An L.A. to San Francisco bullet train is in the works thanks to President Obama’s high-speed program. While overseas, high-speed continues to chug along, with RENFE unveiling its latest class of rapid transit. This and more in today’s Fast Track!
Hollywood to Haight-Ashbury: The train would whisk passengers between the two cities, 432 miles apart, in less than 2 hours 40 minutes. The state expects bids from about 10 train-makers and construction may start as early as the first half of 2012. The Obama administration in January awarded $8 billion for high-speed rail projects.
When the project is fully completed, California anticipates an 800-mile high-speed rail network running from San Francisco to San Diego. Total cost? More than $40 billion.
Graduating Class of 112: RENFE, Spain’s national rail operator, unveiled the new Class 112 high-speed train at its future home, the extended Santa Catalina rolling stock maintenance facility in Madrid. A total of 30 Class 112s have been ordered from Talgo and Bombardier for the Madrid -Valencia high-speed line which is due to open later this year.
The 200m long Class 112 has two power cars and 12 trailers, offering a total of 365 seats compared to the 316 of the Talgo/Bombardier Class 102. There are now only two classes- tourist and club – with the number of tourist seats increased to 294. The new train has a top speed of 330 km/h.
Raising the Bahn: Says a company official, Deutsche Bahn plans to make a massive investment campaign by 2014. The rail company will invest some 41 Billion EU in its operations, 75 percent of which will be spent on the rail network and modernizing stations, with the remainder used for acquiring new trains.
Deutsche Bahn plans to purchase up to 300 new high-speed “ICx” trains. For regional transport, the company envisions buying up to 400 electric trains, as well as 600 buses for local travel. With these investments, travel times will be shortened, trains will be more reliable, and travelers will feel more comfortable. And who wouldn’t want that?
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