Transitions – Part 1: California High Speed Rail Project

The California High Speed Rail Authority is putting its ambitious project from L.A. Union Station to San Diego into hibernation. The Rail Authority budget for the current fiscal year, beginning July 1, has no funding for any design, outreach, or other efforts to build the L.A. to San Diego line, which would potentially go through Alhambra and other cities in the San Gabriel Valley.

Instead, the Rail Authority has decided to focus completely on the first phase of the high speed rail project from San Francisco to Anaheim (Phase I). All funding that originally had been requested for the L.A. to San Diego line has been redirected to Phase I. The Rail Authority expects to break ground next year on a segment in the Central Valley between Fresno and Bakersfield. Phase I service is scheduled to begin between San Francisco and Anaheim in 2020.

What this means for Alhambra and . . . → Continue reading: Transitions – Part 1: California High Speed Rail Project

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More detail: Routes to be dropped, 75 foot high viaducts, and budget woes

This follows-up my last post. Alhambra city staff will present an update to the Alhambra City Council and residents during the next city council meeting on Monday at 7pm. Staff will tell us that it recently learned that the Rail Authority will continue to study routes along the I-10 and SR-60 freeways. Rail Authority staff will also recommend that it drop the two routes that use and are adjacent to the Union Pacific right of way. City staff will also inform us that the high speed trains will fly by on elevated structures that average 75 feet or more in the air and at times are over 100 feet above the ground. Representatives from the Rail Authority will not be in attendance. The city has been asked to send a letter of formal support or opposition to present the Rail Authority board at the March 3 meeting.

In addition, . . . → Continue reading: More detail: Routes to be dropped, 75 foot high viaducts, and budget woes

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Meeting Announcement (MONDAY): Alhambra City Council meeting

This is short notice, but an update regarding the high speed rail will be given at the regular Alhambra City Council meeting — on MONDAY.

According to the city web site, the Rail Authority staff will only recommend one route to its board — the I-10 freeway. We already knew it would drop the routes using and adjacent to the Union Pacific right of way, but now it appears the SR-60 route will not receive further consideration either. In addition, the trains will run on an elevated platform that averages 74 feet above street level through Alhambra (I’m not sure about the other cities). I called and emailed the Rail Authority’s outreach contacts as well as the City Manager’s office for clarification.

So attend the meeting to hear an update and give comments. And tell your neighbors, family, friends, and anyone else you think will be interested.

Monday, January 24, . . . → Continue reading: Meeting Announcement (MONDAY): Alhambra City Council meeting

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Why the I-10 corridor is a possible route

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (a.k.a. Metro, and formerly known as M.T.A.) and Union Pacific are two major reasons why the Rail Authority is seriously looking at putting its high speed trains down the I-10 corridor through Alhambra and our neighboring cities.

Metro is the lead agency in the county for transportation planning and has a lot of sway with the Rail Authority. Metro believes that the 60 freeway is the only viable option of the three original routes considered. At the same time, Metro is planning to use that same route along the median of the 60 freeway for its Gold Line extension, which is currently in the environmental study phase. What’s more, Metro owns the railway right of way currently used by Metrolink in the center of the I-10 freeway, and has offered it to the Ratil Authority.

Union Pacific is the largest railroad in California. . . . → Continue reading: Why the I-10 corridor is a possible route

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"All options are on the table" — NOT

I attended the community meeting at Fremont Elementary School on August 12. During the meeting, the California High Speed Rail Authority representative said that the Authority had not decided whether to put an elevated train through Alhambra along the I-10 freeway if this is the final route chosen for the trains.

She said: “All options are on the table.”

We know the Authority’s representative was wrong for at least two reasons:1 1) the right of way is extremely limited; and 2) an elevated train is the most affordable option.

1) Right of way

Logistically, elevated trains make the most sense along the I-10 freeway between Alhambra and El Monte because there is very little space on which the Authority may build its trains.

Four options

According to the Authority’s own documentation, there are four ways high speed trains can traverse the city: at street level, elevated . . . → Continue reading: "All options are on the table" — NOT

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