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The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) has released the 2018 State Rail Plan, which calls for increasing passenger-rail travel, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, boosting the economy and improving safety.The document presents a plan for an integrated transportation system that will allow passengers to easily transfer from local transit services to regional, intercity and future high-speed rail, according to a Caltrans press release.The plan calls for enabling riders to:• travel seamlessly across urban, suburban and rural areas of the state, with more trains to more places more often;• save time with significantly faster trips;• transfer quickly and easily at hub stations;• take an entire door-to-door trip and purchase a single ticket using a streamlined trip-planning portal.The freight aspect of the plan calls for eliminating rail bottlenecks on transcontinental trade corridors by investing in dedicated freight-rail capacity and passenger improvements that support freight-rail movement.The freight component also supports short-line improvements and grade-crossing upgrades at a corridor level to address community safety needs, as well as integrating as much service as possible. Caltrans officials worked with state, regional and local stakeholders in developing the plan."Rail is a key part of the solution for addressing California's transportation challenges," said Caltrans Director Laurie Berman. "In this rail plan, we lay out the goals and investment strategies necessary in both the short- and long-term for improving access, mobility and efficiency for both our passenger- and freight-rail systems, while also making a major contribution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions related to the transportation sector."
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