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Arup high speed rail team heads for California

British High speed rail experts are ocking to America after a government transport study ruled out the construction of any more high speed lines in the UK.

Consultant Arup is seeking new rail work in California for its 200-plus engineers who had been seconded to the Rail Link Engineering (RLE) consortium for work on the Channel Tunnel Rail Link (CTRL) now known as High Speed 1.

“We still have a 2% equity in CTRL. We’ve been working on the project for more than 10 years and have developed a capability in high speed rail, ’ said Arup global infrastructure chairman David Singleton.

“We are taking all that track record from CTRL and putting it into the US.” Singleton’s comments come a month after former British Airway chairman Sir Rod Eddington’s report on Britain’s future transport needs, carried out for chancellor Gordon Brown, ruled that there was no economic case for more high speed rail lines in the UK.

Arup, in joint venture with Hatch Mott MacDonald and URS, has been appointed by the California High Speed Rail Authority for the environmental and engineering work on the 100km Palmdale to Los Angeles section of the 500km California High Speed Rail line.

The project will link San Francisco and Los Angeles directly competing with air travel.

Arup/Hatch Mott MacDonald/ URS’s five-year contract will carry out 30% of the design for the Palmdale to Los Angeles section. But initial funding has so far only been secured for the first six months of the work as the Authority is seeking more funding this year.

A public bond issue in November 2008 is intended to raise a large portion of the money for construction.

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