For years now, the plans for a high-speed rail network in California have been out there, inching forward slowly with occasional financial roadblocks along the way. But now it looks like the first phase will actually start construction soon as a measure to raise funding through a municipal bond sale has passed in the California state legislature.
A recent vote approved the bond sale that will raise $4.5 billion total, with $2.6 billion of that going toward the initial stretch of the rail network. That first phase will be a 130-mile section that connects Madera and Bakersfield in the state's Central Valley. The next phase for the network will be to connect Los Angeles and San Francisco with trains traveling at 220 mph, and then ultimately span all the way from San Diego to Sacramento. The network will include major stops in between and connect into existing railway infrastructure.
The bond sale also includes $1.9 billion for improvements to regional rail networks like electrifying the Caltrain San Jose - San Francisco commuter line.