The Slatest

Construction Begins on 200-Mph “Bullet Train” From LA to San Francisco

Union Station in Los Angeles.


Construction begins today on a California “bullet train” that would reach speeds of 200 miles per hour and take passengers between Los Angeles and San Francisco in less than three hours. If completed—which is still a big “if”—it would be the nation’s fastest train by a considerable margin. From the AP:

To make way for tracks, some demolition started last year in Fresno, but officials say work this year will be more intensive along the project’s first segment — a 28-mile stretch from Fresno north to Madera. A second phase of work will occur along the 114 miles from Fresno south to Bakersfield.


Construction will be pretty slow, though:

Plans call for completing the first 520 miles linking San Francisco and the Los Angeles Basin by 2029.


And there are still a number of obstacles, the LA Times writes, to the line’s completion:

Rail officials haven’t yet lined up funds needed to complete the initial system over the next 14 years. Construction is starting two years later than the state had promised. Acquisition of private property is going slower than expected. And they have yet to finalize legal agreements with two of the nation’s most powerful private freight railroads that are concerned about how a bullet train network will affect their operations.

Despite the complications, the Times says, the train remains one of governor Jerry Brown’s “highest priorities” as he begins another four-year term.