VC Star » Southern California officials have said few, if any, critical words about the state rail authority’s decision in 2016 to drop Los Angeles as the starting point of the first segment of the statewide bullet train. Rep. Alan Lowenthal broached the topic at a House rail subcommittee hearing on Thursday, asking state rail officials and other witnesses how he can justify the project to his constituents.
Federal Legislation & Regulation Congressional panel slates hearing on California high-speed rail project
Progressive Railroading » The House Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials on Thursday will hold a field hearing in Sacramento, California, to review the status of the state’s high-speed rail project. The subcommittee will also examine the most recent modifications to the project’s business plan, which were released in June.
Construction Dive » The rail’s biggest hurdle, however, could come in the guise of a new governor who could oppose the project and pull the plug. Some onlookers say the reason that the authority is pushing so hard to finish portions of the bullet train line is so that it will be more difficult for the incoming administration to give up on it.
The New York Times » Far from the debates in Washington and Sacramento, the $100 billion Los Angeles-to-San Francisco bullet train has moved off the drawing board and onto 21 construction sites spread across five Central California counties. Work began two weeks ago on one of the more ambitious pieces of the project — an overpass that will carry trains over a major highway in Fresno — and ground will be broken on three more viaducts in the next few months.
Calculations show bullet train can complete route within 2 hours and 40 minutes. Reality may prove slower
Los Angeles Times » When California voters approved construction of a bullet train in 2008, they had a legal promise that passengers would be able to speed from Los Angeles to San Francisco in two hours and 40 minutes. But over the next decade, the state rail authority made a series of political and financial compromises that slowed speeds on long stretches of the track. The authority says it can still meet its trip time commitments, though not by much.
Los Angeles Times » Engineers have built about 24,000 bridges in California over the last century, but a new one under construction in Madera County for the state’s bullet train project shows that they can still lead to serious blunders. In a statement, the authority said the Avenue 8 bridge design did not meet its “level of quality for a work product” and showed “signs of distress.”