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Northern California Regional Update

The California High-Speed Rail Authority (Authority) continues its commitment to conduct public outreach. Here are a few updates this month. 
San Francisco to San Jose
San Jose to Merced

Statewide Update

High-Speed Rail and Partner Agencies to Transform Diridon Station

Image of San Jose Diridon Station
The California High-Speed Rail Authority (Authority) is working together with our partner agencies to develop a plan to expand and redesign San Jose’s Diridon Station over the next decade. Electrified Caltrain, Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART), and high-speed rail service will add to the trains, buses, and light rail that currently use the station. The goal is to develop a world-class center of transit and public life that provides smooth connections between modes, and integration with the surrounding neighborhood.
The City of San Jose, Caltrain, the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA), along with the Authority, will create a San Jose Diridon Station Integrated Station Concept Plan as a first step in preparing the San Jose Diridon Station for its role as a major transportation hub.
The 18-month planning effort will result in a concept blueprint for transforming Diridon Station into a combined major terminus for high-speed rail, BART, VTA light rail, Caltrain, Altamont Corridor Express, and Amtrak.
To learn more about the San Jose Diridon Station planning efforts visit

High-Speed Rail Program Highlights Major Accomplishments in 2018

The Authority experienced changes, challenges and made significant progress on developing the nation’s first high-speed rail system in 2018. Starting with the appointment and new direction provided by Chief Executive Officer Brian P. Kelly in early 2018, the Authority demonstrated it’s committed to advancing the high-speed rail program by reaching several important milestones in the areas of construction in the Central Valley, as well as environmental reviews and local and regional partnerships in Northern and Southern California.
The end-of-year video includes several highlights such as:
  • Adoption of the 2018 Business Plan
  • 2,000th worker dispatched in the Central Valley
  • The State indicating its Preferred Alternatives in Southern California
Watch the program highlight here:
2018 HSR Moments Video
Click to See Video

Small Businesses Making Large Impacts on the High-Speed Rail Program

Small Business Newsletter Cover Vol 6 Issue 3
The latest edition of the Small Business Newsletter is now available and continues to show Northern California leading the way with over 175 small businesses from the region working on the project. In this edition, read about a Fresno business that’s been keeping the Central Valley safe since 1971, including construction for high-speed rail. Also read about a Los Angeles-based architectural firm, a San Francisco business that’s worked on transit projects for four decades and a look back at 2018 and look ahead to 2019 with the Authority’s Small Business Advocate
Click to Read Full Report

Northern California Accomplishments in 2018

  • Plan for Expanded Blended Operation Between San Jose and Gilroy – The 2018 Business Plan proposes to expand electrification of the Caltrain corridor south of San Jose to Gilroy.  The Authority continues to be in discussions with Union Pacific Railroad and other partners about right of way and operational options, including how electrified passenger and diesel freight trains could share the corridor. This may potentially allow enhanced electrified service all the way to Gilroy, eliminating the need to use passenger diesel trains in the corridor and potentially allow the line to be used for express high-speed rail operations between San Francisco and Gilroy.
  • Establishing a Range of Alternatives – The 2018 Business Plan introduces the concept of blended electrified service between San Jose and Gilroy. The Authority expanded the range of alternatives under study by incorporating the new at-grade alternative for high-speed rail in Northern California. Four alternatives are now under study for the San Jose and Merced section and two alternatives for the San Francisco and San Jose section.
  • Achieving Project Definition – As part of the environmental analysis for the high-speed rail system between San Francisco and Merced, the Authority finalized the project definition for both sections. We have completed the initial environmental evaluation for the San Francisco to San Jose section and undertook the environmental evaluation of the new blended alternative for the San Jose to Merced section to meet CEQA and NEPA requirements.
  • Wildlife Corridor Assessment – In collaboration with a variety of partners in the field, the Authority conducted wildlife corridor assessments in the Coyote Valley and Pacheco Pass in the San Jose to Merced project section. Sensitive wildlife movement corridors were identified and design refinements incorporated to increase wildlife permeability and minimize the rail corridor’s impediment to animal movement.
  • Executed Comprehensive Community Outreach Activities and Partnerships – In 2018, the Authority conducted and participated in over 300 meetings and presentations throughout Northern California, both large and small. The aim was to inform and gather input from city/county staff, neighborhood groups, Community Working Groups (CWG), Technical Working Groups (TWG), and environmental justice populations. In addition, the Authority collaborated with partner agencies throughout the region to further refine the system design and advance the environmental document.
  • Advanced Connecting Communities Strategies – Based on discussion with city and county staff along the two project sections, the Authority mapped projects related to active transportation, station access, and transit-oriented development as identified by stakeholders and working group members in 2016 and 2017. The Authority is working in conjunction with state funding partners to identify projects being planned by local communities and align them with potential grant funding opportunities from the State. They are organized to create “co-benefits,” which can increase the competitiveness of local grant applications.

Northern California Milestones in 2019

As we look ahead to 2019 and beyond, the Authority will continue to work with community working groups, partner agencies, city and county staff, environmental justice groups and other community organizations to advance the environmental documents in Northern California.
To deliver the Final Environmental Impact Report/Statement (EIR/S), below are upcoming key milestone dates for both San Francisco to San Jose and San Jose to Merced Project Sections (PA indicates the selection of a Preferred Alternative):.
2019 Northern California Milestones Infograph
If you are interested in inviting us to your community to receive a project update, feel free to contact us here:
Via Email:
Via Phone:
San Francisco to San Jose Project Section: 
(800) 435-8670
San Jose to Merced Project Section:
(800) 455-8166
Via Mail:
Northern California Regional Office
California High-Speed Rail Authority
100 Paseo de San Antonio, Suite 206
San Jose, CA 95113

Northern California Regional Updates Archives