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Rail News: High-Speed Rail

Potential riders, fault lines should be considerations for California high-speed rail system, Palmdale mayor says

Earthquake hazards and ridership potential should be taken into account as California prepares to build a 700-mile statewide high-speed rail system, Palmdale’s mayor told California High Speed Rail Authority officials during a recent public hearing.

Mayor James Ledford Jr. testified that routing the system through the Antelope Valley would lessen earthquake threats and serve southern California’s transportation needs better than a proposed alternative route.

The authority currently is considering an Antelope Valley and Grapevine route along Interstate 5. A study conducted for Palmdale by engineering firm GEODATA found that the Antelope Valley route would involve less extensive tunneling, lower construction costs up to 60 percent, lessen earthquake risk and serve one million more passengers compared with the Grapevine route. The Grapevine route is less populated and would run within a mile of the San Gabriel earthquake fault for more than 20 miles, Ledford said.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 4/14/2004