Stations to be located in state’s Central Valley as part of 900km line aiming to cut journey times between San Francisco and Los Angeles

Foster & Partners has unveiled plans for the first four stations on the California High-Speed rail line.

The new stations, which have been designed in collaboration with Arup, will be located in Merced, Kings Tulare, Fresno and Bakersfield in California’s Central Valley.

The scheme will enable passengers to commute from Los Angeles to San Francisco in less than three hours, compared to the nine hours it currently takes on the existing Amtrak line. California High-Speed Rail aims to have its first line running between 2030 to 2033. 

Stefan Behling, head of studio at Foster & Partners said: “We are developing an architectural language for the four Central Valley stations, including soaring canopies that draw in fresh air and shield waiting passengers from harsh sunlight.”

The new station in Merced will have a pedestrian bridge which will create a connection between the downtown area and the station concourse. A new outdoor plaza will also be introduced on 16th street, providing a local community space. 

> Also read: Fosters and Arup land California High-Speed Rail stations

The station in Kings Tulare will include elevated platforms and a canopy which will form part of the Hanford viaduct, which is the largest high-speed rail structure within the Central Valley area of the US. The stations amenities and services will be below the platforms and canopy. 

The station in Fresno will deliver a pedestrian crossing which will connect the downtown area and chinatown. The station in Bakersfield will include a park below a viaduct, which will connect downtown Bakersfield and the Kern river corridor with an outdoor public area.

The scheme will be a design model for other new stations within the Los Angeles and Anaheim to San Francisco transit system, which stretches for almost 800km through the state. 

John Eddy, project manager at Arup said: “We look forward to future engagements with these welcoming cities to confirm we are capturing each of their identities while setting the standard for the entirety of California‘s high-speed rail stations.”

A planned second phase of the network would see the route extended north to Sacramento and south to San Diego, which would extend the line to more than 1,200km.