Foster unveils designs for California high speed rail stations

Image of Fresno station (All images courtesy of Arup/Foster + Partners)
Foster + Partners has released its designs for four stations in the Central Valley section of California’s Los Angeles-to-San Francisco high-speed rail line.

The station, which were designed in conjunction with UK consulting engineer Arup, were influenced by “open house” sessions, where the consultants worked alongside communities, businesses, agencies and other key stakeholders.

Further open house sessions are planned after the release of the four designs. These are:

  • Merced:  This will have a pedestrian bridge crossing the tracks that divide the city, connecting the downtown with the station concourse. There will also be an outdoor plaza that will house a community space.
  • Fresno: This station will also contain a public plaza and a pedestrian crossing, in this case linking downtown and Chinatown. The station will incorporate an historic train depot.
  • Kings Tulare: The station will be a hub for buses, cars and bicycles. Elevated platforms and a protective canopy will be added to the Hanford viaduct, which is currently under construction. Platforms and station amenities will be located underneath the canopy.
  • Bakersfield: A linear park will run under a viaduct, connecting downtown Bakersfield and the Kern River Corridor via public spaces and recreation facilities. The station will act as the southern terminus for the first phase of the Central Valley stretch. In the future, links are planned to Los Angeles and Anaheim to the south.

Stefan Behling, Foster + Partners’ head of studio, said: “We are developing an architectural language for the four stations, including soaring canopies that draw in fresh air and shield waiting passengers from harsh sunlight. The designs reflect the sustainable ethos of the wider project.”

John Eddy, Arup’s project manager, said: “Residents expressed their pride in being the first to receive a high-speed rail service and their appreciation for the economic uplift provided by the current construction and the promise of more economic growth when the system is in operation.”

The Central Valley route is due to be operational between 2030 and 2033. In 2022, an Aecom-led consortium was selected to programme manage the full line.

Trains on the route will run at speeds over 320km/h, cutting travel time between Los Angeles and San Francisco to three hours.

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