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Local high-speed rail meeting series begins

Posted: August 6, 2014 2:00 a.m.
Updated: August 6, 2014 2:00 a.m.

High-speed rail officials kicked off a series of public meetings Tuesday with a discussion of possible new routes for the bullet train as it makes its way from Palmdale to Burbank.

Tuesday’s meeting, held at William S. Hart Park in Newhall, was attended by about 70 people and the first of several that will be held this month to discuss and provide information on two sections of the overall project — from Palmdale to Burbank and from Burbank to Los Angeles.

While officials with the California High-Speed Rail Authority have proposed routes that would pass through the Santa Clarita Valley, an alternative corridor that would take the train on a more direct route from Burbank to Palmdale, bypassing the Santa Clarita Valley, is also undergoing study, according to Michelle Boehm, Southern California regional director for the California High-Speed Rail Authority.

“We generally are getting a lot of positive feedback, though it has not been universally positive,” Boehm said of the alternative corridor. “We are definitely looking at all of our options.”

Those who have expressed support for the more direct Burbank-to-Palmdale route include Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich, who sent a letter in favor of the idea to the High-Speed Rail Authority board, and the Santa Clarita City Council.

City Councilwoman Marsha McLean attended Tuesday’s meeting and said she hopes residents will submit comments to the authority and express their support for the more direct route.

“I believe the High-Speed Rail Authority needs to take the new study area seriously,” McLean said.

The idea of the high-speed rail project is to connect Los Angeles Union Station and Anaheim with San Francisco, with links at other large state population centers. The train is projected to travel at speeds of up to 220 mph.

Another public meeting will be held Aug. 11 at the Acton-Agua Dulce Library, 33792 Crown Valley Road in Acton.
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