Padilla Applauds Historic $6 Billion Federal Investment in High-Speed Rail Service in California

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) applauded the Federal Railroad Administration’s announcement that over $6 billion in grants to rail projects serving California were awarded through the Federal-State Partnership for Intercity Passenger Rail Grant Program, which provides capital funding for projects to modernize, improve, and expand intercity rail services. This monumental investment includes $3.1 billion for the California High-Speed Rail Authority, funding projects in Bakersfield, Hanford, Fresno, Madera, Merced, Selma, Shafter, and Wasco, California.

In April, Padilla, the late Senator Dianne Feinstein, Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.-11), and Representative Jim Costa (D-Calif.-21) led 32 California lawmakers in calling on the Department of Transportation to issue these grants to the California High-Speed Rail Authority.

“I am proud to champion this historic federal investment for California High-Speed Rail,” said Senator Padilla. “California has never been afraid to take on big and bold challenges — including the development of the nation’s first true high-speed rail network. Thanks to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and President Biden’s leadership, California has a partner in this effort to power our economy, reduce emissions and connect our communities through high-speed rail.”

The $3.1 billion in funding for the California High-Speed Rail Authority will support activities including:

  • Final design and right-of-way acquisition for the Merced extension from Madera to Merced
  • Bakersfield extension from Poplar Avenue in Shafter to Bakersfield
  • Civil, track, and systems construction for the 13-mile Bakersfield Interim extension
  • Design and construction of Fresno Station
  • Design and procurement of trainsets, as well as design and construction of trainset facilities

Padilla also applauded the additional $3 billion awarded to the Brightline West Project, which will connect California and Nevada.

“Today’s grant announcement is helping modernize rail service beyond California High-Speed Rail. I applaud the substantial investment in the Brightline West Project, which will connect the Los Angeles region to Las Vegas,” added Senator Padilla. “Anyone who has sat in traffic on I-15 knows this is a corridor sorely in need of more transportation options.”

The $3 billion in funding for the Brightline West Project will support the establishment of a new 218-mile intercity passenger rail system between Las Vegas, Nevada and Rancho Cucamonga, California by funding right-of-way acquisition, final design, and construction activities for the high-speed rail tracks, four stations and facilities, signal system, rolling stock, roadway modifications, and other associated infrastructure.

Earlier this year, Senators Padilla and Feinstein announced over $200 million in grants for the California High-Speed Rail Authority through the Department of Transportation’s Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements Grant Program.

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