California High-Speed Rail Authority

Supporters of the bullet train in California earlier this year. The project has been delayed for a number of reasons, including, most recently, a push-back in dates for environmental reviews of the $64 billion project. California High-Speed Rail Authority

Skift Take: Will this high-speed rail train actually become a reality in our lifetime? We certainly hope so. But we also hope officials consider a route that has the least environmental impact as possible, too.

— Deanna Ting

California officials have pushed back the deadline to 2020 for completing environmental reviews for the proposed high-speed rail line from San Francisco to Los Angeles.

The updated timeline is yet another delay in California’s $64 billion project to create a bullet train that will travel between the two cities in less than three hours. The environmental reviews, which will finalize the route the train will take, were originally slated for completion this year. Officials bumped the deadline back to 2018 in March, and now to 2020.

“Due to the magnitude of this program, we have always recognized that our environmental schedules would need to be refined and adjusted on an ongoing basis,” Lisa Marie Alley, a spokeswoman for the California High-Speed Rail Authority, said in a statement Tuesday announcing the delay.

The project is slated to be completed in 2029 as of now. A 32-mile section of the track in the Central Valley has already cleared environmental reviews and construction is under way. The rail authority’s board of directors on Wednesday approved a $30 million contract with a U.S. subsidiary of a German rail company to help design and operate that Central Valley segment in its early stages.

Reviews on eight other segments, including from San Francisco to San Jose and Burbank to Los Angeles, won’t be completed until 2019 or 2020, according to the updated schedule.