 12 minutes end-to-end. In 2021, the line had a ridership of 227,900, or about 8,300 per weekday as of the second quarter of 2022. ACE uses Bombardier BiLevel Coaches, MPI F40PH-3C locomotives, and Siemens Charger locomotives.

San Joaquins

San Joaquins

The San Joaquins is a passenger train service operated by Amtrak in California's San Joaquin Valley. Six daily round trips run between its southern terminus at Bakersfield and Stockton, with onward service to Sacramento and Oakland.

Route and stations

The project aims to connect California's major metropolitan areas together, and link to their local commuter systems. It will be built in two major phases. Phase 1 connects San Francisco and the Bay Area through the San Joaquin Valley (the southern part of the Central Valley) to Anaheim in the Greater Los Angeles area, a distance of about 500 miles (800 km). Phase 2 extends the north end of the Central Valley section up to Sacramento, and extends the Los Angeles section in the south through the Inland Empire down to San Diego at the bottom of the state, for a total system length of about 800 miles (1,290 km).

The number of stations on the completed system was limited by Proposition 1A to 24. Not all station locations have been decided. At the start of operations along the Initial Operating Segment there will be 5 stations.

Route time/speed requirements

Proposition 1A[21] also set the maximum nonstop travel times between certain destinations on the system:

  1. San Francisco–San Jose: 30 minutes; this would require about 100 miles per hour (160 km/h)
  2. San Jose–Los Angeles: 2 hours, 10 minutes; this would require about 200 miles per hour (320 km/h)
  3. San Francisco–Los Angeles Union Station: 2 hours, 40 minutes
  4. San Diego–Los Angeles: 1 hour, 20 minutes
  5. Inland Empire–Los Angeles: 30 minutes
  6. Sacramento–Los Angeles: 2 hours, 20 minutes

In addition, the achievable operating headway between successive trains must be less than 5 minutes.[21]

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Route of California High-Speed Rail

Route of California High-Speed Rail

The California High-Speed Rail system will be built in two phases. Phase 1 will be about 520 miles (840 km) long, and is planned to be completed in 2033, connecting the downtowns of San Francisco, Los Angeles using high-speed rail through the Central Valley with feeder lines served at Merced and an extension to Anaheim. In Phase 2, the route will be extended in the Central Valley north to Sacramento, and from east through the Inland Empire and then south to San Diego. The total system length will be about 800 miles (1,300 km) long. Phase 2 currently has no timeline for completion.

San Francisco

San Francisco

San Francisco, officially the City and County of San Francisco, is the commercial, financial, and cultural center of Northern California. The city proper is the fourth most populous in California and 17th most populous in the United States, with 815,201 residents as of 2021. It covers a land area of 46.9 square miles, at the end of the San Francisco Peninsula, making it the second most densely populated large U.S. city after New York City, and the fifth most densely populated U.S. county, behind only four of the five New York City boroughs. Among the 331 U.S. cities proper with more than 100,000 residents, San Francisco was ranked first by per capita income and fifth by aggregate income as of 2019. Colloquial nicknames for San Francisco include SF, San Fran, The City, Frisco, and Baghdad by the Bay.

San Francisco Bay Area

San Francisco Bay Area

The San Francisco Bay Area, often referred to as simply the Bay Area, is a populous region surrounding the San Francisco, San Pablo, and Suisun Bay estuaries in Northern California. The Bay Area is defined by the Association of Bay Area Governments to include the nine counties that border the aforementioned estuaries: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, Sonoma, and San Francisco. Other definitions may be either smaller or larger, and may include neighboring counties that do not border the bay such as Santa Cruz and San Benito ; or San Joaquin, Merced, and Stanislaus. The core cities of the Bay Area are San Francisco, San Jose, and Oakland.

San Joaquin Valley

San Joaquin Valley

The San Joaquin Valley is the area of the Central Valley of the U.S. state of California that lies south of the Sacramento–San Joaquin River Delta and is drained by the San Joaquin River. It comprises seven counties of Northern and one of Southern California, including, in the north, all of San Joaquin and Kings counties, most of Stanislaus, Merced, and Fresno counties, and parts of Madera and Tulare counties, along with a majority of Kern County, in Southern California. Although the valley is predominantly rural, it has densely populated urban centers: Fresno, Bakersfield, Stockton, Modesto, Tulare, Visalia, Hanford, and Merced.

Greater Los Angeles

Greater Los Angeles

Greater Los Angeles is the second-largest metropolitan region in the United States with a population of 18.5 million in 2021, encompassing five counties in Southern California extending from Ventura County in the west to San Bernardino County and Riverside County in the east, with Los Angeles County in the center and Orange County to the southeast. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the Los Angeles–Anaheim–Riverside combined statistical area covers 33,954 square miles (87,940 km2), making it the largest metropolitan region in the United States by land area. Of this, the contiguous urban area is 2,281 square miles (5,910 km2), the remainder mostly consisting of mountain and desert areas. In addition to being the nexus of the global entertainment industry, Greater Los Angeles is also an important center of international trade, education, media, business, tourism, technology, and sports. It is the 3rd largest metropolitan area by nominal GDP in the world with an economy exceeding $1 trillion in output.

