Is that … a sign we might actually get some of the long-promised, never-delivered high-speed rail within the decade?
A design studio contracted through the state of California released some new images of what some of the stations along the California high-speed rail could look like.
If you forgot where we were in the state’s high-speed rail saga — and who can blame you, after all these years of back-and-forth — here’s a reminder: California got its federal funding back in 2021, after it was canceled under Trump, and last year, politicians started to get some official plans inked. Last year, the approved state budget included spending the remaining $4.2 billion of high-speed rail bond funding on the rail system — to connect Bakersfield to Merced with high-speed train service in about eight years, covering a 171-mile portion of the larger project.
Apparently, some of that funding has gone to L.A.-based design studio Kilograph, which was hired by the British architecture companies Foster + Partners and ARUP as part of the $35.3 million contract awarded to the two to conduct preliminary site planning, as the Fresno Bee reported.
Kilograph created new designs for the stations in Fresno, Merced, Hanford and Bakersfield, the initial four stops along the proposed California High-Speed Rail Authority's interim operating line.
The design “to visualize the California High-Speed Rail station design and tell the story of how the rail system will connect Californians and improve travel throughout the state,” according to Kilograph's website.
Of course, the first stage of the design contract runs until the spring of 2025 — so we have to assume construction on the interim high speed rail is starting after that.
The renderings feature structures characterized by fluid curves, elevated greenery, and a terminal housing a variety of dining and shopping options. (Check out those AI-generated people.)
Regardless, these designs look pretty futuristic, too.
Let's see if/when it comes to fruition — maybe one day we'll be able to get from San Francisco to L.A. by train within an hour.
Feature image via Kilograph.