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Bullet train: Not in SCV

Santa Clarita City Council backs high-speed rail plan that bypasses valley

Posted: March 27, 2014 7:59 p.m.
Updated: March 27, 2014 7:59 p.m.

This artist's rendering provided by the California High-Speed Rail Authority depicts a version of the high-speed rail train planned for construction in California.


While discussion has largely centered around whether the California High-Speed Rail project will result in trains running through or under portions of the Santa Clarita Valley, Santa Clarita City Council members this week threw their support behind another preposition: around.

Council members voted Tuesday to send a letter to the California High-Speed Rail Authority stating the council’s preference is to run the planned bullet train directly from Burbank to Palmdale, bypassing the Santa Clarita Valley in its entirety.

City Councilwoman Marsha McLean said Thursday such an alignment could shave time off the train’s route and would keep it from displacing local homes and schools.

The Burbank-to-Palmdale alignment has also received support from Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich, who sent a letter in favor of the idea to the High-Speed Rail Authority board last year.

Lisa Marie Alley, a spokeswoman for the authority, said the Burbank-to-Palmdale alignment is being examined to see if it is an acceptable alternative to other routes that have been proposed.

“We’re continuing to analyze and check the feasibility of alignments in the area,” she said Thursday.

Two routes being considered would take trains above ground through Sand Canyon, affecting or displacing homes, a church and two schools in the area.

Another alternative that is being looked at would be to take the train below ground as it passes through Sand Canyon, lessening its effects on the area.

Alley said that alternative is also being looked at and will at some point be presented to the High-Speed Rail Authority board, which will decide whether to move forward with further study on the alignment.

The board will likely review both the tunneling and Burbank-to-Palmdale alignments in coming months, Alley said.

“I think what it’s showing is that we’re taking what Santa Clarita is saying to heart and seriously,” Alley said.

Originally approved by voters in 2008, the high-speed rail plan calls for the train to whip through California at speeds as high as 220 mph, connecting San Francisco to Los Angeles Union Station and Anaheim with additional links at large population centers.
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