The high-speed rail project in Los Angeles: a new metropolitan opportunity?

Authors: Charlotte Ruggeri*, LVMT - Paris Est Marne La Vallée
Topics: Transportation Geography, Urban and Regional Planning, United States
Keywords: high-speed rail, transportation, train, stations, planning, California
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/3/2019
Start / End Time: 4:30 PM / 6:10 PM
Room: Coolidge, Marriott, Mezzanine Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


The California high-speed rail project is the most advanced in the United States, but also the most expensive and the most controversial one. In the 2030’s, the high-speed train should connect San Francisco to Los Angeles in 2 hours and 40 minutes. The construction has begun in 2014 in the Central Valley and Anaheim inaugurated the first high-speed train station in California. How we can understand this inauguration, almost 15 years before the completion of the Californian high-speed rail project? At first glance, the geography of Los Angeles seems incompatible with high-speed rail: one station, even two, would be insufficient. Beyond the number of stations, which cities or places should be served and why? Despite this presupposed incompatibility, we suggest that the high-speed rail project could be a new metropolitan opportunity for the Los Angeles urban area. By observing and studying the seventeen location propositions, we will try to answer three questions: could the high-speed train be reliable if there are too many stations or if the distance between two stations is too weak? Could the high-speed rail be an opportunity for Los Angeles to reaffirm its regional polycentric metropolitan nature? And at last, could the high-speed train stations be a way to rethink the rail urban inscription?

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