High speed rail

The California High-Speed Rail Authority (Authority) is responsible for planning, designing, building and operating the first high-speed rail system in the nation. California high-speed rail (HSR) is proposed to run from San Francisco to the Los Angeles basin in under three hours at speeds capable of exceeding 200 miles per hour. The system is planned to eventually extend to Sacramento and San Diego, totaling 800 miles with up to 24 stations. Within the San Francisco to San Jose section, HSR trains are proposed to travel at speeds up to 110 mph with up to four trains per hour. The HSR system will use the Caltrain alignment from San Jose to San Francisco under a blended system concept.

Current activities

The 2018 Business Plan was released in June 2018. This document provides the community with the program’s status and the Authority’s approach to implementing the system.

There are currently two alternatives under consideration for the San Francisco to San Jose section, Alternative A that proposes no additional passing tracks throughout the project section and Alternative B that proposes additional passing tracks from San Mateo to Redwood City. Selection of a preferred alternative is anticipated by the end of 2019. The Draft Environmental Impact Report/Statement is expected to be released in spring 2020.

Work to further define and environmentally clear the addition of high-speed rail to the Caltrain corridor from 4th and King streets in San Francisco to Diridon Station in San Jose is currently underway and is scheduled to be completed in 2021. Community engagement activities will continue throughout the process. Open Houses are planned for fall 2019, spring 2020 and spring 2021. A Community Working Group to represent San Mateo County has been formed and one meeting was held in October 2018 that included a presentation by the project team. Additional meetings are planned for winter, spring and fall 2019; and spring 2020.

The construction of the Central Valley segment of HSR is anticipated to be complete in 2022, with testing occurring through 2025 and early service beginning 2026-2027. More information about the project can be found on the High Speed Authority webpage.

The California High-Speed Rail Authority released the Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR)/Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the San Francisco to San Jose Project Section of the California High-Speed Rail System on July 10, 2020. The end of the comment period is September 9, 2020.

Contact us

Hugh Louch

Assistant Public Works Director - Transportation