California High Speed Rail

Californians Advocating Responsible Rail Design (CARRD) encourages civic engagement, provides in-depth analysis and works to improve the transparency and accountability of the California High-Speed Rail Project. We are a grassroots, volunteer organization who does not accept any donations (other than documents!).

Stay Informed

We try our best to update information regularly – usually in the form of articles. Interested in receiving updates automatically? Please be sure to subscribe to our mailing list on the right side of this page. You can also follow us on Twitter: @calhsr or Facebook:

CARRD Public Library Collection:

Looking for documents? CARRD maintains an extensive collection of documents related to the California High Speed Rail project along with other topics of interest on our public Google Drive.

The CARRD Public Library Collection is available at:

Many of the documents come from the public records requests we have made over the years. If you have documents you’d like to share with us for our collection, please feel free to contact us at

Writing a story on HSR and need help finding documents in our library? Please contact us at along with any deadlines and we’ll do our best to help you find what you need.

Latest NewsNew!

3/8/2016  Judge issues ruling in challenge to the current plan for construction of the California high speed rail system. Here is the opinion issued by Judge Kenny, denying the challenge.

2/18/2016 The Authority released its much anticipated 2016 DRAFT business plan. We hope to have a summary of our reactions soon. For now, see our first impressions by looking at our Twitter remarks at: or you can also visit our Facebook page which has been updated with media reactions to the plan.  Don’t forget to follow us and like us!

2/11/2016 The High Speed Rail Authority was back in court for Part 2 of their legal battle which is currently tying up the ability to access the $9 billion dollars voters approved in 2008. If you’d like to see what happened in court, there is a YouTube channel that has video of the proceedings. For those of you who like to dive into the details, the legal briefs for the case are available on the TransDef website:

1/24/2016 In June 2015, Parsons’s Brinckerhoff partnered with UK’s embattled Network rail and won a seven year, $700 million contract to continuing managing the high speed rail project. Why has the winning proposal remained unpublished until now and is this actually a good thing for California? Read all about it here.

1/21/2016 Here are the September 2015  Funding Contribution Plan and the June 2015 Funding Contribution Plan for the ARRA grant the California High Speed Rail Authority received.

1/21/2016 Here is the infamous report produced by Parsons Brinckerhoff for the 2014 Business Plan costs. The Authority paid for it and then dismissed it.

11/16/2015 Here is a one-pager that summarizes our fruitless quest over a three month period to get ANY back up documentation for the capital costs in the 2014 Business Plan.

11/9/2015  Worried about transparency? CARRD is too! Our latest report calls on Legislators to help beef up reporting requirements. Read internal emails showing how under the CEO’s guidance and without board approval, reporting guidelines for consultants were changed to purposely hide information.

11/4/2015 Which is the real deal? The costs in the official 2014 Business Plan or the higher price tag reported by the LA Times? Surprisingly, there are no backup documents for the official figure. That can’t be good.

11/02/2015  Read all about it!  CARRD maintains an extensive public Google Drive library of documents from the CHSRA or about the CHSRA.

12/12/2013 Even more on travel time calculations for the blended system. Did the Authority ask their consultants to slant a critical report?

11/24/2013  We have posted additional progress reports from the Authority’s consultants,  including reports from the since dismissed program manager oversight consultant (TY Lin) and a new series of reports from the construction manager oversight consultant.   Since the Authority stopped holding public operations committee meetings 18 months ago, these are virtually the only way to get updates on what is going on.  Hint, hint:  a westside bypass of Bakersfield is at least being looked at and service plans for the first construction segment are being developed at the FRA’s request. Shouldn’t these service plans get some public feedback?

Please note:  we have posted most recent and will eventually add older reports. If you need something, please email

10/18/2013 Guess what arrived in the mail? The questions and answers submitted by the bidders on the first construction contract RFP!  There are a lot – some about typos and some about substantive issues like risk sharing, insurance and curves that were drawn too tight.

8/26/2013 The Authority has posted details of the contract and proposal recently executed with Tutor Perini; we have a copy of the contract for the portion of construction that will be done by Caltrans.

