As things move ahead, with a hope and a prayer, on California's high-speed rail project, the first segment of which is on track to open in 2030, we have some new renderings of what the train interiors may look like.

Whether or not any of us will be able to ride a high-speed train from San Francisco to Los Angeles in our lifetimes remains uncertain. But assuming things fall into place with the funding, and a double-dip Trump dictatorship doesn't try to kill the project again, the trains will begin rolling in 2030 — at least between Merced and Bakersfield!

This time schedule means that the train cars and interiors will need to undergo fabrication in the next couple of years, with testing set to begin in 2028, and the Chronicle reports today that final designs on the interiors are due later this year.

Last fall a few vague sketches of the interiors were released, but now we have some better renderings of proposed designs for the regular-car seats, the premium-car seats, and a children's play area.

Note, on the premium cars, the single-seat areas are called "cocoons" and they look like they have shutters you can use to close yourself in.

Rendering via CA High Speed Rail Authority
The premium "cocoons". Rendering via CA High Speed Rail Authority
Rendering via CA High Speed Rail Authority
A children's play area. Rendering via CA High Speed Rail Authority

The High Speed Rail Authority is, allegedly, on track to award the contract for the trains' construction by the end of this year — and the two finalists are Siemans Mobility Inc., the German firm with offices in Sacramento that built SF's Muni cars; and Alstom Transportation Inc., the French company whose Avelia high-speed trains are already in use in France, Italy, and Sweden.

The rendering below shows concepts being considered for seatbacks, sort of like on newer airplanes, to accommodate either laptops or tablets — as if we'll still have those in seven to ten years?!

Rendering via CA High Speed Rail Authority

And while this photo doesn't come from any proposed train we'll be seeing here, it shows a bar car from one of Alstom's Avelia trains — just to get an idea.

Photo via Alstom Transportation

The goal of our interior design is to create an iconic experience,” says Bruce Armistead, chief of rail and operations delivery for the High Speed Rail Authority, speaking to the Chronicle.

And, Armistead said, the car designs will accommodate wheelchair passengers "from end to end," with plenty of space to move.

Last spring we saw some cool renderings of proposed station designs for Fresno, Bakersfield, etc. The venerable British architecture firms Foster + Partners and ARUP are working on designs, and L.A.-based design studio Kilograph prepared the concept rendering below.

Rendering via Kilograph

The high-speed rail project got a $3 billion infusion of cash from the federal government last month, which will help it move along to finishing the 119-mile Central Valley segment — scheduled to open between 2030 and 2033. The segments connecting SF to Merced, and Bakersfield to Los Angeles, are logistically more complex, with tunnels that will have to be drilled through mountains. Those legs are part of a second phase of the project, the funding for which will still need to be secured.

The rail link between Merced and the Bay Area was estimated to cost $19 billion as of 2022, though that number may have risen.

Meanwhile, another high-speed-rail project in the state, which will connect Los Angeles and Las Vegas, is on a faster timeline. It also got $3 billion from the feds last month, and it is on track to be completed by 2028, in time for the Summer Olympic Games in L.A. that July.

Previously: Design Firm Debuts New Renderings of California High-Speed Rail