Update on Bakersfield to Palmdale Project Section

The California High-Speed Rail Authority (Authority) continues its commitment to keep the community informed and to study high-speed rail routes to connect the Central Valley to the Antelope Valley, including those presented during our public meetings in the winter of 2017.  If you missed the meetings, you can find all meeting materials here under “Community Meetings.”
Since 2014, the California High-Speed Rail Authority has participated in nearly 300 public outreach events within the Bakersfield to Palmdale Project Section, including community working groups, stakeholder working groups and community open house meetings, all aimed at providing a greater understanding of project elements and opportunities for widespread community input. 
What’s Next
The Bakersfield to Palmdale Project Section is planning Community Open House meetings in the future to present updates on the California High-Speed Rail project.
The open houses will focus on:
  • Engineering features
  • Tunnels
  • Tunneling methods
  • Project system components
  • Technical studies
  • Methodologies used for analysis
We will be extending the environmental review and outreach process so that we have ample time to collaborate on the alternatives under study. At the appropriate time, we will be releasing an updated schedule to reflect this additional time for outreach, information sharing, and coordination.
Throughout the entire process, the Authority will continue to engage with members of the public and stakeholders as project information and findings from technical studies become available. No board action will be taken prior to the presentation of relevant information to the public for their comments and valuable input.
Bakersfield to Palmdale Project Section Map
Bakersfield to Palmdale Project Section Map
(Click to enlarge)

Regional and Statewide Updates
Sustainability Goals:
With over 50 million people anticipated to be living in California by 2050, high-speed rail can accommodate their transportation needs with a more efficient, sustainable alternative.  The Authority has prepared a number of recent studies that discuss priorities, plans to achieve them, and highlight overall benefits of investments to date in sustainability and related early investment projects across the state.
The goal is to be the greenest infrastructure project in the Nation, both in construction and operations. This modern rail network will:
  • Connect all of California’s major economic and population centers like never before
  • Keep California competitive in the global economy
  • Shape and revitalize our cities and communities
  • Protect our environment, reduce air pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions, and create a more sustainable future 
Construction Updates:
  • In the Pacheco Pass between Merced and Gilroy, drilling crews are taking soil and rock samples from several locations within the public right of way to determine the exact conditions of the ground, hundreds of feet below the surface, where roughly 13 miles of future high-speed rail tunnels are proposed.
Image of Drilling Crews     
  • The Authority has recently launched an interactive website BuildHSR.com, featuring essential information about the 119-miles of construction underway in the Central Valley.  Visit www.buildhsr.com to see the latest updates.
  • High-Speed Rail is under construction in the Central Valley. To stay informed with construction progress and see the latest video visit the new website or YouTube channel.
 September 2017 Construction Update
Economic Impacts: 
As the High-Speed Rail program moves forward, direct investment in California and the region continue. The economic impacts of High-Speed Rail also include indirect and induced effects. When a construction worker is hired, it can also mean renting machinery for the job, and housing, groceries, and other money the worker spends. Watch how the process works:
Economic Impact of High-Speed Rail
Small Business Program Update: 
The Authority is committed to small businesses playing a major role in building the statewide high-speed rail project. The Small Business Program has an aggressive 30% participation goal for small business, including:
  • 10% Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBE)
  • 3% Disabled Veteran Business Enterprises (DVBE)
 Small Business Participation Map
Early Train Operator:
The Authority has issued a Request for Proposals in order to select the Early Train Operator (ETO) for the California High-Speed Rail System. As of September 6, the Authority received four full proposals for an ETO. Engaging a train operator early in the planning and construction process will help the Authority shape future procurements and provide important guidance as we continue progress on the nation’s first high-speed rail program.

For more information please visit: 

Stay Connected
Via Email:  Bakersfield_Palmdale@hsr.ca.gov 
Via Phone:  (866) 300-3044