Project Section Environmental Documents

UPDATE ON 7/13/2020: Draft EIR/EIS Open Houses

Due to COVID-19 shelter-in-place orders, materials from the San Francisco to San José Draft EIR/EIS Open House are available for viewing on the following online platform through August 24:

San Francisco to San Jose Project Section
Draft Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement

The California High-Speed Rail Authority (Authority) announces the availability of the Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR)/Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the San Francisco to San Jose Project Section (Project Section, or project) of the California High-Speed Rail (HSR) System. The Draft EIR/EIS has been prepared and is being made available pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The Authority is the lead agency for the project under both CEQA and NEPA.

The San Francisco to San Jose Project Section Draft EIR/EIS and associated documents will be available to the public on July 10, 2020.

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 United States Code (U.S.C.) Section 327 and a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) dated July 23, 2019, and executed by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and the State of California. Under that MOU, the Authority is the project’s lead agency under NEPA. Prior to the July 23, 2019, MOU, the FRA was the federal lead agency.

A Statewide Program (Tier 1) EIR/EIS was completed in November 2005 as the first phase of a tiered environmental review process for the proposed HSR system planned to provide a reliable high-speed electric-powered rail system that links the major metropolitan areas of the state and that delivers predictable and consistent travel times. A further objective is to provide an interface with commercial airports, mass transit, and the highway network and to relieve capacity constraints of the existing transportation system as intercity travel demand in California increases, in a manner sensitive to and protective of California’s unique natural resources. A second program-level (Tier 1) EIR/EIS was completed in 2008 focusing on the connection between the San Francisco Bay Area and Central Valley; the Authority revised this document under CEQA and completed it in 2012. Based on the program EIR/EISs, the Authority selected preferred corridors and station locations to advance for further study.

The San Francisco to San Jose Project Section EIR/EIS is a project-level (Tier 2) EIR/EIS that tiers off the program-level (Tier 1) EIR/EIS documents. It provides project-level information for decision making on this portion of the HSR system.

The Project Section would modernize the rail corridor between San Francisco and San Jose and would provide HSR service from the Salesforce Transit Center in San Francisco to the San Jose Diridon Station. Initially, HSR trains would stop at the 4th and King Street Station in San Francisco (an interim HSR station), and once the Transbay Joint Powers Authority completes its Downtown Extension Project, HSR trains would reach the Salesforce Transit Center in San Francisco. The Project Section consists of five geographic subsections:

In 2012, Caltrain, the Authority, and other regional partners agreed to electrify the existing Caltrain corridor, have the two rail systems share the tracks, and maintain the corridor as primarily a two-track railroad. The Project Section would primarily follow the existing Caltrain right-of-way through urban areas in San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Clara Counties including the cities and communities of San Francisco, Brisbane, South San Francisco, San Bruno, Millbrae, Burlingame, San Mateo, Belmont, San Carlos, Redwood City, North Fair Oaks, Atherton, Menlo Park, Palo Alto, Mountain View, Sunnyvale, Santa Clara, and San Jose.

The Project Section includes between 43 and 49 miles of blended system infrastructure with Caltrain and up to 6 miles of dedicated HSR infrastructure (depending on the alternative and viaduct option). Blended refers to operating the HSR trains with existing intercity and commuter and regional rail trains on common infrastructure. Stations providing HSR service would be located in San Francisco, Millbrae, and San Jose, and a light maintenance facility (LMF) would be built either east or west of the Caltrain corridor on the Brisbane Baylands site. An LMF is where trains are cleaned, serviced, and stored so they can be dispatched to HSR terminal stations at the start of the day. There are also plans for development at the Brisbane Baylands site and the Authority continues to engage with the City of Brisbane and local property owners on how to best align the Authority’s and others’ plans for the area.

This Draft EIR/EIS evaluates the impacts and benefits of the No Project Alternative and two project alternatives (Alternative A and Alternative B). Each alternative includes HSR stations in San Francisco, Millbrae, and San Jose, and an LMF in Brisbane. The Authority’s Preferred Alternative under NEPA, which also serves as the proposed project for CEQA, is Alternative A, a predominantly two-track blended system with no additional passing track that includes service at one future station (Salesforce Transit Center, which would serve as an HSR station when the Transbay Joint Powers Authority completes its Downtown Extension Project), three existing Caltrain stations to be shared by HSR and Caltrain (4th and King Street [an interim station only], Millbrae, and San Jose Diridon), and the East Brisbane LMF. Alternative B is similar to Alternative A, but includes a 6-mile-long, four-track passing track between San Mateo and Redwood City, the West Brisbane LMF, and an aerial viaduct approaching the San Jose Diridon Station.

Photos of Green Practices

Project Section Environmental Documents

San Francisco to San Jose Project Section

San Jose to Merced Project Section

Merced to Fresno Project Section

Fresno to Bakersfield Project Section

Bakersfield to Palmdale Project Section

Burbank to Los Angeles Project Section


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