California High-Speed Rail is a high-speed rail system currently under construction in the state of California. The initial implementation phase (Phase 1) will connect Los Angeles with San Francisco at speeds up to 220 miles per hour (350 km/h), providing a "one-seat ride" for the trip in 2 hours and 40 minutes. The system is required by law to operate without a subsidy, and to connect the state's major cities in the Bay Area, Central Valley, and Southern California. Phase 2 (which has no timetable yet), the system will be extended northerly in the Central Valley to Sacramento, and southerly (through the Inland Empire) to San Diego. The project is managed by CHSRA (the California High-Speed Rail Authority), a state agency run by a board of governors.
Construction on the initial section from Merced to Bakersfield began in 2015 and is expected to end in 2019, after which it is proposed that the Amtrak San Joaquin train use the line for faster conventional rail service, the first use of the new HSR tracks, until HSR trains use the line.
The initial plans were to build an Initial Operating Segment (IOS) that extended from Merced in the Central Valley to Burbank in the Los Angeles metropolitan area in Southern California. However, in 2016 the Authority switched to a northern IOS extending from San Jose in the Bay Area's Silicon Valley to Bakersfield at the southern end of the Central Valley, based on a more recent analysis of the funding available and time necessary to bring an IOS online per the legal requirements. It is expected that sufficient funding will be available to bring this online by 2025, with the Phase 1 system being completed by 2029. The public has 60 days (from Feb. 19, 2016) to submit comments on the Draft 2016 Business Plan to the Authority.