2022 California State Rail Plan

About the Rail Plan

For over 150 years, California’s state rail system has been an essential part of our transportation infrastructure, and it will play an even more crucial role in our future—expanding our options for moving people and goods in a sustainable way.

The California State Rail Plan (Rail Plan) establishes a long-term vision for an integrated, cohesive statewide rail system that offers efficient passenger and freight service, supports California’s economy, and helps achieve critical climate goals.

Development of the Rail Plan involves collaborating effectively with State agencies, regional and local governments, transportation agencies, commuter rail operators, freight railroads, and other partners across California to implement the vision.

Equity is a key goal for the Rail Plan. Equity priority communities, Native American tribal governments, and other disenfranchised and disadvantaged populations are part of the plan development process.

What is the Timeframe?

We are continuing to work on finalizing the public draft and it should be available for public comment in mid-November or early December. Once the draft is released, it will be available for a 60-day public comment period during which time we plan to have at least two (possibly more) virtual public workshops. The final plan will be released in early 2023. Please check this site for future updates.   

Documents and Resources

Short Line Rail Improvement Plan

Published in August 2021, the Short Line Rail Improvement Plan presents a rich understanding of the needs of the short line railroad industry within California and best practices for implementing a sustaining program of support to meet those needs. Caltrans engaged a broad and diverse range of stakeholders connected with the California short line railroad industry to inform this plan’s findings.

Short Line Rail Improvement Plan

2018 California State Rail Plan

The 2018 Rail Plan is the existing framework. It is available to review here


Equity Priority Workshops

Recently, the project team for the Rail Plan hosted a series of interactive, regional workshops (via webinar) to collect input on how the rail system could contribute to eliminating barriers and creating a more resilient transportation system that equitably distributes the benefits and burdens to the current and future generations of Californians.

The workshops featured a brief overview presentation of the purpose of the Rail Plan and interactive discussions with participants about how the plan may incorporate strategies and measures that promote equity and resiliency. The project team will post a summary report of the workshops in the weeks ahead. View one or more of the workshop videos below.

Reach Out to the Project Team

To provide your input, please send the project team an email to RailPlan@dot.ca.gov.