8/26/2013  New progress reports posted

8/23/2013  Is the CHSRA’s model for operating and maintenance costs up to the task? Read our comments on the review mandated by the Legislature, as well as the actual review

8/19/2013  Read the actual opinion and our opinion about the opinion declaring the funding plan illegal

8/16/2013 Judge rules against CHSRA:  they must rescind funding plan that is requirement before spending bond $  CARRD urged the board not to approve an obviously flawed plan in November 2o11  See video clip

6/6/2013 Our letter to the Board: Don’t approve contract today and You are probably over budget

6/6/2013 We still haven’t gotten any documents, including any form of the Questions and Answers

6/3/2013 Tutor Perini’s financials are bad   The change in the bid process was bad  We’ve added more content to our page about the California High Speed Rail Authority and a timeline of the bid process

5/14/2013 We are again struggling to get public records from the Authority

5/11/2013  Monthly Progress Reports through February 2013 and Regional Consultant Progress Reports through March are now posted

5/9/2013 Links to the California High Speed Rail Authority’s legal authority have been added

1/9/2013 Regional Consultant Progress Reports are posted through October 2012.

1/9/2013 Monthly Progress Reports through October 2012 by the High Speed Rail Authority’s program manager, Parsons Brinckerhoff.

7/4/2012 Bond appropriations for HSR:  What is proposed and are they legal?

6/1/2012    The blended system can deliver 2 hour 40 minute travel times:  Fact or fantasy?  Read the source documents we used.

10/25/2011 EIR Comment Letters from various stakeholders in response to the High Speed Rail Authority’s environmental reviews.

10/20/2011 Reports to the Legislature by the California High Speed Rail Authority on funding alternatives, blended service from San Francisco to San Jose, Grapevine communications plan, along with CARRD’s analysis.

7/29/2011  CARRD has received, through a Public Records Request, some of the correspondence between the Ridership Peer Review Panel and the Authority. You can read the correspondence here. For more information, please visit our Ridership page.

7/28/11 CARRD is happy to report that we have finally received a copy of the first report from the Ridership Peer Review Committee which is available here.  For more information, please visit our Ridership page. We have been promised via email a CD by the end of the week with the communications between the Authority and the Ridership Peer Review Committee.

7/27/11 CARRD sends letter to HSRA board outlining failure to respond to Public Records Requests. Our letter to the Board is available here. For more information, see our Ridership page.

7/15/11 July 1 2011 letter from the California High Speed Rail Peer Review Group in response to a critical report by the LAO

5/5/11 Letter from the Peer Review Group to the HSRA with an initial response on the materials presented at their April 1 workshop.

3/2/11  Letter from Legislature to Van Ark asking Authority to respond to the Independent Peer Review’s concerns in their new draft business plan due October 14, 2011.

2/28/2011 Ridership Peer Review Committee Presentation 1/10/2011 made by CEO van Ark on January 20th, 2011

2/9/2011 What will the High Speed Rail cost? Our current estimate is $65 billion, a big difference from the official $43 billion number.  Why so different?

1/20/2011 CHSRA’s Technical Memos which CARRD is in an ongoing process of obtaining through a series of Public Records Requests. These are guidelines which ensure that early designs for each section are consistent and compatible.

1/11/2011  Monthly Progress Reports by the High Speed Rail Authority’s program manager, Parsons Brinckerhoff.

12/6/2010 Read the November 2010 report by the California High Speed Rail Authority Peer Review Committee

**NEW as of 11/29/2010**  Read our preview of the December California High Speed Rail Board Meeting

**NEW as of 11/24/2010**  Read the issues with “Plan B”

**NEW as of 11/4/2010**  Board members have been receiving gifts from contractors in violation of board policy. Read our report, see the evidence.

**NEW as of 9/28/2010**  Two High Speed Rail Board Members Hold Incompatible Offices. Go to our complete coverage page or read the Legislative Counsel’s Opinion (PDF) or read the Attorney General’s warning letter to the High Speed Rail Authority (PDF) or read our FAQ/Timeline (PDF)

**NEW as of 9/27/2010** The High Speed Rail Authority conducted a messaging survey.  Go to our complete coverage page with survey results and our analysis.

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