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California High-Speed Rail Authority publishes route recommendations

The California High-Speed Rail Authority has released staff-recommended preferred alternatives for two sections of the high-speed rail routes in Northern California.

The authority staff recommended Alternative 4 as the state’s preferred alternative for the San Jose-Merced project section.

The proposal includes a blended configuration between San Jose and Gilroy in the existing Union Pacific Railroad corridor and then connects to a dedicated high-speed rail alignment through Pacheco Pass.

For the San Francisco to San Jose project section, staff recommended Alternative A. The proposal advocates a light maintenance facility on the east side of the tracks in Brisbane and eliminates additional passing tracks in the middle of the corridor.

Both recommendations are now open for public feedback. In September, public feedback will be collected for assessment.

The draft environmental documents for the San Jose to Merced project section will be released in December and the San Francisco to San Jose project section report will be out in March 2020.

The final routes for the high-speed rail will be determined following an environmental review process.

Northern California regional director Boris Lipkin said: “The identification of the Preferred Alternatives is an important step in defining the program and advancing the implementation of the Authority’s Silicon Valley to Central Valley Line that will ultimately bring high-speed rail to Northern California.

“In recommending Preferred Alternatives, we aim to find the right balance between system performance characteristics, environmental factors, and community factors.”

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