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Local community meeting set on high-speed rail

Posted: May 22, 2014 6:43 p.m.
Updated: May 22, 2014 6:43 p.m.

A community meeting to discuss the proposed California high-speed rail system is scheduled for Thursday, June 5 in Newhall.

It is one of five meetings being conducted by the California High-Speed Rail Authority to discuss the route for the Palmdale to Los Angeles project section, which includes potential routes through the Santa Clarita Valley.

The local June 5 meeting will be held at William S. Hart Park in Newhall from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. with a presentation by officials from the High-Speed Rail Authority at 6:30 p.m., according to authority spokeswoman Lisa Marie Alley.

“We’re basically going to the people and saying, ‘Here’s what we’re looking at, what do you think, what do you feel, do you think there’s anything else we should be looking at?’” Alley said.

“We’re still looking at a number of different things, but this is a time to talk to the people and get their feedback,” Alley said.

One of the route options being considered is taking the train through a tunnel as it makes its way through Sand Canyon, according to officials.

The Santa Clarita City Council asked the High-Speed Rail Authority to consider that option back in 2012, according to city Intergovernmental Relations Officer Michael Murphy.

“I think in the intervening two years what they’ve been able to do is more specifically look at the components that go with a tunnel extension,” Murphy said. “So now, as they’ve refined their focus on this particular area, the High-Speed Rail Authority staff believes it is more feasible to include the tunnel in the alternatives to be studied.”

City officials have said that the tunneling would lessen some of the impacts of the train, which under some route options would pass close to homes, schools and a church in the Sand Canyon area.

Voters originally approved the high-speed rail project in 2008 with the idea to connect Los Angeles Union Station and Anaheim to San Francisco, with links at other large state population centers.

The train is projected to travel at speeds of up to 220 mph.
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