Believe it: Bullet trains are coming. After decades of false starts, planners are finally beginning to make headway on what could become the largest, most complicated infrastructure project ever attempted in the US. The Obama administration got on board with an $8 billion infusion, and more cash is likely en route from Congress. It’s enough for Florida and Texas to dust off some previously abandoned plans and for urban clusters in the Northeast and Midwest to pursue some long-overdue upgrades. The nation’s test bed will almost certainly be California, which already has voter-approved funding and planning under way. But getting up to speed requires more than just seed money. For trains to beat planes and automobiles, the hardware needs to really fly. Officials are pushing to deploy state-of-the-art rail rockets. Next stop: the future.
Conditions here are almost perfect. Not only does California possess a surplus of big-think, tech-whiz envirogeeks, it also boasts two major cities — San Francisco and Los Angeles — an ideal distance apart for bullet trains. In 2008, voters approved almost $10 billion to get started, and some of the environmental studies are already complete. But the biggest point in California’s favor? Ego. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger wants the system to be his legacy.
Estimated Completion Date: 2025
Top Speed: 220 mph
Final Tab: $45B
First Phase:San Francisco to Los Angeless
Ultimate Goal: Sacramento to San Dieago
Never head of “San Dieago”, but if they mean San Diego, then from Sacramento that’s 505 mi — about 8 hrs by car. Cutting that down to 2.5 or 3 hrs would be great.