California HST – Fresno to Bakersfield
Environmental Impact Statement
The Fresno to Bakersfield section of the 800-mile California High Speed Train (HST) system is approximately 114 miles long. The alignment alternatives travel south through the center of the southern portion of the San Joaquin Valley. Stations will be in the cities of Fresno, where it will connect with the northern sections of the HST System, and Bakersfield, where it will connect with the southern sections of the HST System. An additional station along the alignment for the Kings/Tulare area is contemplated. In addition, a heavy maintenance facility for assembly, testing, and commissioning of trains, train inspection and service, and train overhaul may be constructed in the Fresno to Bakersfield Section.
FRA is preparing, jointly with the California High-Speed Rail Authority, a Tier 2, project-level Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement (EIR/EIS) for the Fresno to Bakersfield section of the HST system. FRA and the California High-Speed Rail Authority began the development of the EIR/EIS in October 2009 [Fresno to Bakersfield Notice of Intent]. Through the High Speed Intercity Passenger Rail Program FRA is providing funding to complete preliminary engineering and NEPA reviews and associated documentation for all eight segments comprising the California HST System and to construct an initial Central Valley Section from Madera County to Bakersfield (Kern County) California. A portion of the alignment analyzed in this EIR/EIS is part that construction project in the Central Valley.
Previous FRA decisions were made about the Fresno to Bakersfield section of the HST system in the California High Speed Train Program EIR/EIS and are incorporated into this project-level EIR/EIS. FRA and the California High-Speed Rail Authority previously prepared and circulated a Fresno to Bakersfield HST Project Draft EIR/EIS. A Revised Draft Environmental Impact Report/Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement (Revised DEIR/Supplemental DEIS) is now being circulated for public and agency comment.
Based on the information and analysis in the project-level EIR/EIS, FRA will make decisions establishing the specific track alignment and station locations in the Fresno to Bakersfield section of the HST system. The following list includes a timeline of major milestones in the Fresno to Bakersfield environmental review process:
- Prepared scope of environmental review of Merced to Fresno high-speed rail project:
- Draft Scoping Report – June 2010
- Developed and assessed alternatives and design options to be included in this project’s EIR/EIS process:
- Supplemental Alternatives Analysis – September 2010
- Preliminary Alternatives Analysis – June 2010
- Circulate project Draft EIR/EIS – Late Summer 2011
- Public Hearings on Draft EIR/EIS – Late Summer 2011
- Circulate project Revised DEIR/Supplemental DEIS – Late Summer 2012
- Public Hearings on Revised DEIR/Supplemental DEIS – Late Summer 2012
- Final EIR/EIS – Anticipated Early 2013
- Federal (Record of Decision) and state government (EIR Certification) approve Fresno to Bakersfield HST project – Anticipated for Early 2013
For more information see the California High Speed Rail Authority website.