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

Project Section Updates

On Aug. 19, 2021, the California High-Speed Rail Authority’s (Authority) Board of Directors approved the Final Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement (EIR/EIS) for the approximately 80-mile Bakersfield to Palmdale project alignment section. The action paves the way for full CEQA (California Environmental Quality Act) environmental clearance of nearly 300 miles of the high-speed rail project’s 500-mile Phase 1 alignment from San Francisco to Los Angeles/Anaheim.

The Board’s actions mark the first CEQA certification of an environmental document in the Southern California region. The next steps under CEQA and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) will include the issuance of a Record of Decision consistent with NEPA requirements and the filing of a CEQA Notice of Determination. The Final EIR/EIS can be found on the Authority’s website here: https://hsr.ca.gov/programs/environmental-planning/project-section-environmental-documents-tier-2/bakersfield-to-palmdale-draft-environmental-impact-report-environmental-impact-statement

The Board certification of the final environmental document and approval of the Bakersfield to Palmdale Project Section reaffirms the Authority’s commitment to complete the environmental process for the full Phase 1 California High-Speed Rail System from San Francisco to Los Angeles/Anaheim by 2023.

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 Bakersfield to Palmdale project section in the regional and project section factsheets. Visit BuildHSR for the latest on construction progress.

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.