California High-Speed Rail Authority To Make Changes to L.A.-Anaheim Segment

Written by Jennifer McLawhorn, Managing Editor
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California High-Speed Rail Authority released an update video of construction progress across 10 structures it completed this year.
Courtesy of California High-Speed Rail Authority

LOS ANGELES – California High-Speed Rail Authority will add a fourth track to its Los Angeles-Anaheim segment.

KTLA reports the California High-Speed Rail Authority will make changes to the Los Angeles-Anaheim segment. According to the report, the Authority will have a fourth rail which will allow “for commuter rail systems and freight trains to each have their own dedicated sets of tracks, rather than have to share and coordinate through the busy metropolitan section.”

Before, there were plans to have a freight facility built in Colton. This facility would have been used to house trains not in use, but that was “abandoned following some local pushback from Colton city officials and residents,” because the city wouldn’t have received the “benefits from High-Speed Rail.” 

In response to the concerns voiced, the California High-Speed Rail Authority will now build a fourth track. They will also build a light maintenance facility, although an exact location has not been decided as of reporting. Southern California Communications Manager for the Rail Authority, Jim Patrick, said that “stakeholders involved in the project, including Amtrak, Metrolink and BNSF” have supported the new plan which comes in at an estimated cost of $6.46 and $6.72 billion. 

Patrick went on to comment that this new plan was “actually the least costly of all the options we considered.” According to the Rail Authority, BNSF owns the right of way, and the “High-Speed Rail would be ‘borrowing’ the space to operate in and build the fourth track.” Maintenance of said track would be negotiated in the future.

However, there is not a lot of room for construction in this area. Patrick commented that in this area, there are many interchanges between rail lines and roads, and this is “the worst thing you could possibly have if you’re trying to go somewhere in a hurry on a train.” And with an environmental clearance not happening most likely until 2025, there is still time for the public to weigh in on this new addition. 

Additionally, the report went on to say that geotechnical work has not yet begun on the Palmdale-to-Burbank segment, and this “will require tunneling through more than 30 miles of mountains to breach the Los Angeles area, with some of the longest tunnels ever built.”

In October, California Governor Gavin Newsom wrote to President Biden to thank him for supporting clean energy initiatives and “urged him to approve a pending $2.8 billion federal grant to help complete the initial operating segment of the California High-Speed Rail system.”

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