Inland Empire

Inland Empire

The Inland Empire (IE) is a metropolitan area and region inland of and adjacent to coastal Southern California, centering around the cities of San Bernardino and Riverside, and bordering Los Angeles County to the west. It includes the cities of western Riverside County and southwestern San Bernardino County, and is considered to include the desert communities of the Coachella and Victor Valleys, respectively on the other sides of the San Gorgonio Pass and San Bernardino Mountains from the Santa Ana River watershed that forms the bulk of the Inland Empire; a much broader definition includes all of Riverside and San Bernardino counties. The combined land area of the counties of the Inland Empire is larger than ten U.S. states—West Virginia, Maryland, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Connecticut, Delaware and Rhode Island—and is slightly smaller than the combined area of the five smallest U.S. states.

San Diego

San Diego

San Diego is a city on the Pacific Ocean coast of Southern California located immediately adjacent to the Mexico–United States border. With a 2020 population of 1,386,932, it is also the eighth most populous city in the United States and the seat of San Diego County, the fifth most populous county in the United States, with 3,338,330 estimated residents as of 2019. The city is known for its mild year-round climate, natural deep-water harbor, extensive beaches and parks, long association with the U.S. armed forces, and recent emergence as a healthcare and biotechnology development center. San Diego is the second largest city in the state of California after Los Angeles.

Trains (rolling stock)

Artist's rendering of a TGV-Type California High-Speed Rail trainset with livery; this type of train is used in all CHSRA materials, but since the exact model of trainset to be acquired is not known, this is only illustrative.
Artist's rendering of a TGV-Type California High-Speed Rail trainset with livery; this type of train is used in all CHSRA materials, but since the exact model of trainset to be acquired is not known, this is only illustrative.

Acquisition

In January 2015, the Authority issued a request for proposal (RFP) for complete trainsets. The proposals received will be reviewed so that acceptable bidders can be selected, and then requests for bids will be sent out.

In February 2015, ten companies formally expressed interest in producing trainsets for the system: Alstom, AnsaldoBreda (now Hitachi Rail Italy), Bombardier Transportation, CSR, Hyundai Rotem, Kawasaki Rail Car, Siemens, Sun Group U.S.A. partnered with CNR Tangshan, and Talgo. CSR merged with CNR in June 2015 to form CRRC Corporation, bringing the number of companies down to eight.[22] Bombardier Transportation completed its merge with Alstom by January 2021.[23]

Due to company acquisitions and mergers, the number of companies now qualified for the tender is seven. The qualified companies are Alstom, Siemens Mobility, Talgo, Hitachi Rail Italy, CRRC, Hyundai Rotem, and Kawasaki Rail Car.

An additional factor for the selection of a model is the Buy America regulation. The Federal Railroad Administration granted a waiver for two prototypes to be manufactured off-shore. The remaining trainsets would need to be built according to the rules.[24] This requirement was mentioned as a significant reason that Chinese manufacturers dropped out of the Brightline West (then known as XpressWest) project with similar technical trainset specifications.[25]

Included in a May 2022 grant request to the Biden administration is a request for funds to purchase six HSR trainsets.[26] It is estimated that for the entire Phase 1 system up to 95 trainsets might be required.[27]

Station-sharing issue

The CAHSR trains will use a different standard than Caltrain for their floor height above the rails. The CAHSR trains have a floor height of 50.5 in (128 cm) above the rails, which is significantly higher than the 22 in (56 cm) floors of Caltrain's commuter trainsets. To resolve this issue, Caltrain is procuring new Stadler KISS EMUs that have doors at both heights.[3][28] Each station provides either one platform height or the other. Only a few of the stations will service both trainsets. Thus, in the Bay Area most of the stations on the line will be used exclusively by Caltrain.

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TGV

TGV

The TGV is France's intercity high-speed rail service, operated by SNCF. SNCF worked on a high-speed rail network from 1966 to 1974 and presented the project to President Georges Pompidou who approved it. Originally designed as turbotrains to be powered by gas turbines, TGV prototypes evolved into electric trains with the 1973 oil crisis. In 1976 the SNCF ordered 87 high-speed trains from Alstom. Following the inaugural service between Paris and Lyon in 1981 on the LGV Sud-Est, the network, centered on Paris, has expanded to connect major cities across France and in neighbouring countries on a combination of high-speed and conventional lines. The TGV network in France carries about 110 million passengers a year.

Alstom

Alstom

Alstom SA is a French multinational rolling stock manufacturer operating worldwide in rail transport markets, active in the fields of passenger transportation, signalling, and locomotives, with products including the AGV, TGV, Eurostar, Avelia and New Pendolino high-speed trains, in addition to suburban, regional and metro trains, and Citadis trams.

Hitachi Rail Italy

Hitachi Rail Italy

Hitachi Rail Italy S.p.A. is a multinational rolling stock manufacturer company based in Pistoia, Italy. Formerly AnsaldoBreda S.p.A., a subsidiary of state-owned Finmeccanica, the company was sold in 2015 to Hitachi Rail of Japan. After the deal was finalized, the current name was adapted in November 2015 to reflect the new ownership.

Bombardier Transportation

Bombardier Transportation

Bombardier Transportation was a Canadian-German rolling stock and rail transport manufacturer, headquartered in Berlin, Germany.

CSR Corporation Limited

CSR Corporation Limited

CSR Corporation Limited (CSR), formerly known as China South Locomotive & Rolling Stock Corp was a Chinese manufacturer of locomotive and rolling stock.

Hyundai Rotem

Hyundai Rotem

Hyundai Rotem is a South Korean company that manufactures rolling stock, defense products and plant equipment. It is a part of the Hyundai Motor Group. Its name was changed from Rotem to Hyundai Rotem in December 2007 to reflect the parent company.

