New business plan aims to kickstart California’s high-speed ambitions

Ridership projections have been upped and build costs downgraded in a new business plan for California’s planned high-speed railway between Los Angeles and San Francisco.

The California High-Speed Rail Authority has published its Draft 2014 Business Plan after being ordered by a Sacramento Superior Court judge to draw up a new funding strategy before being able to raise $8 billion through the sale of bonds.

Initial capital costs have been reduced by one per cent while the number of passengers predicted to use the link has been scaled up.

The authority’s chief executive Jeff Morales said in a statement: “The Draft 2014 Business Plan maintains the core elements of the 2012 Business Plan – a better, faster and cheaper high-speed rail that forms the backbone of a statewide rail modernisation programme.

“The updated forecasts and analyses continue to show that, as the system develops over time, it will generate financial value through positive net operating cash flow and attract private investment.”