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Rail News: High-Speed Rail

Draft environmental reports complete for California's proposed high-speed rail system

After 10 years of planning, California High Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) last week released a draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) and Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for a proposed 700-mile high-speed rail system.

By 2020, up to 68 million passengers could ride the system, which would increase mobility, relieve highway congestion, and improve the state’s environment and economy, according to EIR/EIS results.

The studies describe potential environmental impacts for three transportation alternatives: no project/no action, a high-speed system, and improving existing highways and airports. Based on the results, CHSRA and the Federal Railroad Administration determined the high-speed system would best meet the state’s needs.

The high-speed system could be built at half the cost to expand highways and airports, and take up less land, according to the reports.

Later this month, CHSRA plans to hold public hearings on the EIR/EIS.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 2/4/2004