High-Speed Rail at a Glance

Northern California

California is building a high-speed rail system to connect the megaregions of the state and transform how people travel. More than $1.6 billion of Proposition 1A funds and other California High-Speed Rail Authority funding are supporting investments in Northern California, including $714 million to Caltrain’s Peninsula Corridor Electrification Project.

HIGH-SPEED RAIL WILL provide clean, modern transportation for the millions of Northern California residents and will help tie the state’s economies together like never before. In Northern California, the system will have stations in San Francisco, Millbrae, San José, and Gilroy that will connect with BART, Caltrain, Amtrak, ACE and other regional rail and transit options.

Addressing the Issues

Curbing Air Traffic Congestion

Curbing Air Traffic Congestion [1]

  • The busiest domestic route in the nation is between SFO and LAX
  • 1 in 5 flights out of the Bay Area is headed to the Los Angeles Area
  • High-speed rail is the least expensive, most practical, and by far the greenest way to increase transportation capacity in California

Traffic

Traffic [2]

  • San Francisco drivers averaged 97 hours sitting in traffic during peak hours in 2019
  • Traffic jams cost drivers $1,436 and the City of San Francisco $3 billion in 2019
  • High-speed rail systems are fast and efficient, meaning you can reliably know when you’ll get to your destination

Access to More Affordable Housing

Access to More Affordable Housing [3]

  • The average home price in the San Francisco Bay Area is now more than $1,300,000
  • The average home price in the Central Valley is approximately $445,000
  • High-speed rail can allow Silicon Valley to continue to flourish by relieving some of the housing pressure by reducing travel times to the Central Valley

Sections & Stations


The Authority is moving forward with the environmental documents for the San Francisco to San Jose project section and the San Jose to Merced project section. To view additional resources related to these documents, visit meethsrnorcal.org.

Explore below for details on high-speed rail project sections and current station planning and development in Northern California. The Authority continues to work with local partners to develop station area plans based around proposed high‑speed rail centers.

PROJECT PROGRESS

Caltrain Electrification

  • The Authority committed $714 million to Caltrain’s Peninsula Corridor Electrification Project, nearly 40 percent of the total $2 billion cost. This investment will increase Caltrain service, reduce emissions by 97 percent from today’s diesel service, and allow passengers to experience travel up and down the Peninsula in new electric trains.
  • An electrified Caltrain corridor is a critical element for bringing high-speed rail services to the Bay Area, enabling high-speed trains to reach San Francisco by sharing tracks with Caltrain.

San Mateo 25th Avenue Grade Separation Project

  • We partnered with the City of San Mateo, San Mateo County, Caltrain and others to construct the 25th Avenue Grade Separation. The project will reduce congestion and improve safety, and a new elevated Caltrain Hillsdale Station with updated amenities will be built at E. 28th Avenue.
  • We are contributing up to $84 million toward the $180 million project, managed by Caltrain, that will raise tracks and create new grade separated east-west connections, creating space necessary for future passing tracks, should they be necessary.

Salesforce Transit Center

  • The northern terminus of the high-speed rail system, the Salesforce Transit Center, opened in 2018 featuring bus operations, park facilities on the roof and, soon, a substantial retail presence.
  • The transit center includes facilities at the basement level where both high-speed rail and Caltrain trains will arrive; facilities that were funded by $400 million in federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds.

Downtown Extension

  • The Downtown Extension Project (DTX) will connect the existing rail network from 4th and King (in San Francisco) into the Salesforce Transit Center, allowing high-speed rail trains and Caltrain to access the transit center.
  • In April 2020, the Authority executed a Memorandum of Understanding with five other agencies involved in the DTX project to establish the multi-agency team with the goal of preparing for construction as soon as possible.

Diridon Station Planning

  • Over the past two years, the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority, the City of San José, Caltrain, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and the Authority have worked to develop the first phase of the Diridon Integrated Station Concept (DISC).
  • DISC’s shared vision for the future layout of the station is a transit-oriented, world-class multimodal transit hub and gateway to Silicon Valley that integrates with the surrounding community and supports the growth anticipated in Google’s Downtown West plan.

Get The Facts

Myth: California high-speed rail is a “train to nowhere” and will never come to the Bay Area.

Fact:

We are advancing every mile of the Phase I system from San Francisco to Los Angeles/Anaheim, and expect full environmental clearance of both Northern California project sections by Q2 2022.

Myth: We don’t need high-speed rail when we can fly or drive from Northern California to Southern California.

Fact:

High-speed rail is the least expensive, most practical, and by far the greenest way to meet the need for increased transportation capacity in our state. Zero-emission high-speed rail trains, powered by 100% renewable energy, are a vital alternative to airplane and automobile travel.

Myth: Construction is only happening in the Central Valley.

Fact:

The Authority continues to invest in projects in Northern California that will provide near-term regional mobility benefits and lay the foundation for high-speed rail service. In collaboration with regional stakeholders, funding agreements have been completed for the following projects: 

  • $714 million for construction for the Caltrain Peninsula Corridor Electrification Project; 
  • $84 million for the San Mateo 25th Avenue Grade Separation Project. 

Myth: The high-speed rail project has only created jobs in the Central Valley.

Fact:

To date, more than 500 small businesses, almost exclusively from California, have been bolstered by the high-speed rail project. 193 of those small businesses are located in Northern California. 

In the Bay Area alone, the project has already generated 5600 job-years of employment, $530 million in labor income, and $1.2B in economic output. 

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.