Highlights from Chapter 1:

Steps to Getting Trains Running in California

In 2018, the Authority first proposed the concept of developing an initial electrified high-speed rail line in the Central Valley between Merced and Bakersfield as the first building block for delivering the full 500-mile system. In the June 2022 Budget Agreement, the Governor and Legislature agreed to appropriate the remaining $4.2 billion in Proposi­tion 1A funds to develop and deliver the Merced to Bakersfield line. Five years of studies, debates, deliberations and decisions have brought us to this important pivot point where we are now concentrating our efforts and our resources on the goal of delivering high-speed rail service in this corridor by the end of the decade. This chapter presents an initial roadmap of the steps we will take and the activities we will integrate to deliver this corridor, as well as an explanation of where we are now and where we want to be.

Key Facts

  • In August 2022, the Authority Board of Directors approved two contracts to advance design into Merced and Bakersfield
  • In October 2022, the Board approved awarding a contract to develop the final designs for the four Central Valley stations
  • The Authority is undertaking a systematic review of its approach to procuring and delivering key operational capital elements, including track, systems, trains, and operations and maintenance facilities for the Merced to Bakersfield corridor
  • The Authority is committed to operating the system on renewable energy and has initiated work on the conceptual design and financial modeling of a battery storage and solar generation project
  • Over the last two years, the Authority has begun planning and identifying the steps necessary to connect future operations into the existing state network of intercity rail and bus lines, regional rail lines, urban rail and bus transit lines, highways and airports

High-Speed Rail Station Elements
chart showing high-speed rail station elements


Text description of station elements


This graphic shows a rendering of a high-speed rail station that highlights the elements of the station. The platform shows where trains will arrive at the station. The station uses vertical circulation, a pedestrian concourse, a canopy for shade and space for functional areas. Along the street are bus stops, a pick-up and drop-off area, enclosed bike parking, ADA Parking stalls and an area for multimodal access.

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