California High-Speed ​​Rail Authority Seeks $1.3 Billion in Federal Grants

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The California High-Speed ​​Rail Authority has submitted two applications for federal grants to help fund its construction project America’s first 220 mph electrified high-speed rail system.

A rendering of a bullet train in the Pacheco Pass in Santa Clara County, California

The first two tracks, 119 miles long, are currently under construction in California’s Central Valley. If the US Department of Transportation grants the requested funds, the authority will be able to accelerate the development of the project.

These nominations are the first major push for continued federal partnership under the bipartisan Infrastructure Act that was signed by President Biden last year, and the authority has requested a total of just under 1 .3 billion dollars (1.21 billion euros).

If the grants are awarded, these funds will first be used to build the second lane of the initial operating segment between Merced and Bakersfield, as well as advance design work for extensions in both cities.

The funds will also be used to develop Fresno and Kings/Tulare stations, purchase six all-electric trains capable of speeds over 200 mph, and advance the next phase of design for two segments in the region. Bay Area (Merced to San Jose and San Jose to San Francisco) and Southern California (Bakersfield to Palmdale and Burbank to Los Angeles).

The nominations were accompanied by more than 40 letters of support from elected officials and business and transportation leaders both in the state and nationally.

In his letter of support, Gavin Newsom, Governor of California, wrote:

“With the continued commitment of the state and the leadership and support of the Biden administration, we are confident that we will deliver a project that the country will be proud of.

“California is the birthplace of innovation and we are committed to advancing this highly innovative project to improve our economy, advance clean mobility, and expand economic opportunity for all.”

This isn’t the only funding request recently made on behalf of the California high-speed rail project.

Earlier this month, three former U.S. transportation secretaries, along with several unions, organizations and businesses signed a letter urging leaders of the California State Senate and Assembly to approve $4.2 billion (€3.93 billion) in bond financing.

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