High Speed Rail Launches Interactive Construction Update Page

The Fresno River crossing is one piece of HSR construction one can see while riding Amtrak's antique trains through the Central Valley. Photo: CaHSRA
The Fresno River crossing is one piece of HSR construction one can see while riding Amtrak's antique trains through the Central Valley. Photo: CaHSRA

Someday, it will be possible to board a train in downtown San Francisco and arrive less than three hours later in downtown Los Angeles.

Until that day comes, you can track the progress of construction on the California High-Speed Rail Authority’s new interactive construction update page. There you can view up-to-date photos of the program’s sixteen current construction sites.

Some HSR construction is just about re-routing local roads to make way for the new ROW, as seen here with SR-99. Photo: CaHSRA
Some HSR construction is just about re-routing local roads to make way for the new ROW, as seen here with SR-99. Photo: CaHSRA

While the locations of the construction sites may look a bit scattershot, they’re not. The strategy with a high-speed rail project is to first bridge rivers, move roads, take out obstacles, and build an accessible path where the tracks are going to go. That way trucks and grading and track-laying machines use those bridges and viaducts in the next phase of construction.

The CaHSRA interactive web page lets you look at construction updates. Image: CaHSRA
The CaHSRA interactive web page lets you look at construction updates. Image: CaHSRA

Once the ROW is open, bridged, and unobstructed, they’ll bring in automated track-laying machines like this:

The first high-speed trains should be running from the Central Valley cities to the Bay Area by 2025, with the connection to Los Angeles coming online a few years after that. Meanwhile, work has started on the ‘bookends’ north of Los Angeles and south of San Francisco.

  • Nice video of rail road tie replacement (track renewal), not an automated track-laying machine. You can see a real track laying machine here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sxY7cy-FLCU

  • Jeffrey Baker

    Has this level of track-laying or maintenance-of-way automation ever been seen in America?

  • Regularly used for renovation and upgrading (new ties & rails) here but there is not much new ROW (right of way) as of yet.

  • Portiamclemmons

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  • thielges

    Here’s another that not only lays new track but also rips out the old track:

  • John Love

    Yes. Look up video of Amtrak Chicago-St. Louis higher speed upgrade on Union Pacific.

  • Jeffrey Baker

    Nice!

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