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Rail News: Passenger Rail

California, Amtrak team-up for long-term transportation plans

Hoping to change California highways’ strong reputation for gridlock, National Railroad Passenger Corp. (Amtrak), as part of a coalition with public and private partners, March 6 introduced its 20-year, $10.1 billion transportation improvement plan.

California Passenger Rail System 20-Year Improvement Plan proposes hourly departures connecting Los Angeles and San Diego in less than two hours, down from the current 2 hours and 45 minutes; hourly departures between San Jose, Oakland and Sacramento, with 2-hour, 20-minute trip times, down from three hours; expanded service in the Central Valley between Bakersfield and Sacramento, and Bakersfield and Oakland; 21 additional intercity routes; and the first rail service connecting downtown Los Angeles and San Francisco in 30 years.

"Rail is a vital component of California’s transportation system and represents the most efficient and practical means of reducing congestion in our urban transportation corridors," said California Gov. Gray Davis in a prepared statement.

The plan calls for a three-phase implementation schedule: within three years, four-to-eight years, and nine-to-20 years.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 3/9/2001