Watch: CHSRA Unveils Proposed Trainset, Station Designs

Written by Marybeth Luczak, Executive Editor
Preliminary 3D modeling sketches for CHSRA's high-speed trainsets were released Oct. 27. (Screen Grab Courtesy of CHSRA Video)

Preliminary 3D modeling sketches for CHSRA's high-speed trainsets were released Oct. 27. (Screen Grab Courtesy of CHSRA Video)

The California High-Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) on Oct. 27 released preliminary 3D modeling sketches and virtual simulation of its trainsets as well as updated Central Valley station designs.

(Video Courtesy of CHSRA)

According to CHSRA, the work is part of ongoing stakeholder engagement, focus groups and community workshops that it said will “continue to refine the designs in the months ahead,” in preparation for the launch of Merced-to-Bakersfield high-speed passenger rail service between 2030 and 2033.

Early train operator Deutsche Bahn has begun the process of assembling rough full-scale mockups of trainset interior design, CHSRA said, and they are slated to be revealed publically in 2024.

CHSRA reported that the design will be worked into its trainset procurement process. On Aug. 24, the Board of Directors approved the release of a Request for Qualifications (RFQ), and the release of a Request for Proposal (RFP) is expected during first-quarter 2024. Ultimately, the trains and track and systems will be tested to accommodate speeds up to 242 mph beginning in 2028, according to CHSRA.

(Station Model Screen Grab Courtesy of CHSRA Video)

Additionally, CHSRA and joint venture Foster+Partners/Arup are advancing the concept design of four Central Valley stations for the cities of Merced, Fresno and Bakersfield, and the Kings/Tulare County region. The joint venture was selected last fall for the project.

“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, CHSRA received $20 million from the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) program for the Fresno High-Speed Rail Station Historic Depot Renovation and Plaza Activation Project, which is part of the overall station footprint in Fresno, and in September, it received nearly $202 million from the Federal Railroad Administration’s Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) competitive grant program to fund the design, right-of-way purchases and construction of six grade separations in the city of Shafter (Kern County). The grade separations were the first to be funded outside of active construction under way along 119 miles in the Central Valley. According to CHSRA, it 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 the 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. CHSRA earlier this year issued its 2023 Project Update Report.

Left to Right: Becca Tabor, Audrey Van, Boris Lipkin, Morgan Galli, Rich Walter, Jean-Paul Torres (CHSRA Photograph)

In related news, CHSRA also reported receiving the American Planning Association’s California – Northern Section’s 2023 Excellence Award for Advancing Diversity and Social Change in Honor of Paul Davidoff at the association’s Awards Gala. The award was announced in April.

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