FRA Issues Notice of Intent to Prepare EIS and EIR for High Speed Train System in California

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has issued a Notice of Intent that it will prepare the Environment Impact Statement (EIS) and project Environmental Impact Report (EIR) jointly with the California High Speed Rail Authority for the San Francisco to San Jose section of the California High Speed Train (HST) system.

The preparation of the EIR/EIS will involve development of preliminary engineering designs and assessment of environmental effects associated with the construction, operation, and maintenance of the HST system, including track, ancillary facilities and stations. In 2005, FRA completed the first phase of the environmental review process when it approved the statewide HST system for intercity travel in California.

On Dec. 2, the FRA issued a Record of Decision completing a second program EIR/EIS and selecting alignments and station locations within the broad corridor using the Caltrain rail right-of-way, between San Francisco and the Central Valley along the San Francisco Peninsula, and the Pacheco Pass via Henry Miller Road.

The approved HST system would be about 800 miles long, with electric propulsion and steel-wheel-on-steel-rail trains capable of maximum operating speeds of 220 mph on a mostly dedicated system of fully grade-separated, access-controlled steel tracks and with state-of-the-art safety, signaling, communication, and automated train control systems.