|Route map for the CHSR|
The California High Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) voted unanimously to approve their environmental impact report (EIR) on one of the nation’s largest proposed transportation projects, thereby moving one step closer toward actually building the 700-mile system that has been under discussion since 1996.
The Authority’s studies show that the full system, serving 30 stations, will attract 42 to 68 million passengers per year in 2020, operate at a surplus and cost more than $33 billion to build.
High-speed trains will be capable of speeds of up to 220 mph (320 km/h) and will be similar to those in service today in Europe and Asia. The system will be built mostly within or alongside existing transportation corridors and will be entirely grade-separated from parallel and crossing roads, providing the same extremely safe environment enjoyed in other countries.
Trains will draw electric power from overhead wires connected to the commercial power grid and, in braking, will regenerate electricity back to the grid, thereby conserving power and reducing costs.
Express trains will take one hour and fifteen minutes between San Diego and Los Angeles, and a little more than two and one-half hours from San Francisco to Los Angeles.
In terms of air quality and energy benefits, implementing the high speed train would, according to the EIR:
Decrease CO by 799,200 to 803,100 tons/year;
Decrease NOx by 185,200 to 186,400 tons/year;
Decrease CO2 by 368 to 372.4 million tons/year;
Decrease oil consumption by between 2.0 to 5.2 million barrels per year, depending upon ridership.