The United States has long been lacking compared to the rest of the developed world when it comes to trains. Finally, thanks to the California High-Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA), we will once again be able to hold our heads high when asked about what travels the rails in the good ol' U.S. of A.
Construction of the rail line is slated to begin by summer's end. Once completed, the long-anticipated high-speed rail line will connect Los Angeles and San Francisco via a 220 mph life-line. Commuters between the two major cities will complete their journey in under three hours, with stops in Fresno and Merced along the way.
The CHSRA hopes that their project will not only serve both LA and San Francisco, but will benefit the smaller cities along the route, which are likely to become vital, low-cost commuter communities. And if that weren't enough benefit, California plans to run the high-speed rail line on entirely green energy. Solar, wind and geothermal plants will combine to provide the rail line with the power it needs to reach top speed. And in good, old-fashioned tree-hugger spirit, the CHSRA will be planting trees to offset the carbon costs of construction.
It's not all blue skies and leafy greens for the project, however. Only 10 of the estimated $68 billion needed to complete the project have so far been raised. And while California governor Gerry Brown has been drumming up international interest in the project since last year, there's still a lot of financial ground to cover. If all goes well, Americans will be cruising the full length of the high-speed rail corridor by 2029.