Guiding California’s High-Speed Rail Vision to Reality

The California High-Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) has embarked on a monumental journey to launch the U.S.’s first true high-speed rail system, aiming to connect the state’s major regions across an impressive 800-mile route. Recognizing the complexities of such an endeavor, CHSRA enlisted the expertise of DB E.C.O. North America as a key advisor helping to create operational readiness.


The California High-Speed Rail Authority’s (CHSRA) aim is to build the nation’s first true high-speed rail system that seamlessly connects the state’s major regions across an 800-mile stretch, featuring more than 20 stations, and contributing to economic development and a cleaner environment, creating jobs, and preserving agricultural and protected lands. This endeavor presents a multi-faceted challenge that involves careful planning, innovative design, large-scale construction, and ultimately the operation of a system that must excel in both efficiency and sustainability.


In 2017, to ensure California’s high-speed rail system is designed and built considering operating needs, commercial aspects, and operations and maintenance costs, CHSRA made the determination to engage a third party experienced with high-speed rail planning and operations, rolling stock design and procurement, as well as infrastructure design, construction, and maintenance. DB E.C.O. North America was awarded the key role of California High-Speed Rail’s so-called Early Train Operator.

Acknowledging the scale and complexity of the undertaking, DB’s engagement was divided into phases. Over the course of the past five years, the DB team has been working alongside CHSRA to provide comprehensive consulting services. DB’s services span various aspects of the system design including project management, service planning, ridership and revenue forecasting, rolling stock fleet-sizing and interior design, procurement, O&M cost modeling, station design and operations, and fare policy development. We have served as trusted advisors in the groundbreaking rail project, offering invaluable support.


Since beginning its involvement in December 2017, DB E.C.O. North America has collaboratively worked with CHSRA and other advisors, making significant progress on the planning, procurement strategies, and commercial aspects of the high-speed rail system. As progress continues, the promise of a revolutionary transportation link that will transform California’s infrastructure landscape is becoming more tangible.

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