CHSRA readies HSR groundbreaking

Written by Douglas John Bowen
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Fresno, Calif., will host groundbreaking ceremonies Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2015, marking the start of construction for California's ambitious intrastate high speed rail system.

California Gov. Jerry Brown, an ardent HSR proponent, is expected to address those attending the event in Fresno’s Chinatown district. Also expected is Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and California High-Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) CEO Jeff Morales.

CHSRA, emerging from 2014 with several judicial victories in hand at the expense of HSR opponents, claims the full system will “contribute to economic development and a cleaner environment, create jobs, and preserve agricultural and protected lands. By 2029, the system will run from San Francisco to the Los Angeles basin in under three hours at speeds capable of over 200 miles per hour.” Targeted top speeds of 220 mph are forecast.

CHSRA also notes the HSR system “will eventually extend to Sacramento and San Diego, totaling 800 miles with up to 24 stations. In addition, the Authority is working with regional partners to implement a statewide rail modernization plan that will invest billions of dollars in local and regional rail lines to meet the state’s 21st century transportation needs” – described as a “blended” approach to passenger rail.

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