California High Speed Rail Alignment Summary
Prepared by the City of Santa Clarita
At the January 12, 2012, California High-Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) Board meeting, the Board determined that the I-5 Grapevine alignment not be included in future EIR/EIS environ-mental review processes; thus designating the Palmdale SR-14 alignment as the selected future high-speed route through Santa Clarita.
The Palmdale to Los Angeles section of the proposed 800-mile California high-speed rail system is 58 miles long. This section travels southwest from the City of Palmdale, through Acton and Agua Dulce, and passes through the eastern portion of Santa Clarita to Sylmar. From Sylmar, the line goes south to Los Angeles Union Station, where it will connect with the planned Los Angeles to Anaheim and Los Angeles to San Diego sections.
The Santa Clarita City Council has not taken a formal position on the high-speed rail project. However, when the Council was presented with the two high-speed rail alignment options of
I-5 Grapevine vs. Palmdale SR-14, the Council chose to support the Palmdale alignment.
Palmdale SR-14 Alignment
- This alignment contains a deep underground tunnel that begins north of Sylmar, and would exit in the vicinity of Lost Canyon Road and the existing Metrolink Right-of-Way (ROW) in the Vista Canyon area located in eastern Santa Clarita.
- High-Speed engineers have informed the community there will not be additional tunneling on this route.
- The City is encouraging the CHSRA to hold meetings with the local residents in the impact areas and surrounding neighborhoods to address outstanding concerns.
- No station in Santa Clarita is planned with this alignment. The nearest station would
be at a yet-to-be-determined location in the San Fernando Valley.
The California High-Speed Rail Authority recently released a new draft business plan on November 1, 2011. The updated total cost of the entire project is estimated to be around
$98 billion over the next twenty years. The cost increase section specifically mentions Santa Clarita’s SR-14 corridor as one of the regions with a large amount of new single family and commercial developments that has impacted the total project cost, since it will require additional viaducts and tunnels to accommodate the increase in development.
The Palmdale to Los Angeles Supplemental Alternatives Analysis is scheduled for presenta-tion to the CHSRA Board at the April 2012 Board meeting. This analysis evaluates route alternatives and recommends alignment options to be further studied through the environ-mental process. If approved, the CHSRA will begin performing the necessary EIR/EIS environmental review processes for the Palmdale SR-14 alignment section. The EIR review is anticipated to take a couple of years to complete, most likely 2014 or 2015 at the earliest.
Recent studies have indicated that the CHSRA is also analyzing the possibility of a blended approach of the new high speed rail line connecting with existing and upgraded transit infra-structures. One scenario involves the high-speed rail line ending in Palmdale and connecting with an improved Metrolink rail line that will finish the trip to L.A. Union Station.