The U.S. will finally get their first bullet trains, as a California high-speed rail line project is expected to break ground this summer. The new line, scheduled to be completed in 2029, will allow passengers to ride travel from Los Angeles to San Francisco in less than three hours on electrified trains.
Construction works will begin this summer, first with a 65-mile stretch between Merced and Fresno in Central Valley. The rest of the line will be completed by 2029, under the California High Speed Rail Authority’s (CHSRA) plans.
The high speed rail line will be entirely powered by clan energy – 30% wind energy, 45% geothermal, 20% solar energy and 5% biogas. The entire project was apparently designed with the environment in mind, as a CHSRA report last month underlines that the construction will have no carbon emissions as it will be accompanied by a tree planting plan to offset CO2.
The project will not only zap passengers from San Francisco to LA at speeds of up to 200 miles per hour, it is also expected to revitalize all smaller cities along the line and improve overall quality of life in the area.
California is struggling with an 8.6% unemployment rate, while Fresno is at 13% and Merced at 14.9, and the high speed rail line construction is likely to create at least 20,000 jobs every year over the next five years.
The California high-speed rail line project will cost $68 billion, but only $10 billion has been raised so far. Local authorities are hoping to attract foreign investors to back the project and governor Jerry Brown even travelled to China last year to discuss the project. China has built over 5,000 miles of high speed rail track since 2007 and almost 9,000 miles more are under construction.
If Chinese investors get on board the project, the California high-speed rail line could be completed sooner. Local officials ultimately plan for an 800-mile railway track running from San Diego to Sacramento, with 24 stops along the way.
What do you think of the project? How will speeds of 200 mph for California bullet trains compare with other high speed rail lines around the world? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
[Image via dvice]