California High Speed Rail
California is in the process of creating the first true high-speed rail line in the United States between Los Angeles and San Francisco. When completed, by 2029, California's two largest metropolitan areas, and much of central California, will be connected in less than three hours by 200+ mph trains. There are plans to expand the system further to Sacramento and San Diego, linking all the major cities in California. Despite some delays, construction is set to begin in the Central Valley segment between Madera and Bakersfield by early 2014.
The 800 mile project is considered the largest infrastructure project in the U.S. today.
Experts estimate that without high-speed rail, California would need to spend as much as $171 billion – for an additional 2,300 lane-miles of highways, 4 runways, and 115 airline gates – to meet the state's transportation needs. The $68.5 billion for high-speed rail is very affordable by comparison.
By replacing car and plane trips, high-speed rail is projected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 3 million tons per year.
The project is expected to generate 1.25 million job-years of employment and as many as 400,000 permanent new jobs as a result of economic growth over the next 25 years.
California’s population will grow by 60 percent over the next 40 years,” said U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood. “Investing in a green, job-creating high-speed rail network is less expensive and more practical than paying for all of the expansions to already congested highways and airports that would be necessary to accommodate the state’s projected population boom.