Siemens

Siemens

Siemens AG is a German multinational conglomerate corporation and the largest industrial manufacturing company in Europe headquartered in Munich with branch offices abroad.

Talgo

Talgo

Talgo is a Spanish manufacturer of intercity, standard, and high-speed passenger trains.

Siemens Mobility

Siemens Mobility

Siemens Mobility GmbH is a separately-managed company of Siemens, arising from a corporate restructuring effective 1 August 2018. With its global headquarters in Munich, Siemens Mobility has four core business units: Mobility Management, dedicated to rail technology and intelligent traffic systems, Railway Electrification, Rolling Stock, and Customer Services.

CRRC

CRRC

CRRC Corporation Limited is a Chinese state-owned and publicly traded rolling stock manufacturer. It is the world's largest rolling stock manufacturer in terms of revenue, eclipsing its major competitors of Alstom and Siemens.

Buy America Act

Buy America Act

Section 165 of the Surface Transportation Assistance Act of 1982 is a section of the larger STAA that deals with purchases related to rail or road transportation. Unlike the similarly titled Buy American Act (1933), the Buy America Act applies only to purchases related to rail or road transportation, such as the construction of highways, railways, or rapid transit systems. The 1982 provisions also apply to purchases made by third-party agencies, using funds granted by agencies within the United States Department of Transportation.

Brightline West

Brightline West

Brightline West is a proposed privately run high-speed rail route linking Las Vegas Valley and Rancho Cucamonga in the Greater Los Angeles area through the California high desert. The line will connect with existing rail at Rancho Cucamonga station of Metrolink's San Bernardino Line, a commuter rail line in Southern California. The project is intended to provide an alternative to air and automobile travel between Southern California and Las Vegas, a popular vacation spot. Construction on the route is expected to begin in early 2023 pending project permits finalization from Federal Railroad Administration in March 2023, and revenue service is planned to begin in 2026.

HSR passenger line operations

Request for Qualifications

In April 2017, the CHSRA announced it had received five responses to its request for qualifications for the contract to assist with the development and management of the initial phase of the high-speed line and be the initial operator.[29][30]

Selected Early Train Operator

In October 2017, the California High-Speed Rail Authority announced that DB E.C.O. North America Inc (formerly known as DB Engineering & Consulting USA Inc.) had been chosen as the Early Train Operator for initial operations.[31] This decision came after a Request for Qualifications was put out by the Authority looking for well established groups able to provide operational guidance for the future system once opened.

Services provided by DB International US are:

  • Project Management
  • Ridership and passenger revenue forecasts
  • Preferred revenue collection systems
  • Rolling stock fleet size and interior layout
  • Service planning and scheduling
  • O&M cost forecasting
  • Station design & operations
  • Optimization of life cycle costs
  • Procurements
  • Fare integration and Interoperability
  • Safety and security
  • Operations control/dispatching responsibilities
  • Maximizing system revenues
  • Marketing and branding

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China Railway

China Railway

China State Railway Group Company, Ltd., doing business as China Railway (CR), is the national passenger and freight railroad corporation of the People's Republic of China.

Deutsche Bahn

Deutsche Bahn

The Deutsche Bahn AG is the national railway company of Germany. Headquartered in the Bahntower in Berlin, it is a joint-stock company (AG). The Federal Republic of Germany is its single shareholder.

Alternate Concepts

Alternate Concepts

Alternate Concepts, Inc. (ACI) is a transit management company within the United States. It is currently headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts and provides services to four rail authorities. Between 2003 and 2014, ACI also operated the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority's commuter rail system. Additionally, Alternate Concepts is planned to operate MTA Maryland's Purple Line.

HDR, Inc.

HDR, Inc.

HDR, Inc. is an employee-owned design firm, specializing in engineering, architecture, environmental, and construction services. HDR has worked on projects in all 50 U.S. states and in 60 countries, including notable projects such as the Hoover Dam Bypass, Fort Belvoir Community Hospital, and Roslin Institute building. The firm employs over 11,000 professionals and represents hundreds of disciplines in various markets. HDR is the 10th largest employee-owned company in the United States with revenues of $2.5 billion in 2021. Engineering News-Record ranked HDR as the 5th largest design firm in the United States in 2022.

Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane

Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane

Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane S.p.A. is Italy's national state-owned railway holding company that manages transport, infrastructure, real estate services and other services in Italy and other European countries.

FirstGroup

FirstGroup

FirstGroup plc is a British multi-national transport group, based in Aberdeen, Scotland. The company operates transport services in the United Kingdom and Ireland. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index.

Rete Ferroviaria Italiana

Rete Ferroviaria Italiana

Rete Ferroviaria Italiana (RFI) is the Italian railway infrastructure manager, subsidiary of Ferrovie dello Stato (FS), a state-owned holding company. RFI is the owner of Italy's railway network, it provides signalling, maintenance and other services for the railway network. It also operates train ferries between the Italian Peninsula and Sicily. RFI's origins can be traced back to a series of railway sector reforms enacted by the Italian government during the late 1980s and 1990s. The agency was founded on 1 July 2001 in accordance with a European directive on rail transport that mandated the separation of the infrastructure operator and the service operators. Prior to RFI's creation, the Italian rail network was managed directly by FS. The agency has been periodically accused to a failure to be impartial, including allegations of favouring sibling company Trenitalia over independent operations; the company has been fined in the past for anti-trust breaches. Since its creation, revenue abstraction from access charges have steadily increased, primarily due to the expansion of Italy's high-speed rail network, even as access charges have been decreased.

