The California High-Speed Rail Authority announced yesterday that they've committed more funds following that recent federal gift of $616 million, which will be used by the CHSRA to construct a first segment from Bakersfield to Fresno (groundbreaking planned for 2012), and start designing the Merced station, north of Fresno. The announcement also indicates engineers looked at using the money to extend construction of the line up to Merced, but they will wait until a final alignment is decided for the initial construction (that will come with the environmental impact report that the CHRSA is working on right now). Also of note, "the Authority is working with federal officials to jump-start designing and planning for high-speed rail stations across the entire state – including Merced, Bakersfield, Gilroy, San Jose and Los Angeles." (This news comes as there are murmurs that Metro is looking into purchasing Union Station, LA's future high-speed rail stop and a facility that will need an upgrade to accommodate the bullet trains.) The Authority says its negotiating with the Federal Railroad Administration so work can commence on SoCal station planning (pictured is a rendering of the Anaheim station) and right-of-way acquisition. The CHSRA still has to figure out how to arrive in L.A. and get around homes, parks, and a baseball stadium.
· Authority Approves Matching Funds to Extend Backbone of System [CSHRA]