The Fresno to Bakersfield section of the 800-mile California High Speed Train (HST) system is approximately 114 miles long. The alignment alternatives travel from the city of Fresno south through the south central San Joaquin Valley to the city of Bakersfield. 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 for the Kings/Tulare area has been identified. In addition, sites for a heavy maintenance facility for assembly, testing, and commissioning of trains, train inspection and service, and train overhaul are evaluated in the Fresno to Bakersfield Section.
FRA jointly with the California High-Speed Rail Authority prepared 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 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 of that construction project in the Central Valley.
Previous FRA decisions were made about the Fresno to Bakersfield section of the HST system in the Tier 1 California High Speed Train Program EIR/EIS and are incorporated into this project-level EIR/EIS. FRA and the California High-Speed Rail Authority 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), and a Final EIR/EIS.
Based on the analysis of the Project’s potential environmental effects (both adverse and beneficial) in the Environmental Documents and substantive agency and public comments, FRA selected portions of the BNSF Alternative with the Kings/Tulare – East Station in combination with the Corcoran Bypass, Allensworth Bypass, Bakersfield Hybrid, and the Bakersfield Hybrid Station.
The following list includes a timeline of major milestones in the Fresno to Bakersfield environmental review process:
For more information see the California High Speed Rail Authority website.