Centostazioni

Centostazioni

Centostazioni S.p.A. is a subsidiary of Italian holding company Ferrovie dello Stato. The company was created to redevelop and manage 103 medium-sized Italian railway stations.

Italferr

Italferr

Italferr is a consulting and project company belonging to FS, the Italian railway state company.

McKinsey & Company

McKinsey & Company

McKinsey & Company is a global management consulting firm founded in 1926 by University of Chicago professor James O. McKinsey, that offers professional services to corporations, governments, and other organizations. McKinsey is the oldest and largest of the "Big Three" management consultancies (MBB), the world's three largest strategy consulting firms by revenue. The firm mainly focuses on the finances and operations of their clients.

Administrador de Infraestructuras Ferroviarias

Administrador de Infraestructuras Ferroviarias

ADIF is a Spanish state-owned railway infrastructure manager. This state owned company reports to the Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda. ADIF is charged with the management of most of Spain's railway infrastructure, that is the track, signalling and stations. It was formed in 2005 in response to European Union requirements to separate the natural monopoly of infrastructure management from the competitive operations of running train services. It is the legal successor of Renfe, Feve, and GIF.

Coach USA

Coach USA

Coach USA, LLC is a holding company for various American transportation service providers providing scheduled intercity bus service, local and commuter bus transit, city sightseeing, tour, yellow school bus, and charter bus service across the United States and Canada. It is owned by Variant Equity Advisors.

History

This project already has a long history. Topics included in the main History page (the link shown above) include the early history (before 2015), discussion of HSR alternatives, legislation, financing, construction, and legal challenges.

Legislative

In 1996, the California High-Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) was established to begin formal planning in preparation for a ballot measure in 1998 or 2000.[32][33]

In 2008, California voters approved Proposition 1A to construct the initial segment of the high-speed rail network, and issued $9 billion in bonds to begin its construction.[34] It also set certain requirements for the project:[35]

  • Established the basic route linking the major population centers
  • Minimum 200 miles per hour (320 km/h) where conditions permit
  • Maximum of 24 stations on the system
  • Maximum travel times between certain points
  • Financially self-sustaining (operation and maintenance costs fully covered by revenue)

The proposition also authorized an additional $950 million for improvements on local commuter systems, which will serve as feeder systems to the high-speed rail system.

In June 2014, state legislators and Governor Jerry Brown agreed to apportion the state's annual cap and trade funds so that 25% goes to high-speed rail as an ongoing source of funds.[36]

Legal

In 2014, the CHSRA was challenged on its compliance with its statutory obligations under Proposition 1A (John Tos, Aaron Fukuda, and the Kings County Board of Supervisors v. California High-Speed Rail Authority). In November 2021 a circuit court ruled against the plaintiffs, and effectively ended this litigation.[37]

On December 15, 2014, the federal Surface Transportation Board determined (using well-understood preemption rules) that its approval of the HSR project in August "categorically preexempts" lawsuits filed under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). This determination is still being tested in the California courts in a similar case, Friends of Eel River v. North Coast Railroad Authority.[38]

In February 2022, Hollywood Burbank Airport sued the Authority over its approval of the draft EIR for that section of the high-speed railway.[39]

Discover more about History related topics

Economic and environmental impacts

In addition to the direct reduction in travel times the HSR project will produce, there are other anticipated benefits, both general to the state, to the regions the train will pass through, and to the areas immediately around the train stations.

Initial Operating Segment projections

The 2022 Business Plan[40]: 25  listed these estimated benefits which will come from the Initial Operating Segment (Merced to Bakersfield):

  • Travel time will be significantly shorted, and travel will be more reliable. Car travel time is 2.5 hrs. one-way. The Amtrak San Joaquin takes 3 hrs. at best, but there are only 7 round-trips each day, and intervening freight service makes service unreliable. CAHSR is estimated to reduce travel time by up to 100 minutes, and 18 reliable round-trips are anticipated each day.
  • With better transit inside the Central Valley, transit to the Bay Area and Sacramento as well as Southern California will improve significantly.
  • Rail passenger trips over the same route are projected to nearly double, from 4.8 million annual riders to 8.8 million riders.
  • Annual vehicle miles traveled will be reduced by 284 million, reducing road congestion.
  • Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions will be reduced by 50.6 thousand metric tons, equivalent to emissions from 10,874 passenger vehicles driven for one year.
  • An additional $117.2 million in passenger revenues.
  • More than 200,000 job-years due to the line's operation and community effects.

Cumulative economic impact estimates

The 2021 Economic Impact Factsheet estimated that as of June 2021, the statewide economic benefits of the project included 64,400–70,500 job-years of employment, $4.8–$5.2 billion in labor employment, and $12.7–13.7 billion in economic output, and that as of February 2022, 699 small businesses were involved in the project.[41]

Carbon emissions calulator

According to a 2022 Carbon Footprint Calculator on the Authority website,[42] the environmental benefits of the system include CO2e/GHG emissions savings per passenger round-trip of:

  • 142 pounds on the Merced-Bakersfield Initial Operating Segment
  • 349 pounds for San Francisco-Los Angeles
  • 303 pounds for San Jose-Burbank
  • 389 pounds for San Francisco-Anaheim
  • 337 pounds for San Francisco-Burbank

The Authority estimates that by 2040, the system could carry 50 million riders per year, and that at full operation, the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions will be equivalent to removing 400,000 vehicles off the road.[43]

Regional benefits

In its 67-page ruling in May 2015, the federal Surface Transportation Board noted: "The current transportation system in the San Joaquin Valley region has not kept pace with the increase in population, economic activity, and tourism. ... The interstate highway system, commercial airports, and conventional passenger rail systems serving the intercity market are operating at or near capacity and would require large public investments for maintenance and expansion to meet existing demand and future growth over the next 25 years or beyond."[44] Thus, the Board sees the HSR system as providing valuable benefits to the region's transportation needs.

