For SoCal-based Slugs, California’s high-speed rail is a faint glimmer of hope amid the dreary reality of holiday travel. Following last week’s announcement that Caltrain and the California High Speed Rail Authority had come to an agreement concerning the logistics of sharing the Bay Area’s railways, the two firms have begun the arduous bureaucracy of planning for the rail’s construction.

According to Willie Brown, former SF mayor and columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle, negotiations have hit a speed bump surrounding the location of the station site. The Rail Authority’s chairman, former state Senator Quentin Copp, believes that the rail station should be below the Bay Bridge on the corner of Fourth and Townsend, instead of the original plan designed to fit into a redesigned Transbay Terminal.

The California high-speed rail project was voted in with Proposition 1A in November, which outlined the first phase of development for the rail system that will eventually connect every major city in California. This first phase alone is expected to cost close to $10 billion, with no mandated start date for construction.  The Rail Authority estimates the total cost to be more than $33 billion in their implementation plan; others more critical of the project believe it could cost two or three times that approximation.

Brown calls for Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to weigh in on the matter following disagreement over the station’s placement with respect to the city’s established urban planning schematic.


Battle over high-speed rail station site [SF Chronicle]

Office website of the High-Speed Rail [California High-Speed Rail Authority]