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Rail News: High-Speed Rail

California High Speed Rail Authority recommends route alignments


Last week, California High Speed Rail Authority’s board recommended three route alignments for a proposed statewide high-speed rail system.

Board members recommended alignments through Palmdale, to connect Los Angeles and Bakersfield, and Irvine, to connect Los Angeles with San Diego through Orange County. They also recommended the authority conduct additional studies to select an alignment connecting the Central Valley with the bay area, examining all options between Pacheco Pass through the Altamont Pass.

The recommendations do not include direct high-speed service to Los Angeles International Airport in the initial network because the option would require building an expensive spur that would have limited maximum speeds. The line also would have lower ridership potential than high-speed links to San Diego and Orange County, board members believe.

Authority officials now will begin responding to comments gathered during a recent public comment period. The board will formally vote on the alignments at its December board meeting.

Meanwhile, board members raised concerns about the authority’s fiscal-year 2004 funding. Unless the authority obtains additional funds, an environmental impact report might not be completed during the current fiscal year.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 9/27/2004