Return to top

The Phase 1 system will connect San Francisco to the Los Angeles basin via the Central Valley in under three hours on trains capable of reaching more than 200 miles per hour. Phase 2 will extend to Sacramento and San Diego.

CALIFORNIA HIGH-SPEED RAIL WILL fundamentally transform how people move around the state, spur economic growth, create a cleaner environment, and preserve agricultural lands and natural habitat – and it has already created thousands of good-paying jobs.

Objectives & Strategy

Our Objectives

The California High-Speed Rail 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.

A Building Block Approach

Our implementation and delivery strategy reflects those objectives and reiterates our intent to:

  • Complete work on the 119-mile Central Valley Segment under construction now.
  • Continue working with federal, state and local partners to make improvements to the system’s bookends in Northern California (Bay Area corridor) and Southern California (Burbank to Anaheim corridor).
  • Establish a Merced to Bakersfield high-speed rail line by extending the Central Valley Segment north to Merced and south to Bakersfield.
  • Continue project development work on the Silicon Valley to Central Valley line.
  • Obtain environmental clearances for all of the Phase 1 project segments

Facts & Figures


Increase Mobility to prepare for growth – with the state’s population estimated to reach 45 million by 2060

Map of 8 of the 10 largest cities in California connected by high-speed rail

California high-speed rail will directly
connect 8 of the 10 largest cities
in the state bringing Californians
closer together.

Improve Air Quality by shifting people from cars and planes to clean trains running on 100% renewable energy

400,000 cars
off roads each year

Cut Travel Times and provide a faster,more convenient way to get around the state – and create new opportunities for business-to-business collaboration

Grouped bar chart comparing the approximate trip travel times by mode for three separate corridors in the Central Valley

Comparative Travel Times text description of the bar chart
* All travel times are approximate. Trips are measured from central business district, existing passenger rail stations, or planned high-speed rail stations. Existing passenger rail travel times were approximated using the Amtrak website, referencing schedules current as of publication. Car travel times were estimated based on mid-week, peak-hour trip. High-speed rail travel times are for non-stop service.

Stimulate Economic Growth across the state – with construction jobs now and maintenance and operation jobs to come. More than 400 disadvantaged workers dispatched to construction sites. To date, 176 Disadvantaged Business Enterprises, 56 Disabled Veteran Business Enterprises, 129 Small Businesses located in disadvantaged communities, engaged in the high-speed rail project.

More than 3,500 workers
have been dispatched to work on high-speed rail construction projects in the Central Valley.

539 Small Businesses STATEWIDE through October 2019

Phased High-Speed Rail System Implementation

California high-speed rail will connect the mega-regions of the state, contribute to economic development and a cleaner environment, create jobs and preserve agricultural and protected lands. When it is completed, it 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, we are 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.

Interactive Maps

Want More Information?

Find more information about high-speed rail in California. From factsheets and regional newsletters, to maps and outreach events, get on board with the most up‑to‑date program information.

Regional Newsletters Visit buildHSR Opens in new window

As of 2019

Construction Phases


The map shows the phased implementation of the California High-Speed Rail system. The 520 mile Phase 1 system involves segments between the following cities: San Francisco, San José, Gilroy, Merced, Madera, Fresno, Kings/Tulare, Bakersfield, Palmdale, Burbank, Los Angeles, and Anaheim. Phase 2 will include segments which include Sacramento, Stockton, Modesto, San Bernardino, Riverside, and San Diego.

The segment travelling between Merced, Fresno, and Bakersfield are highlighted and a Valley to Valley segment from San Francisco and San Jose to the Central Valley are also highlighed.

Comparative Travel Times Chart


The chart compares the travel times for travel between the following corridors: Bakersfield to Merced, Bakersfield to Fresno, and Fresno to Merced. Each corridor displays the estimated travel time of High-Speed Rail, current travel time via Highway 99, and existing passenger rail services between the origin and destination city. Each corridor consistently shows the estimated high-speed rail travel time being half that of car travel and passenger rail.


Numerical values presented on the image:

Comparative Travel Times (in hours)

Corridor High-Speed Rail Car Passenger Rail
Bakersfield to Merced 1.4 2.75 2.85
Bakersfield to Fresno .7 1.5 1.8
Fresno to Merced .5 .9 .75