California’s High-Speed ​​Rail Authority gets $25 million in federal support

California’s High-Speed ​​Rail Authority has secured $25 million in federal grants from the U.S. Department of Transportation to advance the 191,512 km (119 mile) high-speed railroad project to downtown Merced.

The funding was awarded through the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) discretionary grant program.

This would represent more than half of the total estimated cost of $41 million for the design contract to connect the cities of Madera and Merced.

The new funding represents the second grant for the high-speed rail project received under the Biden administration since November last year.

The project received $24 million last fall that will be used for key safety, efficiency and construction projects in and around the town of Wasco and State Route 46.

California High-Speed ​​Rail Authority CEO Brian Kelly said, “This grant is essential for the Authority to advance its initial electrified service between Downtown Merced and Bakersfield.

“It reflects the strong state-federal partnership now in place to see the nation’s first true high-speed rail service begin right here in California.

“Next week, our Board of Directors will consider awarding the contract to advance design work on this transformative project.”

Additionally, the authority is seeking $1.3 billion in federal funding to accelerate the high-speed rail project, currently under construction.

The funding will also be used to purchase new electric trains, capable of running at over 200 miles per hour.

It will also help accelerate the construction of electrified high-speed rail lines between Merced and Bakersfield by the end of the decade.

In 2019, the California High-Speed ​​Rail Authority released staff-recommended preferred alternatives for two sections of high-speed railroad tracks in Northern California.

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Jose P. Rogers