Construction begins on first bullet train service in US

Wednesday, January 7th, 2015. Filed under: Destinations
California High-Speed Rail Authority ©California High-Speed Rail Authority

California High-Speed Rail Authority
©California High-Speed Rail Authority

(Relaxnews) – After a two-year delay, officials have broken ground on a high speed rail service in California which, when complete, will be able to shuttle travelers from San Francisco to Los Angeles in under three hours.

Government, business and transportation leaders at the California High-Speed Rail Authority gathered in Fresno Tuesday to officially break ground for the rail system that will eventually cover 800 miles (1,288 km) across the state, with stops at 24 stations.

By 2029, the high-speed train will be able to travel at speeds of over 200 mph (322 km/hr).

When complete, the new train service will slash commute times from San Francisco to Los Angeles by half, from about six hours by car to three hours by train.

The rail service has faced significant delays from opposition, legal hurdles and uncertainty over the last two years, with skeptics balking, above all, at the price tag — an estimated $68 billion.

In related news, last November Japan conducted test runs on a next-generation high speed train that uses magnetic levitation to carry passengers at eye-watering speeds of 500 km/hr.

Eurostar also unveiled the latest addition to its fleet last fall, the e320, which can reach speeds of up to 320 km/hr.

The current record holder is the Shanghai Maglev, which hurtles passengers to and from the Pudong International Airport at speeds of up to 431 km/hr.

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