After receiving 250 comments on its revised 2020 business plan draft, the California High-Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) adopted it.
The revised plan, which is slated for final approval last year but has been repeatedly delayed due to the pandemic, was released on February 9, affirming the development of the interim high-speed train service line. speed electrified Merced-Fresno-Bakersfield, while advancing environmental and current reviews. investments in local and regional infrastructure projects, according to CHSRA. The 30-day public comment period ended on March 12.
CHSRA said the final plan, which is expected to be submitted to the state legislature by April 15, includes these priorities:
• Completed the 119-mile construction segment of the Central Valley and laid track in accordance with federal funding grant agreements with the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA).
• Extend the Central Valley segment to 171 miles of electrified high-speed rail in service connecting Merced, Fresno and Bakersfield.
• Start testing trains by 2026-2027 and put them into service by the end of the decade.
• “Environmentally friendly” of all segments of the Phase 1 system between San Francisco and Los Angeles / Anaheim.
• Advance the construction of “bookend” projects, valued at over $ 3 billion, to which CHSRA has committed to funding in Los Angeles and the Bay Area.
• Seek additional funding opportunities to “prospectively” fill the gaps “and expand electrified high-speed rail service to the Bay Area and Los Angeles / Anaheim as soon as possible”.
“The strategy outlined in this plan presents a clear path to completing construction in the Central Valley,” said Brian Kelly, CEO of CHSRA. “We are committed to continuing progress as an organization and look forward to working with our federal, state and local leaders to bring high speed trains to California during this decade. “
In related developments, Age of the railway Engineering editor and Railroad tracks and structures Editor-in-Chief Bill Wilson recently reported on growing cost overruns at CHRA.