Published On: Wed, Jan 7th, 2015

Construction Begins On California’s Bullet Train

After a two year delay, construction will finally begin on California’s new bullet train. The new development will follow in the footsteps of Japan’s ultra efficient train system. With speeds of over 200 mph, the bullet train will open up the railways like never before. It will boost the economy and bring California into the future. However, the plans have not always run smoothly.

Construction was initially scheduled to begin over two years ago. Significant opposition and problems cropped up throughout the process, halting the build. Having finally received clearance, the $68 billion project will now take place. The initial 29 mile segment will start in the Fresno region. From there the rail network will connect most major cities in the state. China and Japan continue to set the bar for railways. But, finally, California will rival the eastern powers for public transport efficiency. It is an ambitious project that is not without its difficulties.

 Bullet Train

The construction project has been in and out of court for a number of years now. In order to begin, an exemption from environmental law was required. This has been one of the most difficult obstacles faced by the group behind the build. Not only that, but the bullet train required several legislative victories to secure funding. This took place at state and federal level. Finally, there were court challenges on a number of issues that the group had to navigate.

As it currently stands, the full funding is not in place. However, the authorities are confident that work can begin with the remaining money added later. The $68 billion price tag has been funded through a number of sources. An initial $9 million was slated by the Californian government. A further investment was made by President Obama at federal level. In order to fulfill the remaining cost, the group will rely on further political capital. However, they will still be left short.

The rest will come from private investment. Much of this will be generated by selling advertising opportunities and real estate along the route. Most investors will wait until the first section is complete before putting down further money. This is one of the most ambitious projects ever undertaken in the USA. It will require complex construction equipment and unparalleled manpower. It’s a project that many investors will be quick to jump on.

Having said that, there are yet more difficulties to overcome. Despite the green light from the authorities, the project faces further obstacles. Some of the land required has yet to be bought. The process of buying up the necessary rural areas is moving slower than anticipated. The railway requires a clean run from LA to San Francisco which throws up a lot of ownership problems.

In the political realm, Republicans are still unconvinced by the project. They continue to lobby against the green light on the grounds of heavy political spending. Democrats, on the other hand, are pushing the project forward. They believe it will open up a faster and more connected California. It will push the state further into the future.

Pending any further obstacles, the railway should be completed by 2028. The bullet train will run the length of California’s west coast. Depending on its success, we could slowly see the project extend across the length of the country.