The California High-Speed Rail Authority’s Board of Directors Tuesday approved a preliminary funding plan of $423 million with the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Authority to advance a project that would eventually bring high-speed rail to Union Station.

“We appreciate the collaboration and partnership with LA Metro,” said Brian Kelly, the rail authority’s CEO. “These agreements we have reached together demonstrate concrete and realistic steps for us to move forward with the Link US project, while continuing with our efforts to bring high-speed rail to Southern California.”

The Link Union Station project will allow trains to enter and exit the station from both existing northern tracks and new tracks to the south over the U.S. 101 Freeway.

The project is anticipated to significantly increase capacity for rail service while reducing train idling times, the authority stated. It will also accommodate future high-speed rail service and expand Union Station’s capacity with a new expanded passageway under the tracks and new platforms, escalators and elevators.

“Metro is very excited to partner with California High-Speed Rail to enable future high-speed rail service to Los Angeles Union Station,” said Metro CEO Phillip Washington, who addressed the authority’s board of directors prior to its vote.

In September, the High-Speed Rail Authority announced an agreement with Metro to work collaboratively to secure the Proposition 1A funds for the Link Union Station project. Prop. 1A was the 2008 ballot initiative to fund the high-speed rail projects.

Tuesday’s action by the High-Speed Rail Authority contains an agreement with Metro to work together to construct the Link Union Station to accommodate all future and current operators.

According to the High-Speed Rail Authority, the agreement outlines the need for a funding agreement for the first phase of the project to include $18.7 million for design and environmental projects and $423.3 million for construction from the authority. It also acknowledges a $398.4 million investment from the California State Transportation Agency’s Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program.

It also forges an agreement to work toward shared use of Metro right-of-way in Palmdale, Union Station and sections of the San Fernando Valley and Los Angeles River subdivisions.

The agreement maintains that Metro and the authority make “the best efforts” to acquire funding for the next phase of the Link Union Station project for completion prior to the 2028 Olympics through state, local and federal grants as well as legislative action and private entities.

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