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Dispel the myths about high-speed rail in California.

The California High-Speed Rail Authority (Authority) is responsible for planning, designing, building and operating the first high-speed rail system in the nation. California high-speed rail will connect the mega-regions of the state, contribute to economic development and a cleaner environment, create jobs and preserve agricultural and protected lands. This high-profile project has garnered a lot of publicity, which in turn has led to speculation and rumor. When considering the impact high-speed rail has on California, it is important to separate fact from fiction. Download fact sheet.

Drag the arrows to the left or right to reveal myths versus facts

Fact

Phase 1 of the California high-speed rail system will connect 6 of the 10 largest cities in the state.

Myth:

High-speed rail will be a train to nowhere.

Fact

Other countries with high-speed rail systems service 1.6 billion passengers per year. Amtrak’s California corridors are among the busiest in the nation, with 5.7 million Californians riding trains last year.

Myth:

No one rides trains anymore.

Fact

In blended/shared corridors, trains will be slowed to 110 miles per hour, as required by regulations. However, in other areas speeds will top 220 miles per hour.

Myth:

High-speed rail will not be high-speed.

Fact

High-speed rail in California will run on 100% renewable energy. It will be all electric all the time.

Myth:

California High-Speed Rail will be diesel-powered.

Fact

Providing the same capacity as high-speed rail from San Francisco to Los Angeles would require 4,300 new highway lane miles, 115 additional airport gates, 4 new airport runways costing more than $158 billion with a 50-year maintenance cost of more than $132.8 billion.

Myth:

High-speed rail is a waste of money. We can expand our roads and airports.

Fact

California’s population is projected to grow to more than 50 million by 2060. $28 billion is lost each year in time and wasted fuel due to traffic congestion. Los Angeles, San Francisco and San José already rank among the top five most gridlocked cities in the nation.

Myth:

High-speed rail is a solution in search of a problem.