California High Speed Rail: An Overview
On November 4th, 2008 California voters approved something completely new to the state of California. A high speed rail system which will connect north and south of the state, From San Francisco to San Diego, on a 800 miles long stretch of rail tracks which will be completed by 2030. State of California is a place which has very few or limited ways of public transport. It never had anything like this which connects almost every important city including San Francisco, Los Angeles, Sacramento, Fresno, Bakersfield, Palmdale, Los Angeles, Irvine, and San Diego. Most importantly this track covers 7 important airports up North and down South. It is expected that the train will run at a maximum of 220 mph and will be able to come to Los Angeles from San Francisco in 2 hours and 40 minutes. That is something what California need, rather than cursing in traffic on I-5 which moves at 40mph on rush hour.
California already have railway by likes of AmTrak and MetroLink. But these are not really linked or works throughout the state efficiently. It will take at least half a day to Sacramento via a train. The new proposed High speed railway is supposed to eliminate all these problems at a low cost green theme, and hoping to increase links between the cities. The system would be fully electric and will be powered by solar and wind power built along with the Railway system. . The rails would be 800 miles long when finished, while they will be built in separate portions from 2012 to 2030. The main phase contains the link between San Francisco to Los Angeles expected to be built by 2020. The rest of the 300 miles would be completed by 2030 for the complete proposed system. This 21st century state of the art new system got its initial funding of $9.95 billion initial funding from Prop.1A. It’s estimated that total cost would be around US $45 billion although many suspect that it would get closer to $50 billion or more when finished. The initial environmental reports were done in late 2005 and the implementation plan suggested it would take around 8 to 11 years for the implementation of this plan for the initial segment. With more funds coming it’s way, and the last funding made was for $300 million on May 9th, 2011, The 1st test run segment is expected to begin constructions by September, 2012. This would be from Madera to Wye Junction in Bakersfield. It’s expected to be completed by 2015 with all the test runs and researches.
This project is the most beneficial project in the short run and in the long run for California at the moment. It creates lots of advantages, direct and indirect. The first and foremost benefit is that the construction is expected to create around 150,000 construction jobs and around 450,000 jobs through the commuter system. All of these will be fulfilled by California residents. The money will be kept inside the state. This would hugely help the unemployment in the state. Considering These 150,000 people will pay tax and some having families, this will be a huge boost on state economy. After the system is created, there would be job opportunities for maintenance, constructions, commuter system, and many indirect jobs created around the system such as shops and taxi services.
Public would be able to travel faster and cheaper through this system. Rather than paying the airlines around $200 for a one way trip from San Francisco to Los Angeles, they would be able to get away with about 1/6th of the price, at 2 times the time. With less security measures for trains rather than for an airplane, the waiting lines wouldn’t be long, and the system is expected to have trains as often as 5 minutes in between in rush hour. The job opportunities would be widely available and open as travelling becomes easier. With reduced price of tickets people would travel more in the state. With most people opting out for cheaper and faster high speed...