The California High-Speed Rail Authority (Authority) is continuing construction while partnering with local agencies, community members, business owners and other key stakeholders to build the nation’s first high-speed rail system.
HIGH-SPEED RAIL IS ALREADY HAPPENING in the Central Valley, with construction now spanning 119 miles across Madera, Fresno, Kings, Tulare and Kern counties. Investment in the Merced-Bakersfield line will deliver the first operational high-speed rail line in America, provide key mobility, economic and environmental benefits to California and to the region where it all began, the Central Valley. The line is affordable with current funding and can be operational by 2029.
Historically, the Central Valley’s economy has lagged behind the rest of the state. Now, investment in high-speed rail is helping to close the gap.More than 4,300 construction jobs have been created with the help of the State Building and Construction Trades Council, the Fresno Regional
- Workforce Development Board and other groups.
- 30 percent of all project work hours are to be performed by National Targeted Workers (someone who lives within an economically distressed area, such as the Central Valley).
The Central Valley Basin doesn’t meet current clean-air objectives.
- The Authority partnered with the San Joaquin Valley Unified Air Pollution Control District as one of the means to achieve the project’s goal of net-zero greenhouse gas and criteria pollutant emissions.
- Contractors must use Tier 4 construction equipment or equipment retrofitted to achieve comparable standards throughout the project.
- An interagency agreement with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection is in place to plant trees through the Forestry Assistance and Urban and Community Forestry programs.
Reconnecting the State
Home to nearly seven million people, the Central Valley is one of the fastest growing regions in the state.
- As the backbone of the State Rail Plan, high-speed rail will connect the region to the rest of California.
- More than $4 billion in construction contracts have been awarded.
Construction Packages & Stations
Explore below for details on high-speed rail stations and construction packages in the Central Valley. Three design-build construction contracts for the Central Valley segment of the high-speed rail system have been executed by the Authority.
Get The Facts
Myth: High-speed rail is taking away farm land.
The California High-Speed Rail Authority is doing its part to protect the environment and deliver the greenest infrastructure project in the nation. The Authority has preserved more than 2,600 acres for natural habitat and has planted more than 1,200 trees to offset emissions produced through construction.
Myth: Diesel powered trains are better.
High-speed electric trains are better for the environment as they reduce harmful air pollutants. Annually, high-speed rail could reduce 1.9 million metric tons of CO2, or about taking 400,000 passenger vehicles off the road.
Myth: High-speed rail is giving jobs to people outside of California.
Most construction workers on the high-speed rail project reside in the Central Valley. Out of the more than 4,000 workers dispatched to the project, most reported living in the counties of Madera, Fresno, Kings, Tulare and Kern. High-speed rail and its design-builders implement the Target Workers Program, requiring 30% of all project work hours be performed by individuals from disadvantaged communities where household income ranges from $32,000 to $40,000.
Myth: Property owners aren’t being paid the legal amount for their property.
A real estate purchase by the Authority is handled the same way as any private sale of property. The Authority pays fair market value for a property and pays for the preparation of all documents, including all title and escrow fees. In addition, a property owner may also be eligible for relocation payments and benefits.
Myth: Once construction is complete, there will be no jobs.
When high-speed rail is in operation, the system will require several different positions, including operation planners, station managers and workers, train operators and dispatchers, system security, maintenance engineers and many other key positions.
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