VIDEO RELEASE: From Platform to Train, Stakeholder Input Shapes Preliminary Design for Nation’s First High-Speed Trainsets, Stations

October 27, 2023

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – After months of community engagement, the California High-Speed Rail Authority (Authority) is unveiling preliminary 3D modeling sketches and virtual simulation of California’s first electrified trainsets, and some refreshed looks at future high-speed rail stations in the Central Valley.

This work is part of ongoing stakeholder engagement, focus groups and community workshops that will continue to refine the designs in the months ahead as the Authority prepares to launch high-speed rail passenger service between Merced and Bakersfield between 2030 and 2033.

Image of 3D model of train station with video play button

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“We’re thrilled to be at the point in this project where we are engaging with our community partners and the general public about what they want in their stations and on their trains,” said Authority CEO Brian Kelly. “The development of this statewide system, with iconic train cars and station design will transform the passenger rail experience in California and the United States.”

This week, Deutsche Bahn, the Authority’s early train operator, began the process of assembling rough full-scale mockups of trainset interior design. The design process will evolve in the coming months through more extensive public feedback from the ADA community, regional partners and focus groups into high-fidelity mockups that will mirror the proposed interior design of California high-speed rail trains.

This design will be worked into the Authority’s trainset procurement process, a release of a Request for Proposal (RFP) anticipated in the first quarter of 2024. Ultimately, the trains and track and systems will be tested to accommodate speeds up to 242 mph beginning in 2028.

In addition to trainset work, four Central Valley stations are currently advancing in concept design for the cities of Merced, Fresno, Bakersfield, and the Kings/Tulare County region. The Authority and Joint Venture, Foster+Partners/Arup, are designing state-of-the-art facilities for people to not only take the train, but gather, shop and access easy connections into the surrounding communities and downtown areas.

“Through our engagement with the local authorities and communities, we have received valuable feedback that has helped us understand the priorities for each of the station cities while also underlining the transformational nature of the project,” said Peter Sokoloff, Principal in Charge for Foster+Partners. “This dialogue has undoubtably helped shape and define the initial station configurations and will continue as we look to refine and develop our initial concept design in the coming months.”

In June, the Authority received $20 million from the federal government for the Fresno High-Speed Rail Station Historic Depot Renovation and Plaza Activation Project, which is part of the overall station footprint in Fresno. Work on the plazas in Chinatown and Downtown Fresno and renovations of the historic depot will bring vibrancy and patrons to the area well before high-speed passenger operations between 2030 and 2033.

Upcoming opportunities for the public to engage in the process can be found at:

Since the start of construction, the Authority has created more than 11,000 construction jobs, a majority going to residents from the Central Valley.

The Authority has begun work to extend the 119 miles under construction to 171 miles of future electrified high-speed rail from Merced to Bakersfield. There are more than 25 active construction sites in California’s Central Valley, with the Authority having environmentally cleared 422 miles of the high-speed rail program from the Bay Area to the Los Angeles Basin.

For more information on construction, visit:

The following link contains recent video, animations, photography, press center resources and latest renderings:

These files are all available for free use, courtesy of the California High-Speed Rail Authority.


Media Contact

Micah Flores
(C) 916-715-5396 



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