By Patric Hedlund
Update -Frazier Park (Wednesday, July 20, 2011 at 9:10 a.m.)—The City of Palmdale has filed for a preliminary injunction to stop the California High-Speed Rail Authority’s study of the possibility of shooting its bullet train across the Grapevine and bypassing the Antelope Valley. The shorter high speed rail route to Bakersfield would follow the Interstate 5. The request for the injunction is expected to be heard in Federal court in Sacramento on August 22.
A study is underway by the California High Speed Rail Authority (HSRA) to determine if shooting the line across the Grapevine adjacent to the Interstate 5 might be faster and less expensive than following an earlier plan to route it through the Antelope Valley and Palmdale.
There is no plan for a stop in the vicinity of the Mountain Communities, HSRA personnel and Supervisor Ray Watson have said, but some say if Tejon Ranch has something to gain from a stop, there will be a stop, in the manner of European trains which have local and express schedules.
Now, with short notice, we’ve been alerted that HSRA will be holding a public meeting in the chambers of the Kern County Board of Supervisors (1115 Truxtun Avenue) on Thursday, July 14 at 11 a.m. A reception in the chambers with exhibits will begin at 9 a.m. Staffers will be on hand to answer questions.
[A video of the Operations Committee meeting can be viewed by clicking here. Palmdale City Manager Steve Williams informs the committee that the City of Palmdale plans to oppose the Grapevine realignment.]
In closed session, the HSRA will consider a lawsuit filed by the city of Palmdale, seeking to stop the study of the more direct Grapevine route.
Central Valley Business Press quotes Palmdale City Attorney Matthew Ditzhazy as saying the study “places the entire High- Speed Rail project in jeopardy” and that it is “illegal” to use Proposition 1A funds to study or change the route. Palmdale Mayor Jim Ledford speculates there will be resistance from environmentalists to the Grapevine route.
This is part of the July 15, 2011 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.
Have an opinion on this matter? We'd like to hear from you.