Calif. Board Votes to Include $4.5 Billion for High-Speed Train Projects in Federal Stimulus Funding Application

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The California High-Speed Rail Authority unanimously approved an application for more than $4.5 billion in federal stimulus funding for engineering, design and construction on the state’s high-speed train system – generating an investment of $9.1 billion when state matching funds are added.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is expected to formally submit California’s bid by the federal government’s Oct. 2 deadline for states to seek a share of $8 billion set aside for high-speed train development under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

“California is a leading contender for this federal funding because our true high-speed rail system is further along than any other project in the country,” said Authority Board Chairman Curt Pringle. “Plus, we can double the value of the federal government’s dollars by matching them with state bond funds approved by California voters last year, we can break ground before the federal government’s deadline, and we can show that our early projects can stand alone as important improvements in their own right.”

The Board approved a detailed package of dozens of engineering, environmental review, design-build, train control and electrification projects among every section of the 800-mile system.

The state’s application includes:

  • $1.28 billion for San Jose to San Francisco, including station improvements, grade separations, electrification and safety state-of-the-art “positive train control” in an upgraded, shared alignment with Caltrain.
  • $466 million for Fresno to Merced, including right-of-way acquisition, grade-separations, utility relocation, environmental mitigation, earthwork, guideway structures and track.
  • $819.5 million for Bakersfield to Fresno, including right-of-way acquisition, grade-separations, utility relocation, environmental mitigation, earthwork, guideway structures, track relocation and new track.
  • $2 billion for Los Angeles to Anaheim, including high-speed train facilities at Los Angeles Union Station (LAUS), Norwalk Station, and the Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center (ARTIC); right-of-way acquisition, grade-separations, utility relocation, environmental mitigation, earthwork, guideway structures, tunneling, and track work.

Community, business and government leaders from around the state packed the hearing room in support of California’s application. The mayors of San Jose, Fresno and Fullerton were among those who called on the Authority Board to approve the application package.

Assemblywoman Cathleen Galgiani, author of the legislation that placed Proposition 1A, the successful high-speed train bond act on the ballot last November, told the board she wholeheartedly supports the Authority’s recommendation.

“Our application is very competitive – the only true high-speed system in the country capable of travel up to 220-miles an hour,” said Galgiani, who represents a Central Valley district. “It will bring badly needed jobs and economic activity to the state immediately.”

The Authority Board also received dozens of letters of support for the application from local governments and agencies, business groups and other organizations around the state.