California High-Speed Rail Applies for 67 Million in Funding to Advance Bakersfield ​Extension

The California High-Speed Rail Authority has applied for 67 million USD (68.96m EUR) in US federal funding to advance construction of the Bakersfield extension.

An artist's rendering of a train for California's high-speed rail project
An artist’s rendering of a train for California’s high-speed rail project

If awarded, these funds would go toward work on the first major structures in the Central Valley outside the current 119 miles under construction – a major milestone in connecting the line to Bakersfield.

The authority has requested a grant from the Federal Railroad Administration’s (FRA) 2022 Railroad Crossing Elimination Program in order to remove six at-grade crossings of the BNSF freight railroad in Shafter.

This will advance the Bakersfield extension by constructing two grade separations at Poplar Avenue and Riverside Avenue, completing design and purchasing right-of-way for four additional grade separations at Fresno Avenue, Shafter Avenue, Central Avenue and East Lerdo Highway, and continuing to fund the Central Valley Training Centre in Selma.

Brian Kelly, California High-Speed Rail Authority CEO said:

“The nation’s first high-speed rail system will improve the communities it serves.

“These federal funds will enhance safety in Shafter and prepare the community for high-speed rail construction – supporting living wage jobs, providing small business opportunities, enhancing economic development, and improving mobility while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”

The Authority also has a pending federal grant application for 1.3 billion USD (1.21bn EUR) to purchase high-speed clean electric trains, advance design on Bakersfield and Merced extensions, complete a full double-track system on the initial 119-mile segment and to construct stations.

These federal funds will help accelerate construction of electrified high-speed rail between Merced and Bakersfield by the end of the decade.

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