Special Presentation on California High-Speed Rail (HSR)

The WSPE 2021-2022 Season Grand Finale!

For the Seattle and Lake Washington Chapter WSPE 2021-2022 Season Grand Finale we are reaching over not one but TWO state lines to hear the progress of THE most ambitious transportation and public works project in the USA!

All the way from sunny California we are most excited to share a very special presentation on High-Speed Rail (HSR).


Technical Challenges?

Lessons learned?

The future?

How can California’s experience inform Washington’s path forward to provide HSR for people in the Pacific Northwest, to continue HSR to Portland, Seattle, Spokane, Vancouver BC, and across the continent?

Join us in providing a warm welcome to Brian Sutliffe, the Director of Engineering at High Speed Rail Authority, to present: California High-Speed Rail.

Some background on California High-Speed Rail (HSR)

In November of 2008, 53% of California voters decided to take an innovative step forward and allocate $9.95 billion in bond dollars to the creation of a California high-speed rail line. The first high-speed and electrified train in the nation, California high-speed rail will stretch 494 miles from San Francisco to Los Angeles/Anaheim. The Phase 2 system will extend this segment 300 more miles with connections to Sacramento and San Diego.

The train will travel at approximately 200mph. A 6 hour and 12-minute car ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles will one day be a brief 2 hour and 40-minute trip on an air conditioned, Wi-Fi-equipped, sustainable bullet train.

While life was breathed into California high-speed rail in 2008, what progress have we made to date?

California high-speed rail is currently in construction along 119-miles in the Central Valley. 380 miles of the 494-mile Phase 1 system has been environmentally cleared. Right-of-way, utility relocations, and design for future stations are all advancing. Nevertheless, the project has run into an array of technical challenges, from civil, to structural, electrical, and mechanical.

Mr. Sutliff’s presentation will provide a general program overview and detail the progress that has been made on California High-Speed rail. He will detail some of the technical challenges high-speed rail has faced and the lessons learned since its groundbreaking in 2015.

Brian Sutliff

Director of Engineering, California High-Speed Rail Authority

Brian Sutliff is the Director of Engineering at the High-Speed Rail Authority. Sutliff has been Deputy Director of Engineering and Assistant Vice President at WSP USA since 2017. He was Engineering Manager at the California High-Speed Rail Authority from 2016 to 2017. Sutliff was the owner of a structural engineering consulting firm from 2001 to 2008. From 1990 to 2001 and 2008 to 2016, Sutliff was Engineering Branch Chief and Senior Transportation Engineer Seismic Specialist at the California Department of Transportation. He is a member of the Structural Engineers Association of Central California.

Where Is Washington State on High Speed Rail?

Information on the WSDOT HSR study:


WSPE members and friends…

Thank you for belonging or being a friend to the WSPE, we thank our friends at SME, ISA, and others!

We plan to record this meeting for future access

If you have an idea for a future WSPE meeting please contact jon@advancedia.com


Click here to Join the meeting on Microsoft Teams






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