About California High-Speed Rail

The California High-Speed Rail Authority (Authority) is responsible for planning, designing, building, and operating the first high-speed rail system in the nation. California high-speed rail will connect the megaregions of the state, contribute to economic development and a cleaner environment, create jobs, and preserve agricultural and protected lands.

When completed, Phase 1 of the high-speed rail system will run from San Francisco to the Los Angeles basin in under three hours at speeds capable of exceeding 200 miles per hour. The system will eventually extend to Sacramento and San Diego, totaling 800 miles with up to 24 stations. In addition, the Authority is working with regional partners to implement a statewide rail modernization plan that will invest billions of dollars in local and regional rail lines to meet the state’s 21st century transportation needs.

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Objectives | Progress | Benefits | Milestones

Our Objectives

The Authority is working toward three fundamental objectives:

  1. Initiate high-speed rail passenger service as soon as possible.
  2. Make strategic, concurrent transportation investments that will link over time and provide mobility, economic and environmental benefits at the earliest possible time
  3. Position ourselves to construct additional segments as funding becomes available.

Our Progress

  • The Authority has 119 miles of active construction in the Central Valley with dozens of active construction sites.
  • The Authority is on track for full environmental clearance of the Phase 1 San Francisco to LA/Anaheim system by 2023.
  • The Authority has acquired a majority of the right-of-way parcels needed for construction in the Central Valley.
  • The design work for construction in the Central Valley is nearing fully complete.

Project Benefits

  • Economic:
    • The project has created over 5,500 good-paying labor jobs.
    • The project generated $10.5+ billion in economic output from July 2006 to June 2020.
    • There are currently over 600 small businesses working on the project.
  • Environmental:
    • Our zero emission trains will be powered by 100% renewable energy.
    • On average, California’s electrified high-speed rail will keep more than 3,500 tons of harmful pollutants out of the air – every year.
    • We have planted more than 6,000 trees to offset emissions produced through construction.
    • Our construction contractors are required to use clean equipment – our construction sites are 50 to 65% cleaner than typical California construction sites, with 97% of all construction waste recycled to date, with only 3% going to landfill.

Important Project Milestones

  • 2021 – The Board approved the Revised 2020 Business Plan. This action reaffirmed the Authority’s commitment to deliver a 171-mile Merced-Fresno-Bakersfield interim electrified service line in California’s Central Valley.
  • 2020 – The Board approved the Central Valley Wye environmental document. These actions, along with the clearance of the final section of the Fresno to Bakersfield project section in 2018, provided for full environmental clearance for 171 miles of future high-speed rail alignment between Merced and Bakersfield.
  • 2019 – Project Update Report laid out the path forward for the Merced-Fresno-Bakersfield line, a building block project that matches the available funding.
  • 2018 – Chief Executive Officer Brian P. Kelly and his staff composed the latest business plan expressing the progress that has been made while candidly confronting challenges going forward.
  • 2017 – Governor Brown and the Legislature secured the establishment of an important step in long-term funding stability for the project by approving AB 398 extending the Cap-and-Trade Program through 2030.
  • 2015 – A ground breaking ceremony was held in Fresno to signify the beginning on HSR construction.
  • 2012 – Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. highlighted the benefits of this system in his State of the State address and declared that high-speed rail was a priority for his Administration.
  • 2009 – $8 billion in federal funds was made available nationwide as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).
  • 2008 – The bond measure (Proposition 1A) was approved by the state’s voters, making it the nation’s first ever voter-approved financing mechanism for high-speed rail.
  • 2002 – Senate Bill (SB) 1856 (Costa) was passed that authorized a $9.95 billion bond measure to finance the HSR system.
  • 1996 – The Intercity High-Speed Rail Commission determined HSR in California was, in fact, feasible. The California High-Speed Rail Authority was then created by the Legislature to oversee implementation.
  • 1994 – As part of the High-Speed Rail Development Act of 1994, California was identified as one of the five corridors nationally for high-speed rail planning. The California Legislature also created the Intercity High-Speed Rail Commission and charged it with determining the feasibility of a system in California.
  • 1981 –  California pursued the idea of a Southern California high-speed rail (HSR) corridor working with Japanese partners.

The California High-Speed Rail Authority makes every effort to ensure the website and its contents meet mandated ADA requirements as per the California State mandated Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 Level AA standard. If you are looking for a particular document not located on the California High-Speed Rail Authority website, you may make a request for the document under the Public Records Act through the Public Records Act page. If you have any questions about the website or its contents, please contact the Authority at info@hsr.ca.gov.