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Friday, Dec 1, 2023

Not-so-Jarring Routes for Bullet Train Proposed

The California High-Speed Rail Authority has proposed three new routes between Palmdale and Burbank that would be less disruptive because much of it would be underground. The three routes would require extensive tunneling under the San Gabriel Mountains before emerging to link with a station near Burbank Bob Hope Airport. The authority did not disclose how much additional money the tunneling would cost. One of the three new routes would parallel the 14 Freeway and turn south to go under the mountains and emerge near Pacoima. The others would leave Palmdale south of the freeway and tunnel under the mountains with one emerging near Pacoima and the other emerging near Sun Valley. Four routes were proposed in the past, but they were criticized for being disruptive to communities. The alignments were refined to reduce impacts on Santa Clarita, San Fernando, Pacoima and Sylmar among others, make the routes less circuitous and to decrease the amount of technically challenging infrastructure, according to the authority. The authority board will receive a report with details of the three alternative alignments at its April 12 meeting in Anaheim. “The (report) will also review how the alignments affect – or avoid impacting – the Angeles National Forest, designated wilderness areas, and the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument,” the authority said in a news release. A draft environmental impact report is expected to be completed next year. The selection of a final route will be done by the authority board with the release of the final environmental report late next year. In December, the authority received a special use permit from the U.S. Forest Service to conduct boring samples in the Angeles National Forest where it proposes to put tunnels. The Palmdale-Burbank section is just one segment of the planned 700-mile, $68 billion high-speed rail project that would connect Los Angeles and San Francisco by 2029.

Mark Madler
Mark Madler
Mark R. Madler covers aviation & aerospace, manufacturing, technology, automotive & transportation, media & entertainment and the Antelope Valley. He joined the company in February 2006. Madler previously worked as a reporter for the Burbank Leader. Before that, he was a reporter for the City News Bureau of Chicago and several daily newspapers in the suburban Chicago area. He has a bachelor’s of science degree in journalism from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

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