The San Joaquin Valley is also one of the poorest areas of the state. For example, the unemployment rate near the end of 2014 in Fresno County was 2.2% higher than the statewide average.[45] And, of the five poorest metro areas in the country, three are in the Central Valley.[46] The HSR system has the potential to significantly improve this region and its economy. A large January 2015 report to the CHSRA examined this issue.[47]

In addition to jobs and income levels in general, the presence of HSR is expected to benefit the growth in the cities around the HSR stations. It is anticipated that this will help increase population density in those cities and reduce "development sprawl" out into surrounding farmlands.[48]

Negatively-affected local communities

There have also been some reported negative impacts from the project's land acquisitions and constructions. Thus far, in the Phase 1 construction the project displaced or adversely affected immigrants (Mexican, Cambodian, and Japanese), homeless outreach organizations, homeless shelters, firefighters, nonprofits working with welfare recipients, thrift stores, and disadvantaged communities such as Wasco.[49][50]

Peer review, public opinion, and criticism

There are two types of review and criticism noted here: the legally established "peer review" process that the California legislature established for an independent check on the Authority's planning and implementation efforts,[51] and public criticisms by groups, individuals, public agencies, and elected officials.

At the February 2015 conference Bold Bets: California on the Move?, hosted by The Atlantic magazine and Siemens, Dan Richard, the chair of the Authority, warned that not all issues facing the HSR system had been resolved.[52]

Peer Review Group

The California Legislature established the California High-Speed Rail Peer Review Group to provide independent analysis of the Authority's planning and implementation efforts. Their documents are submitted to the Legislature as needed.

The April 1, 2022 report[53] noted a number of positive factors:

  • Improved prospects for federal funding with the Biden Administration.
  • Disruptions and impacts caused by COVID-19, the war in Ukraine, and inflation are all noted but being dealt with.
  • Significant progress has been made on the necessary environmental clearances.
  • Greater attention is being given to local transit connectivity and local economic impacts.
  • Major improvements have been made to project management and risk mitigation.

However, there were also a number of significant concerns noted:

  • The total level of uncertainty has likely increased due to effects of COVID-19 and inflation.
  • Prior experience with cost increases and scheduling delays raises some uncertainties about future performance. Cost increases have been over 86%, average delays have been 118%, only 90% of ordinary real estate parcel needed have been acquired, only 63% of railroad parcels have been acquired, and only 65% of utility parcels have been acquired.
  • Some of the cost estimates presented were out of date, but expected to be updated in the 2023 Project Update Report.
  • Major components of the project (representing over half its cost) have no bidding or contract management experience. Thus, estimates for these are clearly suspect.
  • There are critical issues regarding management and legal issues with other agencies for the operation of the system which remain unresolved. (There are a number of these listed, as well as unknown long term impacts of COVID-19 on ridership and inflation.)
  • Adequate legislative oversight is lacking.
  • Per the report, "[O]verall project funding remains inadequate and unstable making effective management extremely difficult. In addition, the Authority has no clear guidance from the Legislature on the next steps in the project."
  • "Even with a realistic share of new Federal funding, the project cannot get outside the Central Valley without added state or local funding from sources not yet identified."

Professional studies

Study #1. Eric Eidlin, an employee of the Federal Transit Administration (Region 9, San Francisco), wrote a study in 2015 funded by the German Marshall Fund of the United States comparing the structural differences of two HSR European systems and their historical development with California's HSR system.[54] He also focused on the issue of station siting, design, use, and impact on the surrounding community. From this, he developed ten recommendations for CAHSRA. Among these are:

  • Develop bold, long-term visions for the HSR corridors and stations.
  • Where possible, site HSR stations in central city locations.
  • In rural areas, emphasize train speed; in urban areas, emphasize transit connectivity.
  • Plan for and encourage the non-transit roles of the HSR stations.

Eidlin's study also notes that in California there has been debate on the disadvantages of the proposed blended service in the urban areas of San Francisco and Los Angeles, including reduced speeds, more operating restraints, and complicated track-sharing agreements. There are some inherent advantages in blended systems that have not received much attention: shorter transfer distances for passengers, and reduced impacts on the neighborhoods. Blended systems are in use in Europe.[55]

Study #2. A 202-page study by A. Loukaitou-Sideris, D. Peters, and W. Wei of the Mineta Transportation Institute at San Jose State University in 2015 compared examples of "blended systems" in Spain and Germany where conventional and high-speed rail (HSR) services either used the same tracks over a portion of track or at a specific station.[56] The study found that blended systems were cheaper to build, required less space, and provided easy transfers between different modes of transportation, but resulted in lower system capacity (due to greater separation distances required when combining HSR and conventional traffic), were often not possible to properly implement in urban areas due to the additional land area requirements for passing sidings, resulted in additional challenges in operations, and caused frequent delays.[57]

Think tank studies

Right-wing think tanks such as the Reason Foundation,[58] the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, and Citizens Against Government Waste published a study which they named the "Due Diligence Report" (2008) critiquing the project.[59] In 2013, the Reason Foundation published an "Updated Due Diligence Report" (2013).[60] Key elements of the updated critique include:

  • operating train speed higher than any existing HSR system at the time
  • unrealistic ridership projections
  • increasing costs
  • no clear funding plan
  • incorrect assumptions regarding HSR alternatives
  • increasing fare projections

This 2013 critique was based on the 2012 Business Plan. Although the 2012 Business Plan has been superseded by the 2022 Business Plan, the critique does include the Blended System approach using commuter tracks in SF and LA.

