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Roelof Van Ark, CEO of California High Speed Rail Authority (HSR)



Text and Photos by Carl Morrison,

Roelof Van Ark, CEO of California High Speed Rail Authority (HSR)

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Mr. van Ark quickly established himself as capable of the position.  He spoke clearly of CAHSR.  He mentioned that his first job was project manager of a 100 freight railroads in South Africa.  He enjoys steam railroads and there still are some in S. Africa.  He was on the Maglev board at Siemens.  He is a California resident and U.S. Citizen.

European and Asian residents demand HSR to come to their cities and buy homes near rail stations such as his home in New York which was 5 minutes to a rail station.

Roelof van Ark

CEO, California High Speed Rail Authority
Sacramento, California

Mr. van Ark had a 16-slide presentation titled:  


California's High-Speed Train - Cal Rail 2020 Conference.

Largest public infrastructure project in U.S. history.

800-mile system (520 miles in phase one)
Operating speeds:  110-125 mph in urban areas; 220 mph (350 kph) in rural areas
100% clean electric power
Safely grade-separated
Reliable, easy way to travel
Environmental benefits
Job creation
Economic strength

Phase 1
San Francisco-San Jose
San Jose-Merced
Palmdale-Los Angeles
Los Angeles-Anaheim

First Step - Beginning in the Central Valley, established by FRA.

Staying up to the speed:

Additional notes after the power point presentation:

No rolling stock will be purchased until there is rail laid.

Luca di Montezemolo, president of Ferrari, is diversifying. He has invested in a new Italian fast-rail company, along with Diego della Valle, president of Tod’s, creator of the famous Italian driving shoe.

The new company, Nuovo Trasporto Viaggiatori, or N.T.V., plans to offer high-speed rail travel from Italian cities beginning in 2011, a service it sees as an alternative to airlines (notably the languishing Alitalia). Recent rail line improvements have made it possible for trains to rival airlines in the time it takes to get from Rome to Milan, the Economist reports.  

"Profitable" high speed rail means paying back the cost of maintaining the infrastructure, not the cost of building HSR.

2018 to 2020 will be the first operation of trains on the first track laid.

Personnel have been added to CA HSR:  Mr. Hans, An Army Maj. General of the Army Corp. of Engineers;  also environmental people with off shore experience, and accountants familiar with PPP (privitization of HSR in other countries).

Funds for HSR projects will be placed with consortiums of businesses.

China has intercity trains at 220 mph and HSR on long distance trains.

Shanghai's new station for HSR has 30 platforms:  18 for HSR and 12 for Intercity

California's HSR plan is for 2 hrs. 40 minutes for trip from SF to LA.

Good preentation.

Next Page:  Paul Dyson, President of RailPAC - Cooperation between RailPAC and TRAC

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