I read online recently that the largest public infrastructure project in our country’s history is in the planning stages and soon to be underway. And it is to take place in the state of California. A two-part environmental review is currently being conducted. It consists of a review of the nine sections in the system as well as a statewide review. Of course, you know what website you are on, so you know I am talking about high speed rail and it being built and constructed and finally coming to California. No, scratch that. Rather: it is being built and constructed and finally coming to the United States of America!
This first HSR system is set to be 800 miles in length, beginning with the Bakersfield to Palmdale section, which will be 85 miles long. The Bakersfield to Palmdale route will travel southeast and run alongside and not too far from two major highways: 14 and 58. Station terminals will be in Bakersfield and connect to the Fresno to Bakersfield section, and Palmdale, which will connect to the Palmdale to Los Angeles section—all slated to be built after the Bakersfield to Palmdale section.
Well, to me, this is fantastic news and it couldn’t come at a better time. Jobs are really scarce in California, and the California economy ain’t nothing to brag about, that’s for sure. In the Bakersfield to Palmdale section of the HSR system it is estimated that at least 81,000 construction-related jobs will be created. And this is not to mention the hundreds and even thousands of jobs that will be created in the private sector throughout cities that lie alongside the HSR rail route. It is also projected that at least 5,100 people will board in Bakersfield on a daily basis, with 12,900 boarders in Palmdale each day. The travel time between the two cities will be about 31 minutes.
So, we celebrated Thanksgiving a few days ago in this country. Perhaps few people remembered or thought of giving thanks to what I have reported here. But it’s not too late. Especially for the people of California. There is a lot now to be thankful for. HSR is coming to the state. So are tens of thousands of jobs, rebuilt infrastructure, better transportation, and a much-needed shot of adrenalin to the state’s economy. So yeah, we should be thankful. Read the book Fast Trains, for which this website is about. And you will find a whole lot of reasons to be thankful for high speed rail coming to California and America. I guarantee you!
By Patrick P. Stafford, Professional Writer and Contributor to Fast Trains — America’s High Speed Future