VIDEO RELEASE: Making a List: 2023’s Top 10 Moments for California High-Speed Rail

December 27, 2023

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Narrowing down top moments for California high-speed rail is tough in 2023, a year of momentous progress for the nation’s first 220 mph, clean, electrified train system. Today’s video release by the California High-Speed Rail Authority (Authority) makes the hard choices for you, featuring 10 milestones from an incredibly busy year of progress.

Title graphic of the video which reads:

Open the above image or click here to watch the video.

The top 10 are:

    1. Winner! Winner! Winner! The Authority won several prestigious awards this year, including recognition for diversity and inclusion and as employer of the year by an international women in transportation organization.
    1. Record outreach: Across the state, the Authority held and hosted a record number of outreach events in 2023, reaching thousands of future riders and workers statewide. Events focused on everything from small business diversity and how to do business with high-speed rail to industry outreach previewing upcoming procurements.
    1. From construction to operation: Realizing California high-speed rail’s promise requires trains and stations. As the program moves from construction to operations, design has advanced on the Authority’s train interiors and for the system’s four future Central Valley stations.
    1. Helping in a historic flood: Authority staff and contractors worked together to aid Central Valley communities impacted by flooding caused by last winter’s historic rainfall.
    1. 10 major structures complete: The Authority completed 10 structures across all the construction packages in 2023.
    1. Creating jobs! 10,000 labor jobs were on the books by early 2023. The number continues to climb higher every day – now surpassing 12,000 construction jobs created – with more and more Californians getting to work building this first-in-the-nation system.
    1. Labor milestones: The Authority marked 10 years of partnership with the state building and construction trades for Labor Day 2023. In the fall, the Authority expanded its partnership with labor unions, entering into an agreement with 13 rail operating unions.
    1. Construction Package 4 nearly complete: The southernmost 22-mile stretch of construction known as Construction Package 4 is nearing completion. This will be the first segment completed for the Authority. Many of the segment’s structures are already benefiting communities, separating current traffic from busy railroads, even in advance of high-speed trains beginning to move along the corridor.
    1. Future procurements: Steps are underway to buy the nation’s first 220+ mph electrified trains, and begin work for the track and systems that will make them go.
    1. Federal grants come in for HSR: To cap off the year, in December, the Biden-Harris administration awarded the Authority nearly $3.1 billion in a federal-state partnership for intercity passenger rail grant. It is the biggest show of support ever for the project from the federal government, and among the largest single federal investments in dedicated passenger rail in California and U.S. history. This is one of several major grants received in 2023 for the California high-speed rail project.

Watch the video here to hear and see more about each of these exciting milestones.

Since the start of construction, the Authority has created more than 12,000 construction jobs, a majority going to residents from the Central Valley. On average, nearly 1,500 workers are dispatched to a high-speed rail construction site daily. 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 also 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.


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