It's been a long time coming, but the state of California is finally building its long-promised high-speed rail link. The new line, which will see trains travel at up to 350km/h, will finally start construction this week.
The initial build begins on January 6 at Frenso, and it will eventually see trains travel from Sacramento in the north to San Diego in the south. But in the first instance, work will concentrate on building a line through the Central Valley, before linking San Francisco and Los Angeles. Once it's done, it should allow travel between San Francisco and Los Angeles within three hours.
It will be some time before that's possible though — and construction is already proving problematic. The estimated total cost is a dizzying $US68 billion, and the amount of disruption for new stations is also proving controversial. Still, with such fast journey times, we can at least hope that the line will ease at least part of California's traffic congestion. [California High-Speed Rail Authority via CBS San Francisco via Engadget]