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Merced HSR Alignments/Routes

The California High-Speed Rail project is statewide and has been divided up into sections given the funding and construction sources and timelines. The environmental review is being conducted in two parts: at the statewide level followed by a more specific project-level review of each of the nine sections of the system. Each project section is moving through this process at a different pace.

The Merced to Fresno section of the 800 mile system is 60 miles long. It parallels Highway 99 through the northern stretch of the San Joaquin Valley. The station will be in the City of Merced, where it will connect with the Merced to Sacramento section, and Fresno, where it will connect with the Fresno to Bakersfield section.

The high-speed train project is expected to create 16,500 construction related jobs in this region over the life of construction. Once operating, projections estimate 5,300 boardings daily in Merced and 4,500 in Fresno, with travel time between Merced and Fresno estimated at 21 minutes. CO2 emission savings are estimated at 42 lbs. per trip.

California High-Speed Rail Development Timeline
Summer 2013 – The CP1 contract will be finalized and major work will start on the first 29-mile section of high-speed will begin in the Madera area.

This work is expected to wrap up in 2017 on this first stretch and project work will move south towards Bakersfield.

2022 – The Initial Operating Section (IOS), a 300-mile long stretch running from Merced to the San Fernando Valley is anticipated to be operational.

2026 - The Bay to Basin service, extending the high-speed rail service to 410-mile long stretch running from San Jose to Merced to the San Fernando Valley is anticipated to be operational.

2029 – Phase 1 blended, which will provide service from San Francisco to the Los Angeles area, the full 520 mile stretch, is anticipated to be operational. That includes the non-stop service from San Francisco to Los Angeles in under three hours.

There is no timeline at this time for the extensions to Sacramento in the north and San Diego in the south.

Source: California High-Speed Rail Authority.
Note: The dates above are subject to change based on the ongoing process.

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