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California Kicks Off Construction Of First High-Speed Rail Line In US

California high-speed rail

California has kicked off construction this summer on the nation’s first high-speed rail line, a project scheduled for completion in 2029. The line will go from San Francisco to Los Angeles in less than 3 hours, with speeds as high as 220MPH.

Now that the go-ahead has been given for the project, the California High-Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) will begin building the first stretch, a 65-mile connection between Fresno and Merced. The project will create an estimated 20,000 jobs every year through 2018, a boost for California’s 8.6% unemployment rate.

The project is expected to cost around $68 billion, but only $10 billion has been raised thus far. California Governor Jerry Brown visited China in April to check out the more than 5,000 miles of HSR track already installed throughout the country (with 9,000 more on the way), perhaps in hopes that foreign investors would check out the California project and invest in getting it going. That’s right, China has 14,000 miles of high-speed rail tracks in the works, and we have none. Let’s get moving!

Perhaps the most stand-out part of the project is that construction will emit zero carbon emissions. According to a CHSRA report, a tree planting program will be used to help offset CO2 emissions. Construction will also run on 45% geothermal, 30% wind, 20% solar, and 5% biogas.

It’s about time we started seeing transportation like this in the United States. As much as I love taking the Amtrak train down to Chicago for the weekend, nothing beats the idea of getting there in less than half the time.

Where would you like to see a high-speed rail installed next?

Image: CHSRA
Via Inhabitat

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Ted Crocker

    This is just one article in a recent flood of misleading propaganda. This project is not starting YET. They haven’t even bought the land or cleared the legal hurdles. I can only wonder if all these rose colored articles are written to influence the public and thereby the judge (is he that naive?) in the upcoming ruling on the Prop 1A case due later this month?

  • JeffB

    “Where would you like to see a high-speed rail installed next?”
    Fantasy land.
    This train to nowhere will never be built if there is a single ounce of common sense remaining in this state.

  • http://www.the9billion.com/ John Johnston

    There is no doubt it’s going to be expensive. It will be interesting when Elon Musk reveals his “Hyperloop” alternative, which he has said should be both cheaper and much faster, and will run on renewable energy.

    We’ll report on details about Musk’s Hyperloop when they are released, which is supposed to be 12 August.

  • Anonymous

    This is wonderful news! However, we have a suggestion. Since it is projected to take 16 years to build this route, whereas China builds similar routes in a couple of years, why not double the construction time to 32 years, so people could work on the project for 30 years or more and retire?
    On a more serious vein, could someone please explain why it is projected to take 16 years to build this simple rail line? Spain, France, Japan and other nations take far less time than this, and Russia now plans to build several lines in two to four years. Is the USA that far behind in technology? We are not building a line under the Himalayas, the Alps, or the Andes. What is the problem? (Retarded rail naysayers need not respond!)


    Right on! What is our problem? There was a time when the US had the fastest and most comfortable trains in the world. Obviously, we have lost our touch! On August 29, I will be riding the German ICE high-speed train from Amsterdam to Frankfurt and will return 5 days later. It will be fun and pleasure all the way…and FAST! What is our problem? Too much political obstructionism, lack of vision, lack of guts to go ahead and do something. It is true: if others can do it, we can too. We no longer believe that we can do things quickly and efficiently!