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Published on : Jan 05, 2015

California is among the most developed and affluent regions in the world, let alone the United States. As such, a high-speed train network spanning the north and south regions was naturally the next stage in this liberal, technologically advanced, infrastructure-rich state on the Pacific coast. After years of legal wrangles and unsuccessful planning, the long-awaited Californian high-speed rail has finally been approved. This will be the first high-speed rail network in the country, a fitting achievement for what is considered by many as the model American state.

The project, which will cost US$68 billion, is aimed at better connecting the two most important cities in California, Los Angeles and San Francisco. This will also link Sacramento, the state capital, with the southern commercials hubs of Los Angeles and San Diego-Tijuana.

Construction on the first leg of the 220-mph train network is expected to begin on January 6. Going faster than most supercars, though, is not the prime feather in its cap. Diana Gomez from the High-Speed Rail Authority said the new network will relieve the notorious congestion on California’s freeways and will create jobs all over the state. The electric trains will also help reduce air pollution.

Primary construction will begin in the Central region, since construction is more cost-effective there. The Beta run will help officials gain further insight into expanding the network all over the state.

The move is facing some opposition from organizations such as the Chinatown Revitalization, Inc., which claims the construction for the rail network will take away valuable space from the Chinatown neighborhoods.