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California high-speed rail chooses Transbay terminus in San Francisco

The new Transbay Terminal has been officially chosen as California high-speed rail’s San Francisco terminus.

The California High-Speed Rail Authority favoured the $4BN terminus over a prospective underground station at Beale Street, after being reassured about the station’s handling capacity.

Officials said underground construction at Beale Street could have affected the San Francisco-Oakland Bay bridge and required demolition of housing. In addition, the station’s design would have made it difficult to get trains in and out.

Construction of the Transbay Terminal, which is replacing the current Transbay Terminal at First and Mission Streets with a modern regional transit hub, is due to commence this summer and be completed by 2015.

Work on California high-speed rail expected to begin in 2011, with initial sections opening between 2018 and 2022. Line speeds will be 350km/h, reducing the San Francisco to Los Angeles journey to just 2.5 hours.

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