USA: On October 10 California High Speed Rail Authority invited requests to qualify for the second design and build contract for the Initial Operating Section of the San Francisco - Los Angeles high speed line.

Estimated to cost $1·5bn to $2bn, Construction Package 2-3 covers the 96 km section south from East American Avenue in Fresno to a point 1·6 km north of the Tulare-Kern County line near Bakersfield.

Companies have until December 6 to submit a statement of qualifications. CHSRA will then produce a shortlist based on factors including experience, technical competency and ability to perform, and shortlisted firms would be invited to submit formal design-build proposals in 2014.

In June CHSRA awarded a joint venture of Tutor Perini, Zachry Construction and Parsons the $985m Construction Package 1, which covers civil works for the 47 km Madera - Fresno section of the 480 km Initial Operating Section between Merced and the San Fernando Valley.

High speed services on the Initial Operating Section are planned for 2022. A journey time of under 3 h between San Francisco and the Los Angeles basin is envisaged by 2029, with services eventually extended to Sacramento and San Diego, a total of 1 280 km with up to 24 stations.