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California High Speed Rail (CHSR) project timeline and all you need to know

California High-Speed Rail (CHSR) is a publicly funded high-speed rail system under construction in the U.S. state of California. It is projected to connect the Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center in Anaheim and Union Station in Downtown Los Angeles with the Salesforce Transit Center in San Francisco via the Central Valley, providing a one-seat ride between Union Station and San Francisco in 2 hours and 40 minutes, a distance of 380 miles (612km).

California High-Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) plans to operate on dedicated, grade-separated tracks for the entirety of its route between San Jose and Burbank with speeds of up to 220 miles per hour (354 km/h), with early ridership projections for the San Francisco to Los Angeles leg at 28.4 million per year.

Also Read: California High Speed Rail (CHSR) project 


The CAHSRA was established by an act of the California State Legislature and tasked with presenting a high-speed rail plan to the voters. The plan, Proposition 1A, was presented to and approved by voters. The approval included a US $9bn bond to begin construction on the initial leg of the network.

Project costs are estimated at US $33.6bn for the Anaheim to San Francisco section according to the 2008 business plan, and a US $40bn total figure given to voters whose approval was sought.


The CHSRA re-estimated the project’s cost at US $53.4bn or US $68.4bn (YOE)


Construction kicked off, and the finish of the first phase should have passengers moving in 2025, with subsequent portions opening in 2029. It’s the most expensive railway in the country, at US $89m per mile.


The CHSRA pushed estimated costs to between US $63.2bn and US $98.1bn (YOE) and delayed initial service to 2029, with Los Angeles to San Francisco service in 2033. However, environment reviews for the entire San Francisco to Anaheim route would continue. The cost for Bakersfield to Merced is US $12.4bn.


The CHSRA released the first Draft Environmental Impact Report for the project. The document covered the 80-mile stretch of the project from Bakersfield to Palmdale. The Bakersfield to Palmdale Project Section will provide a connection from the Central Valley to the Antelope Valley and Los Angeles County, closing the existing passenger rail gap between Northern and Southern California through the Tehachapi Mountains, as well as providing new opportunities for economic development and revitalization in the cities along this corridor.

Dennis Ayemba
Country/ Features Editor, Kenya


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