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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 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 being 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 that construction project in the Central Valley.

Previous FRA decisions were made about the Fresno to Bakersfield section of the HST system in theTier 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 previously prepared and circulated a Fresno to Bakersfield HST Project Draft EIR/EIS and a Revised Draft Environmental Impact Report/Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement (Revised DEIR/Supplemental DEIS).

Based on the information and analysis in the project-level EIR/EIS, FRA has identified a preferred alternative 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 – August 2011
  • Public Hearings on Draft EIR/EIS – September 2011
  • Circulate project Revised DEIR/Supplemental DEIS – July 2012
  • Public Hearings on Revised DEIR/Supplemental DEIS – August 2012
  • Final EIR/EIS – April 2014
  • Federal (Record of Decision) and state government (EIR Certification) approve Fresno to Bakersfield HST project – Anticipated Summer 2014

For more information see the California High Speed Rail Authority website.

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