California High-Speed Rail is a high-speed rail system currently under construction in the U.S. state of California. The initial implementation phase ("Phase 1") will connect the Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center in Anaheim and Union Station in Downtown Los Angeles with the Transbay Transit Center in San Francisco via the Central Valley with 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 Los Angeles Basin. Phase 2 (which has no timetable yet) would extend the system northerly in the Central Valley to the Sacramento Valley Station in Sacramento, and southerly (through the Inland Empire) to the San Diego International Airport in San Diego. The project is managed by the California High-Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA), 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 Amtrak's San Joaquin is proposed to first use the HSR tracks for faster conventional rail service until HSR trains use the line to its full potential.
The initial plans were to build an Initial Operating Segment (IOS) 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 from San Jose in the Bay Area and Silicon Valley across to the Central Valley then north to Madera and Merced, and south to near 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. The Phase 1 system could be completed by 2029, provided that additional funds are obtained. The plan was slightly revised after the public comment period. This revised plan was adopted on April 28, 2016. Contracts have been awarded for the segment from Madera to Wasco, and construction is underway on several bridges.