James Fallows in The Atlantic magazine summarized public criticism thus, "It will cost too much, take too long, use up too much land, go to the wrong places, and in the end won't be fast or convenient enough to do that much good anyway."[61]

Public opinion

In March 2016 the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) Statewide Survey indicated that 52% of Californians support the project, while 63% of Californians think the project is either "very important" or "somewhat important" for California's economy and quality of life. Support varies by location (with the San Francisco Bay Area the highest at 63%, and lowest in Orange/San Diego at 47%), by race (Asians 66%, Latinos 58%, Whites 44%, and Blacks 42%), by age (declining sharply with increasing age), and by political orientation (Democrats 59%, independents 47%, and Republicans 29%).[62] Dan Richard, chair of the Authority, said in an interview with James Fallows that he believes approval levels will increase when people can start seeing progress, and trains start running.[52]

In April 2022 UC Berkeley's Institute of Government Studies released a survey of registered voters that found 56% supported continuing the high-speed rail project even if "its operations only extend from Bakersfield to Merced in the Central Valley by the year 2030 and to the Bay Area by the year 2033."[63] Approval continued to vary by political affiliation with 73% of Democrats backing the project versus 25% of Republicans.

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The Atlantic

The Atlantic

The Atlantic is an American magazine and multi-platform publisher. It features articles in the fields of politics, foreign affairs, business and the economy, culture and the arts, technology, and science.

Siemens

Siemens

Siemens AG is a German multinational conglomerate corporation and the largest industrial manufacturing company in Europe headquartered in Munich with branch offices abroad.

Mineta Transportation Institute

Mineta Transportation Institute

The Mineta Transportation Institute is a research institute focusing on issues related to intermodal surface transportation in the United States. Although part of San Jose State University's Lucas Graduate School of Business in San Jose, California, the headquarters is located at 210 N 4th Street, San Jose and is currently directed by Karen Philbrick. It is named after its founder Norman Mineta, the 14th United States Secretary of Transportation.

San Jose State University

San Jose State University

San José State University is a public university in San Jose, California. Established in 1857, SJSU is the oldest public university on the West Coast and the founding campus of the California State University (CSU) system.

Right-libertarianism

Right-libertarianism

Right-libertarianism, also known as libertarian capitalism or right-wing libertarianism, is a libertarian political philosophy that supports capitalist property rights and defends market distribution of natural resources and private property. The term right-libertarianism is used to distinguish this class of views on the nature of property and capital from left-libertarianism, a type of libertarianism that combines self-ownership with an egalitarian approach to natural resources. In contrast to socialist libertarianism, right-libertarianism supports free-market capitalism. Like most forms of libertarianism, it supports civil liberties, especially natural law, negative rights, the non-aggression principle, and a major reversal of the modern welfare state.

Think tank

Think tank

A think tank, or policy institute, is a research institute that performs research and advocacy concerning topics such as social policy, political strategy, economics, military, technology, and culture. Most think tanks are non-governmental organizations, but some are semi-autonomous agencies within government or are associated with particular political parties, businesses or the military. Think-tank funding often includes a combination of donations from very wealthy people and those not so wealthy, with many also accepting government grants.

Reason Foundation

Reason Foundation

The Reason Foundation is an American libertarian think tank that was founded in 1978. The foundation publishes the magazine Reason. Based in Los Angeles, California, it is a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization. According to its web site, the foundation is committed to advancing "the values of individual freedom and choice, limited government, and market-friendly policies." In the 2014 Global Go To Think Tank Index Report, the foundation was number 41 in the "Top Think Tanks in the United States".

Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association

Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association

The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association is a California-based nonprofit lobbying and policy organization that advocates for Proposition 13 and Proposition 218. Officially nonpartisan, the organization also advocates against raising taxes in California.

Citizens Against Government Waste

Citizens Against Government Waste

Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization in the United States. It functions as a think-tank, "government watchdog" and advocacy group for fiscally conservative causes. The Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW) is the lobbying arm of CAGW, organized as a section 501(c)(4) organization and therefore is permitted to engage in direct lobbying activities. According to its web site, "CAGW is a private, non-partisan, non-profit organization representing more than one million members and supporters nationwide. CAGW's stated mission is to eliminate waste, mismanagement, and inefficiency in the federal government."

Public Policy Institute of California

Public Policy Institute of California

The Public Policy Institute of California is an independent, non-profit research institution. Based in San Francisco, California, the institute was established in 1994 by Bill Hewlett, of Hewlett-Packard, Roger Heyns, and Arjay Miller, with a $70 million endowment from Hewlett.

Las Vegas HSR project

Brightline West (formerly Desert Xpress and XpressWest) is a project that since 2007 has been planning to build a high-speed rail line between Southern California and Las Vegas, Nevada, part of the "Southwest Rail Network" they hope to create. The rail line would begin in Las Vegas and cross the Mojave Desert stopping 5 miles (8.0 km) outside of Victorville, California and eventually terminating in Palmdale, California (where it would connect with CAHSR and Metrolink). This route would total about 230 miles (370 km). A second branch into Rancho Cucamonga (in the Inland Empire) is also planned.

