The California High-Speed Rail project is a high-speed rail transportation project currently in the works throughout the state of California. Work began on the project in 2015 and is expected to conclude in 2029. The project is being completed in two separate phases.
The first stage of the California High-Speed Rail project began in 2015 and spans from the cities of Merced to Bakersfield. This initial phase of construction is slated to be finished by 2019 and will include high-speed rail stations in:
- San Francisco
- San Jose
- Los Angeles
The cities of Mountain View, Redwood City, and Palo Alto were excluded as possible rail station sites because of their projected low ridership.
No date has been established for the start of construction on the second phase of the California High-Speed Rail project, which will span from Sacramento to San Diego. However, initial plans call for this phase of the project to include stations in the cities of:
- El Monte, West Covina, or Pomona
- Ontario International Airport
- San Bernardino
- San Diego
This phase of the project will span more than 277 miles of the 800-plus miles planned for the entire California High-Speed Rail project. While no date has been established for it to be started, construction is set to be finished by 2029.
Project Specifications and Amenities
This project is being designed to be a faster and more eco-friendly way to travel within the state of California. The rail system must by law function entirely with electricity and cannot use gasoline or coal for its source of power.
It also must travel at a minimum speed of 220 miles per hour, although some sections of the rail project are predicted to travel as fast as 240 miles per hour. It is estimated that most destinations on the rail system can be reached within two hours’ time and in some cases within an hour. Nonstop service between San Jose and San Francisco and San Jose and Los Angeles will be available as well.
The rail system by law must last at least 30 years and offer amenities like airline-style food and meals, on-board entertainment, and high-speed wireless or broadband Internet. The system must allow for the use of cellphones and also must have space available for wheelchairs or other mobility devices.
It likewise must have a communication network in place to relay information like travel, station, or time information to passengers. Finally, it must have a plan in place for stopping and exiting during an earthquake.
Public Perception of the Rail Project
Recent surveys have discovered that a little over 47 percent of the state’s population view the high-speed rail project favorably. Of that 47 percent who viewed it favorably, 64 percent said that that project was important to the state and the environment.
Favor for the project centers on the creation of 450,000 high-speed rail jobs and the generation of $2.23 billion in revenue by 2023. Respondents for the survey also appreciate the positive impact that the rail system will have on the state’s natural environment.
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