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June 14, 2021updated 24 Nov 2021 6:26am

US reinstates $929m of funding for California high-speed rail project

CHSRA is working on designs, plans, construction, and operations of the rail system.

The US Department of Transportation (USDOT) and the State of California have concluded settlement talks to reinstate around $929m in federal grant funding to support California’s High-Speed Rail project.

This decision comes after months of negotiations to restore the funding that was previously withdrawn in 2019 by the US Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) under the Trump Administration.

In April 2009, the federal government agreed to initially invest $8bn, with $1bn a year for five years to execute high-speed rail projects in ten major corridors.

The construction for the California high-speed rail project commenced in January 2015.

The project, which is undergoing construction along 191km in the Central Valley, has more than 35 active construction sites.

With the funding’s restoration, the California High-Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) will be able to finish the first operating section of the high-speed rail system.

CHSRA is working on designs, plans, construction and operations of the rail system.

California Governor Gavin Newsom said: “Restoring nearly $929m in grant funding back to California’s High-Speed Rail project will continue to spur job creation, advance the project and move the state one step closer to getting trains running in California as soon as possible.”

CHSRA CEO Brian Kelly said: “With this settlement, it’s clear we once again have a strong federal partner on this challenging but transformative project. We appreciate FRA’s expression of confidence that we are getting this project on the right track.

“Let’s continue the work of creating jobs and building the nation’s first truly high-speed rail project right here in California.”

The California high-speed rail project will operate from San Francisco to the Los Angeles basin, covering the journey in three hours.

After a period, the rail system will be extended to Sacramento and San Diego, with a total length of 1,287.48km comprising around 24 stations.

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