Wednesday 14 September 2011
High Speed Rail / USA

USA: Private industry looks to high speed rail as job creator

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Hundreds of representatives from the private sector attended the high speed rail industry forum in Fresno, California on 8 September to learn more about the jobs that will be created by California’s high speed rail project.

The forum, co-sponsored by the California High-Speed Rail Authority, the Economic Development Corporation Serving Fresno County and California State University Fresno, gave private businesses the opportunity to hear more about the project and the bidding process.

The California High-Speed Rail Authority is developing an 800-mile high-speed train system that will operate at speeds of up to 350 km/h, connecting the state’s major urban centres. Construction is scheduled to begin in the Central Valley in 2012. The project is being funded by a combination of state bond funds approved in 2008, federal funding grants, local funding and public-private partnerships.

Conservative estimates place the number of jobs created for every $1 billion in infrastructure spending at about 20,000. The Authority already has more than $6 billion lined up to begin construction along the Central Valley “backbone” of the system next year. The first request for qualifications from prospective bidders for the initial construction segment will be released this month.

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