California High-Speed Rail Authority has released the first draft environmental document for a 128.7 km (80 miles) section from Bakersfield to Palmdale into Los Angeles County. The document is opened until April 13, 2020.
The Bakersfield – Palmdale high-speed rail section will provide a connection from the Central Valley to the Antelope Valley and Los Angeles County, closing the existing passenger rail gap between Northern and Southern California through the Tehachapi Mountains, as well as providing new opportunities for economic development and revitalization in the cities along this corridor.
The section will cross through or near six communities, with stations in Bakersfield and Palmdale, which would maximise ridership, work in coordination with of local land use planning and provide multi-modal transport options, including potential connection with Brightline trains in Palmdale.
The release of the environmental impact draft report, the authority remains on track to complete environmental clearance for the full phase 1 system by the federally mandated 2022 deadline.
According to the 2020 business plan, 563 km (350 miles) are in development or construction and the full phase 1 system will be fully environmentally cleared in the next 18 to 24 months and ready for pre-construction.