CHRSA Hanford Viaduct Sized

Ricardo providing engineering and safety support for construction of California’s High-Speed Railway

26 Mar 2024


Ricardo has been appointed to support the design and development of California’s High-Speed Railway.

As sub-consultants to Network Rail Consulting Inc, our experts will bring experience of managing safety and technical compliance on high-speed systems around the world and help ensure the system is developed in line with the highest industry standards.


First dedicated high-speed railway in the US

The first dedicated high-speed railway in the USA, California's high-speed network will see 200-mph trains linking the Los Angeles basin with San Francisco, with later branches to Sacramento and San Diego.

The fully operational network will present a viable alternative to air and road transport in the state of California, offering shorter journey times between its main commercial and residential centres, and significantly reducing pollution and carbon emissions across the region.

The California High-Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) is responsible for planning, designing, building, and operating the high-speed network, which will eventually total 800 miles of railway with up to 24 stations. In addition, the Authority is working with regional partners to implement a statewide rail modernization plan that will invest billions of dollars in local and regional rail lines to meet the State’s 21st century transportation needs.

With construction under way, CHSRA has awarded Network Rail Consulting Inc a contract to provide a range of systems engineering expertise to CHSRA’s Operations Delivery Branch through to May 2029, with support drawn from a select group of partners including Ricardo.



International expertise of High-Speed Rail

Our responsibilities extend across system safety and certification management tasks – including onsite safety audits, risk identification exercises and safety case development – with a remit that includes oversight of the safety programs maintained by suppliers and contractors of subsystems such as the track, infrastructure and rolling stock.

We will also provide teams of engineers experienced in the technical specifications of high-speed rail systems who, for example, will undertake detailed evaluations of the trainset design and manufacture process.

Stuart Gough, Operations Director for Ricardo’s rail activities across North America, welcomed our appointment to the project, which will be delivered by a team based out of Ricardo’s offices in Sacramento CA. 

“We are delighted to be bringing our expertise to this milestone project for rail transportation in the US,” says Stuart. 

“There is a fast-growing market for rail transportation in the Unites States, particularly for solutions with the potential to change travel habits between and within major cities. The progress of California’s new high-speed railway will, we hope, inspire further high-capacity rail systems across the country, all of which are able to draw on international best practice to ensure they are designed and operated to the highest standards”. 

“We’re looking forward to working with Network Rail Consulting, CHSR and all key technical partners, contractors and suppliers to deliver a state-of-the-art system for California”.