Bakersfield to Palmdale

The Bakersfield to Palmdale project section connects the Central Valley to the Antelope Valley, closing the existing passenger rail gap over the Tehachapi Mountains.  The approximately 80-mile corridor travels through or near the cities of Edison, Tehachapi, Rosamond, Lancaster and Palmdale with proposed stations in Bakersfield and at the Palmdale Transportation Center.  The project section will span the Tehachapi Mountains with a new modern rail line that closes the current passenger rail gap between Central and Southern California.

 

SECTION HIGHLIGHTS

  • Provides a new link between Central and Southern California and the statewide transportation network.
  • Connects Bakersfield and Palmdale with an approximately 25-minute high-speed rail trip.
  • Crosses some of the most complicated terrain along the statewide system, requiring innovative engineering.
  • Uses next-generation signaling technology (Positive Train Control, intrusion barriers and warning system, earthquake early warning, and more) to enhance performance while reducing pollution.

SECTION DETAILS

What's New

The public review period for the Revised Draft Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement (EIR/EIS) for the Bakersfield to Palmdale Section closed on April 12, 2021. On February 26, 2021, the California High-Speed Rail Authority (Authority) released, for public review and comment under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), a Revised Draft Environmental Impact Report/Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement (Revised Draft EIR/Supplemental Draft EIS) for the Bakersfield to Palmdale Section of the California High-Speed Rail Project to address the recent listings of mountain lion as a state candidate species and of monarch butterfly as a federal candidate species. The document also proposes new mitigation measures to reduce the impacts of lighting on wildlife during project construction and operation. The official 45-day public comment period began Friday, February 26, 2021 and ended Monday, April 12, 2021.

To access the Revised Draft EIR/EIS to learn more, please navigate to the following link: https://hsr.ca.gov/programs/environmental-planning/project-section-environmental-documents-tier-2/bakersfield-to-palmdale-draft-environmental-impact-report-environmental-impact-statement/.

The public review period for the Bakersfield to Palmdale Project Section Draft Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement (EIR/EIS) closed on April 28, 2020. The California High-Speed Rail Authority (Authority) will consider all comments received on the Draft EIR/EIS and respond to each comment in a Final EIR/EIS. The Draft EIR/EIS was originally made available for a minimum 45-day public review beginning on February 28, 2020 and ending on April 13, 2020, pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Due to the uncertainty caused by the outbreak of COVID-19, the Authority elected to extend the public review period for 15 days to April 28, 2020. To access the Draft EIR/EIS or learn more about its purpose, please navigate to the following link:

https://www.hsr.ca.gov/programs/environmental-planning/project-section-environmental-documents-tier-2/bakersfield-to-palmdale-draft-environmental-impact-report-environmental-impact-statement/

Public Involvement & Community Outreach

The Authority is committed to planning and building a premier high-speed rail system that will keep the traveling public and surrounding communities moving and safe. We are working to develop and deliver the program through effective engagements with local communities, a process that involves nourishing long-term relationships with residents, stakeholders and policymakers. The goal is to foster and encourage community engagement throughout the organization in all aspect of construction and operations.

In conducting outreach events, such as Open House and Community Working Group meetings, the Authority informs the public about all aspects of the program, including the presentation of specific project section plans and key milestones contributing to the first phase of the high-speed rail system.

For a listing of upcoming events and outreach opportunities in your area visit the Events page.

Newsletters & Factsheets

The Authority is committed to keeping stakeholders and the public up-to-date on the latest on the high-speed rail program, and the latest updates happening in the regions.

To sign up for project section updates, visit the Contact Us page and select Northern California, Central Valley or Southern California.

Visit the Information Center to learn more about the high-speed rail in the regional and project section factsheets.

Environmental Review

The State of California and the federal government both require a proposed infrastructure project to undergo an extensive assessment of the project’s potential impacts on the environment – land, air, water, minerals, plants, animals and noise – and proposed actions to avoid or mitigate those impacts, if feasible.

Decisions regarding how and where to build the California high-speed rail system are made and justified by using detailed environmental studies and public comments on the potential environmental impacts of the proposed rail system and routes.

The materials listed under the Documents & Reports section below include studies and reports the Authority has produced to date, along with corresponding public comments received, during the environmental review process of the Bakersfield to Palmdale project section.

The environmental review, consultation, and other actions required by applicable Federal environmental laws for this project are being or have been carried out by the State of California pursuant to 23 U.S.C. 327 and a Memorandum of Understanding dated July 23, 2019, and executed by the Federal Railroad Administration and the State of California. Under that MOU, the Authority is the project’s lead agency under NEPA.

Documents & Reports

The following documents are available for review upon request. The Authority encourages written requests submitted via our Public Records Portal.

  • Bakersfield to Palmdale Project Section Supplemental Alternatives Analysis
  • Bakersfield to Palmdale Project Section Preliminary Alternatives Analysis
  • Bakersfield to Palmdale Project Section Scoping Reports
  • Bakersfield to Palmdale Project Section Notice of Intent/Notice of Preparation

Contact Information

If you are interested in inviting the Authority to your community meeting to receive a project update, the team would be happy to coordinate with you.

(866) 300-3044
bakersfield_palmdale@hsr.ca.gov

Visit the Contact Us page to sign up for e-mail alerts and for additional contact information.

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PROJECT SECTION ENVIRONMENTAL DOCUMENTS 

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The California High-Speed Rail Authority makes every effort to ensure the website and its contents meet mandated ADA requirements as per the California State mandated Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 Level AA standard. If you are looking for a particular document not located on the California High-Speed Rail Authority website, you may make a request for the document under the Public Records Act through the Public Records Act page. If you have any questions about the website or its contents, please contact the Authority at info@hsr.ca.gov.