I went to see Dan Richard, one of the head Board Members of the California High Speed Rail Association and I learned a lot about the project!
It’s been 50 years since Japan opened it’s first Bullet Train
Why build the first part in the Central Valley (As opposed to a direct line from SF to LA)
- Mostly flat area/Highest number of layable track
- Fasted growing area. 4.2 million people (More than Conneticut)
- Trains in this region can be tested up to 250mph
- Develop spine of the network.
3 out the 6 busiest Amtrak routes are in California
- Northeast Regional (July 2013 ridership: 687,331)
- Acela Express (July 2013 ridership: 276,477)
- Pacific Surfliner (Southern CA) July 2013 ridership: 271,517
- Capitol Corridor (Northern CA) July 2013 ridership: 140,533
- Keystone Service (NY to Harrisburg) July 2013 ridership: 123,874
- San Joaquin (Central CA) July 2013 ridership: 117,348
Funding (No Planned Operating Subsidy)
Design-Build Approach the same way that brought past BART projects in on time & under budget. With 3% embedded inflation, a faster build time lowers overall costs.
Right now, a train from LA to SF in under 2 1/5 hours would already cost 15% less than the basic air fare price.
- Current lawsuits (At the time of the Golden Gate Bridge construction over 2,300 were files)
- Sustained interest of government leaders
- Stable funding source (Advances private interest)