We Get Support From:
Become a Supporter 
 We Get Support From:
Become a Supporter 

Calif. High Speed Rail Flips Construction Plan

Ben Bradford/Capital Public Radio

An exhibit of the High Speed Rail Authority's planned initial operating line.

Ben Bradford/Capital Public Radio

The California High Speed Rail Authority has flipped its plans for the train. In a new draft plan announced Thursday, the authority would build the northern section of the rail line first.

The new draft plan calls for getting a line from San Jose to Kern County up-and-running by 2025, instead of the section from Burbank to Merced by 2022.

High Speed Rail Authority CEO Jeff Morales says he has enough money in hand to build the less-costly northern section.

"Within the funding stream that we can project, we can’t build the entire southern section," Morales says. So, the prudent thing to do is build what we can build and get to an operating segment."

The northern section is projected to account for $20 billion of the rail line's $62 billion cost. That total cost estimate is also lower than previous plans, which projected $68 billion. Instead of building that segment first, the authority would spend another $2 billion to increase service from Anaheim to Burbank, bringing the total project cost to $64 billion.

The authority is banking that once the northern segment is operational, private investors will help fund the southern corridor.

To complete service to San Francisco, the authority wants to once again seek federal investment.