In 2012, Lisa Marie Alley, speaking for CAHSRA, said that there have been ongoing discussions concerning allowing the trains to use CAHSRA lines to go further into the Los Angeles area, although no commitments have been made as yet. While many approvals have been obtained for the rail line from Victorville to Las Vegas, the section from Palmdale to Victorville has none as yet.[64]

In October 2021, Brightline signed an MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) with California State Transportation Agency (CalSTA), the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), and the California High-Speed Rail Authority (CAHRSA). "The MOU sets the framework regarding the use of 48 miles within Interstate 15 to be used for Brightline West to connect its planned Victor Valley station and a newly planned station in Rancho Cucamonga." (The Rancho Cucamonga station links to both Metrolink and the Ontario Airport.) This planned HSR extension will bring Brightline West down towards Ontario in the Inland Empire, providing a second branch of their line into Southern California.[65] Brightline has agreed to purchase a 5 acre parcel for their HSR service adjacent to the planned multimodal upgrade to the existing station.[66]

As of November 2022, a start date for construction of Brightline West had yet to be announced.

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Brightline West

Brightline West

Brightline West is a proposed privately run high-speed rail route linking Las Vegas Valley and Rancho Cucamonga in the Greater Los Angeles area through the California high desert. The line will connect with existing rail at Rancho Cucamonga station of Metrolink's San Bernardino Line, a commuter rail line in Southern California. The project is intended to provide an alternative to air and automobile travel between Southern California and Las Vegas, a popular vacation spot. Construction on the route is expected to begin in early 2023 pending project permits finalization from Federal Railroad Administration in March 2023, and revenue service is planned to begin in 2026.

Southern California

Southern California

Southern California is a geographic and cultural region that generally comprises the southern portion of the U.S. state of California. It includes the Los Angeles metropolitan area, the second most populous urban agglomeration in the United States. The region generally contains ten of California's 58 counties: Imperial, Kern, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo and Ventura counties.

Mojave Desert

Mojave Desert

The Mojave Desert is a desert in the rain shadow of the Sierra Nevada mountains in the Southwestern United States. It is named for the indigenous Mojave people. It is located primarily in southeastern California and southwestern Nevada, with small portions extending into Arizona and Utah.

Victorville, California

Victorville, California

Victorville is a city in Victor Valley in San Bernardino County, California. Its population as of the 2020 census was 134,810.

Palmdale, California

Palmdale, California

Palmdale is a city in northern Los Angeles County in the U.S. state of California. The city lies in the Antelope Valley region of Southern California. The San Gabriel Mountains separate Palmdale from the Los Angeles Basin to the south.

Rancho Cucamonga station

Rancho Cucamonga station

Rancho Cucamonga station in Rancho Cucamonga, in San Bernardino County, California, serves the Metrolink San Bernardino Line commuter rail. The station is owned by the City of Rancho Cucamonga, and is near the former Empire Lakes Golf Club. It is located just west of Milliken Avenue and has 330 parking spaces.

Further study

The Authority's documents

The Authority's Business Plan is updated every even year (since 2008). It must be submitted to the Legislature by May 1. It describes the project's goals, financing, and development plans.

The Authority's Update Report is produced every odd year (since 2015). It must be submitted to the Legislature by March 1. The report gives a program-wide summary, as well as information for each project section, in order to clearly describe the project's status.

The Authority's Newsroom provides frequent news releases concerning all aspects of the project.

The Authority's Info Center provides factsheets, regional newsletters, maps, and video simulations of route "fly-overs".

Independent reviews

The California Peer Review Group produces independent analysis of the project for the state legislature. Its documents are available on its website.

The state legislature also has provided that independent financial review be conducted of the Authority's plans. Project Finance Advisory Limited (“PFAL”) was selected to do this beginning in November 2015. The September 2022 review is available at Independent Financial Advisor Report To California High-Speed Rail Authority Regarding: Proposition 1A Funding Plan.

Other documents

In 2014-2015, James Fallows wrote a series of 17 articles for The Atlantic about the HSR system. The series covered many aspects of the system, criticisms of it, and responses to those criticisms.

Source: "California High-Speed Rail", Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, (2022, December 3rd), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_High-Speed_Rail.

