California's High-Speed Rail board has published it's propsed alignment for the state's futuristic 'bullet train'.
The California High-Speed Rail Authority Board (CHSRA) gave their advisory approval -- pending final analysis of public and agency comments -- of three key route alignments for California's high-speed train system.
While recognizing the significance of the steps they are now taking, Board and staff members also raised doubts that the environmental review process could be completed within this fiscal year under their current budget.
For the Los Angeles to Bakersfield connection (Southern Mountain Crossing in EIR documents),Authority staff recommended the route through the Antelope Valley with a station in Palmdale.
"While this option adds about 10 minutes to the express travel service and has fewer intercityridership numbers, its less expensive to build and provides direct service to the Antelope Valley L.A. Countys fastest growing city. Los Angeles and Palmdale showed substantial support for thisalignment option and it has fewer environmental impacts, less challenging terrain and is lesssubject to earthquakes according to technical documents and public comment..."
To connect Los Angles with San Diego through Orange County, the staff recommended to useimprovements to the Surfliner service on the existing LOSSAN corridor because it costs $2.25billion less than creating a new alignment.
The staff recommended that direct high-speed train service to Los Angeles International Airport(LAX) not be part of the initial network. Instead, the high-speed train system would be connected toLAX and Western Los Angeles County by local transportation (shuttle, regional transit, or theautomobile). According to staff, a direct high-speed train link to LAX requires a costly spur line withvery limited maximum speeds that would have lower ridership potential than high-speed train linksto San Diego (via the Inland Empire) and to Orange County.
[Editor's note: The link below is to a 1 MB PDF document.]
Thanks to Chris Steins
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