The so-called bullet train from Southern California to Northern California is expected to travel at 220 miles per hour, making the trip in two and a half hours.
A high-speed rail line proposal originally would have stopped short of Orange County, but as the California High-Speed Rail Authority board voted to approve a new business plan Thursday, the board also agreed to reverse its decision to allow high-speed rail service to Anaheim.
"This was a great day for Anaheim and Orange County but also for the entire state of California. We now have highways, we have skyways and we now have transit, a rail line that will connect both ends of our state," said Anaheim City Council member Kris Murray.
Officials say passengers could buy one ticket to travel from Anaheim to San Francisco.
Under the old plan, passengers from Anaheim would have had to transfer to another train in Los Angeles before heading to Northern California. The change was designed to cut $6 billion from the original price tag of nearly $100 billion, but the board chair says protests caused them to re-consider the one-seat service to the Disneyland resort area that sees millions of visitors a year. So far it's not clear how much it could increase the nearly $70 billion cost.
"They directed staff to develop this one ticket extension into Anaheim and to look at doing it as cost-effectively as possible. "They will be looking at a number of alternatives on how to do that," said Kris Murray.
Murray says the plan would use existing rail lines, and the decision to electrify the lines, which would allow the train to run at full speed from Anaheim to L.A. will be made at a later date. The state legislature has until the end of August to decide whether to authorize a bond sale to get the project started.