Trains For America

More choices for better transportation

California cities square off on HSR route

California is full of smart people, so it should not be necessary to say that the routing of the HSR trains is a transportation decision. Here is the story from the Bay Area Review.

 The Fremont City Council Tuesday unanimously supported running the 200 mph trains across the Pacheco Pass, linking the Bay Area and Central Valley along route 152, through Gilroy.

The other option, backed by Union City Mayor Mark Green, is to zip them along the Altamont Pass, through Niles Canyon and into the Tri-City area.

The California High Speed Rail Authority is accepting comments on its recently released environmental impact report studying both options. It expects to pick a preferred route by the end of the year, Deputy Director Dan Leavitt said.

Fremont’s concern with the Altamont route is that the trains might disrupt neighborhoods as they speed through the city on their way to San Jose or over a bridge to the Peninsula.

Sending the trains west to the Peninsula, Transportation and Operations Director Jim Pierson said, could require building elevated tracks across Fremont Boulevard and “straight through Centerville.”

Elevated structures at least 25 feet high, he added, also might be needed in some parts of the city if the trains headed directly south to San Jose.

If the Pacheco Pass route is selected, bullet trains may bypass the Tri-City area, heading from San Jose up the Peninsula to San Francisco. Losing out on a station, city officials reasoned, is preferable to disrupting neighborhoods.

Fremont’s vote came a few weeks after Green spoke out for the Altamont Pass. Studies show the route would cost less, serve more passengers and present fewer environmental impacts than Pacheco, he said.

Filed under: United States High Speed Rail

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September 2007


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