At a rail authority meeting in Sacramento, the board accepted a staff report that narrowed seven route options to one on the line south of Diridon Station. Also off the table for now: a plan to bring trains downtown via an underground tunnel.
The preferred route from Tamien station to downtown would trace Highway 87 on aerial stands, then jog left at Interstate 280 to a raised platform above Diridon Station.
Posts Tagged ‘high speed rail’
The California High-Speed Rail Authority will meet in San Jose on Thursday and release the draft Alternatives Analysis Report for the San Francisco to San Jose segment.
The report will discuss the various vertical alignment alternatives (from above ground structures, to berms, to at-grade with cross-streets raised or lowered, to trench, to tunnel) for different sections and the potential feasibility and impacts of the different options.
Report should be available online beginning Thursday 6/8/10.
California High Speed Rail has been awarded $2.25 of the $8 billion in federal stimulus money for high speed rail nationwide.
Construction is supposed to begin by September 2012 and complete by September 2017 in order to receive the funding.
The California High Speed Rail Authority submitted a funding request to the Federal Government for $4.7 billion to add to the almost $10 billion voters already approved to develop the nation’s first high speed rail project.
Following the recent ruling on the environmental documents for high-speed rail, the Mercury News reports on continuing talks with Union Pacific over the right-of-way between Gilroy and San Jose (one of the chief sticking points for the evaluation of the environmental documents), and a MediaNews editorial argues for tabling the project altogether.
High speed rail is back in the news.
Judge Michael Kenny of the Superior Court in Sacramento ruled that the lawsuit filed by Menlo Park, Atherton, and others had merit on several aspects of the EIR, including the project description, vibration impacts, and failure to recirculate once Union Pacific stated it would not support use of its right-of-way. The Judge rejected other claims that the analysis of alternative routes was inadequate.
It’s too soon to tell what this means for the project. According to news articles, rail opponents are claiming the ruling will force the High Speed Rail Authority to reconsider alternatives; while on the other hand, rail advocates are claiming that the ruling affirmed the substance of the EIR, will not change the perferred route, and that potential delays that result could jeapordize federal stimulus funding for the project.
From the ruling:
The Court finds petitioners have met their burden of showing that the EIR contains an inadequate description of the project, that respondent’s finding that mitigation strategies will reduce the vibration impact to a less-than-significant level is not supported by substantial evidence, that as a result of the FEIR’s inadequate description of the project its land use analysis was inadequate, and that respondent improperly failed to recirculate the FPEIR upon receipt of Union Pacific’s statement of its position regarding its right-of-way. The petition for writ of mandate is granted on these grounds.
Petitioners’ other contentions are without merit.
Also in the news, U.S. Representative Anna Eshoo held a town hall meeting in Menlo Park to discuss the high-speed rail project. Some issues quoted in the Mercury News from the discussion include noise, the tunnel option, and eminent domain.
Some quotes in the article, from High-Speed Rail Authority Executive Director Mehdi Morshed, that touch on some of the contentious issues, are below.
Mehdi Morshed emphasized that the new system will be quieter than current Caltrain operations. Because the crossings will be grade-separated, he said, trains won’t have to blow noisy whistles at every intersection.
On eminent domain and the tunnel option:
“As of today I’m not aware of any single home in the area that is threatened and will have to be taken by eminent domain or otherwise,” Morshed said.
“I believe that it’s going to be both engineering possible and financially possible (to tunnel the railroad),” Morshed said. “However, the major issue will be the amount of land we will have to take to do a tunnel.”
High-speed rail line to San Jose faces delay – San Jose Mercury News (You can also review the ruling here).
Issues of concern for freight on an electrified Caltrain Corridor (and High Speed Rail) have been raised by port, railroad, and industry stakeholders recently.
Hours of operation for freight and potential limits on the height of rail cars due to electrification have been the major items raised by the Peninsula Freight Rail Users Group, which was formed recently to coordinate involvement in planning for electrification and high speed rail.
The high speed rail authority has released the draft scoping report for the San Jose to San Francisco segment. The report synthesizes agency, organization, and citizen feedback on the environmental issues and concerns that should be analyzed as part of the environmental impact report (EIR) and alternatives analysis.
They categorized the comments received into ten major areas: protection of the environment, alignment and station alternatives, connectivity and coordination with other transportation facilities, alternative technologies, project funding/cost, land use and property acquisition, public outreach, support for the project, opposition to the project, and project description.