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References
  1. ^ California High-Speed Rail Authority. "Implementation Plan" (PDF). pp. 23, 25. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 10, 2008. Retrieved July 17, 2008.
  2. ^ "TECHNICAL MEMORANDUM: Traction Power 2x25kV Autotransformer Feed Type Electrification System & System Voltages" (PDF). HSR.CA.gov. CHSRA. Retrieved November 3, 2016.
  3. ^ a b "KISS Double-Decker Electric Multiple Unit EMU for Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board (CALTRAIN), California, USA" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on October 6, 2016. Retrieved October 16, 2016.
  4. ^ "HSR Q+A: Blended System & Passing Tracks with Boris Lipkin". California High-Speed Rail Authority. 2020. Archived from the original on December 12, 2021. Retrieved October 12, 2020.
  5. ^ "ES.0 Executive Summary: ES.1 Supplemental Alternatives Analysis Report Results" (PDF). Hsr.ca.gov. Retrieved January 14, 2016.
  6. ^ Peer Review Group's 2022 report to the state legislature
  7. ^ https://hsr.ca.gov/2022/10/26/news-release-california-high-speed-rail-authority-to-restructure-track-and-systems-procurement/
  8. ^ CAHSRA. "Revised Draft Business Plan 2022" (PDF). p. 43.
  9. ^ CAHSRA. "NEWS RELEASE: California High-Speed Rail Authority Pursues First Major Award Of New Federal Infrastructure Funds".
  10. ^ a b c "California High-Speed Rail 2022 Business Plan". California High-Speed Rail Authority. September 2022. Retrieved November 6, 2022.
  11. ^ https://hsr.ca.gov/2022/10/11/news-release-california-high-speed-rail-applies-for-millions-in-new-federal-funds-to-advance-construction-toward-bakersfield/
  12. ^ https://hsr.ca.gov/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/2022-Business-Plan-FINAL-A11Y.pdf
  13. ^ https://hsr.ca.gov/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/CVSR-2211-2209-Data-FINAL-V0-A11Y.pdf
  14. ^ https://www.buildhsr.com/construction_packages/package_1.aspx
  15. ^ https://hsr.ca.gov/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/CVSR-2211-2209-Data-FINAL-V0-A11Y.pdf
  16. ^ https://www.buildhsr.com/construction_packages/package_2_3.aspx
  17. ^ https://hsr.ca.gov/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/CVSR-2211-2209-Data-FINAL-V0-A11Y.pdf
  18. ^ https://www.buildhsr.com/construction_packages/package_4.aspx
  19. ^ https://hsr.ca.gov/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/CVSR-2211-2209-Data-FINAL-V0-A11Y.pdf
  20. ^ https://hsr.ca.gov/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/CVSR-2211-2209-Data-FINAL-V0-A11Y.pdf
  21. ^ a b "Official Voter Information Guide – Proposition 1A" (PDF). California State Legislature. 2008. Retrieved March 22, 2018.
  22. ^ "Expressions of Interest Received : HSR 14-30: Request for Expressions of Interest for Tier III Trainsets" (PDF). Hsr.ca.gov. Archived from the original (PDF) on June 2, 2019. Retrieved October 4, 2018.
  23. ^ "Alstom completes Bombardier Transportation takeover". International Railway Journal. January 29, 2021. Retrieved February 11, 2021.
  24. ^ "In California's high-speed train efforts, worldwide manufacturers jockey for position". The Fresno Bee. December 27, 2014. Retrieved February 18, 2015.
  25. ^ "XpressWest, seeking to build U.S. high-speed rail, ends deal with China group". Reuters.com. June 9, 2016.
  26. ^ https://hsr.ca.gov/2022/05/24/news-release-california-high-speed-rail-authority-pursues-first-major-award-of-new-federal-infrastructure-funds/
  27. ^ "California High-Speed Rail Blog » HSR Trainset Bids Could Create New Domestic Industry". Cahsrblog.com. February 23, 2015. Archived from the original on February 25, 2015. Retrieved January 14, 2016.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  28. ^ "Rail News - New Caltrain trainsets, Sound Transit rail cars arrive. For Railroad Career Professionals". Progressive Railroading. Retrieved November 29, 2022.
  29. ^ Operators from five countries interested in California high speed rail contract Railway Gazette International April 6, 2017
  30. ^ International consortia bid to become California high speed rail early operator Archived April 7, 2017, at the Wayback Machine Global Rail News April 6, 2017
  31. ^ DB consortium selected for California high speed rail consultancy contract Railway Gazette International October 9, 2017
  32. ^ "SB 1420 Senate Bill – Chaptered". ca.gov. Retrieved January 14, 2016.
  33. ^ "California High-Speed Rail Authority". Hsr.ca.gov. Retrieved January 14, 2016.
  34. ^ "California Proposition 1A, High-Speed Rail Act (2008)". ballotpedia.org. Retrieved January 14, 2016.
  35. ^ "AB 3034". State of California. Retrieved August 2, 2017.
  36. ^ "Cap-and-Trade Revenue: Likely Much Higher Than Governor's Budget Assumes". ca.gov. Retrieved January 14, 2016.
  37. ^ this litigation
  38. ^ Sheehan, Tim (June 2, 2015). "Farm Bureaus jump into Supreme Court high-speed rail case". The Fresno Bee.
  39. ^ https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2022-02-25/hollywood-burbank-airport-files-an-environmental-lawsuit-against-california-bullet-train
  40. ^ https://hsr.ca.gov/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/2022-Business-Plan-FINAL-A11Y.pdf
  41. ^ The Economic Impact of California High-Speed Rail (PDF) (Report). California High-Speed Rail Authority. 2022. Retrieved November 4, 2022.
  42. ^ CAHSRA. "Carbon Footprint Calculator".
  43. ^ CASHRA. "2022 Business Plan".
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  45. ^ "California High Speed Rail Blog » HSR: A Pathway Out of Poverty". Cahsrblog.com. December 17, 2014. Archived from the original on May 24, 2015. Retrieved January 14, 2016.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
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  63. ^ Mark DiCamillo (2022). Release #2022-08: Voters offer a wide range of issues they’d like the state to address (Report). UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies. Retrieved November 4, 2022.
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  65. ^ https://www.gobrightline.com/press-room/brightline-west-track-rancho-cucamonga
  66. ^ https://www.sbsun.com/2022/10/27/rancho-cucamonga-sbcta-approve-sale-of-5-acres-for-high-speed-rail-station/
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