Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa speaks at the High Speed Rail Seminar in Los Angeles, California Jan 14,2011.
In January 2010 an $8 billion grant of federal funds was allocated by the Obama administration to make a high-speed railway system (HSR) in the U.S. a reality. The development of a HSR system in the U.S. is believed to be an energy efficient means of transportation for large numbers of people that wish to travel great distances in a safe, quick and comfortable manner.
The State of California will be the first to implement a Shinkansen or bullet train linking the Southern, Central and Northern regions of the state. A recent event at the Omni Hotel in Los Angeles brought together city leaders, congressmen and women and representatives from various Japanese firms, in hopes of implementing a bullet train in California.
Toshihiko Aoyagi Managing Director of JR Kyushu takes the podium.
The initial environmental review was done in 2005 and a final draft was submitted for review in 2010. The proposed 800-mile route with 24 stations is slated to begin major construction in 2012 with testing beginning in the year 2015.
Actual operational trains with passengers is not expected until the year 2020 with the first phase being the 500 mile trek from Anaheim and Los Angels to San Francisco, followed by the Merced to Sacramento section due years later.
Congressman Jim Costa U.S. House of Representatives (California 20th District) takes the podium.
The overall goal of the seminar in Los Angeles was to display how Japan’s 46 years of experience in HSR service can contribute towards California’s long-term goals. Japan does have some competition from European train makers Alsom and Siemens AG as well as Asian rivals China South Locomotive, Rolling Stock Corporation and Hyundai Rotem Company.
The event held on January 14, 2011 was presented by:
– Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT), Japan
– Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), Japan
– Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), Japan
– Institution for Transport Policy Studies (ITPS), Japan
– Japan International Transport Institute (JITI)
– Council for Global Promotion of Railway, Japan
– Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO)
– Sponsored by The Nippon Foundation