Multibillion-Dollar Bullet Train on Track in California, Promises Gov. Jerry Brown

Despite “obstacles” governor says $65 billion-plus project is moving forward

California Train
California High-Speed Rail Authority

While acknowledging there have been “obstacles,” California Gov. Jerry Brown insisted the state’s much anticipated — and maligned — high-speed train will be built.

The Democratic governor made the promise during his final State of the State address on Thursday.

“I like trains. I like high speed trains even better,” said Brown.

The bullet train — connecting the state from north to south with 800 miles of track — has been a frequent complaint from Brown’s critics, who point to the project’s rocketing costs as a sign of poor planning. The project was approved in 2008 with a $64 billion budget. But that has been surpassed, after an additional $2.8 billion was needed to build the 119 miles of track in California’s Central Valley.

Traveling at a speed of 225 miles per hour, the train aims to affordably whisk passengers from San Francisco to Los Angeles in under two hours. Hampered by construction delays, the first leg of the train is expected to connect San Jose to Bakersfield by 2025. Scrutiny of Brown’s pet project has recently increased, with Democratic and Republican state representatives calling for an audit on Wednesday.

Brown spent much of his address on Thursday highlighting moments from his fourth and final term as governor, but pointed to the train as a priority in his last year in Sacramento.