One of the largest, most ambitious public transportation programs in U.S. history, the California High-Speed Rail system will allow passengers to travel from Los Angeles to San Francisco at speeds of up to 220 miles per hour (and, eventually, will extend to Sacramento and San Diego, totaling 800 miles with up to 24 stations), making the trip in under three hours, compared to almost six hours by automobile. The system will connect California’s megaregions, contribute to economic development and opportunity, support the state’s climate change policies and initiatives, and preserve agricultural and protected lands.
Using federal and state funds, including state cap and trade auction proceeds, the California High-Speed Rail Authority (the Authority) has 119 miles of high-speed rail civil infrastructure under construction and plans to commence testing of electrified high-speed trains by 2025.
The Authority is also working with state and regional partners on implementing the California State Rail Plan, which presents a vision for a modern, integrated statewide passenger rail system connecting all urban, suburban and rural communities with frequent, reliable service. California high-speed rail is the backbone of the California State Rail Plan and is central to the state’s climate policies.
WSP has been helping shape high-speed rail in California from the earliest feasibility studies in the 1990s to the latest business plan, to be released in 2021. The firm is now serving as the Authority’s rail delivery partner (RDP), a seven-year engagement from the planning and preliminary design phase to supporting project delivery.
The RDP role builds on the WSP’s previous work as the Authority’s program management team. In this earlier role, WSP coordinated the activities of more than 35 subconsultants, prepared the statewide program-level Environmental Impact Report and Environmental Impact Statement, and produced the full suite of technical memoranda comprising 130 program-wide technical guidance documents; technical requirements; a 1,400-page design criteria manual; and standards and directives that will define the high-speed train system in California and will assist the Federal Railroad Administration in defining standards and regulations for the U.S. market.