An appellate court judge, rebuffing the NIMBY cities of Atherton and Palo Alto, has cleared the way for high-speed rail to use the Pacheco Pass route between The Valley and the Bay Area.
The Bay Area cities had challenged the rail’s Environmental Impact Report because those toffs don’t want a beastly train running through their Sunset Magazine showpieces.
The local angle: had the NIMBYs won, high-speed rail would have had to change its alignment to the Altamont Pass. Stockton would probably have been moved to Phase I of the project, getting HSR years earlier than now scheduled. We could have whisked to the Bay Area on high-speed rail.
As it stands, Stockton is scheduled for Phase II of the project when the route is constructed up the Valley and through here to Sacramento, around 2020. But while HSR will traverse Stockton from north-state to south, it will not run from here across the Altamont. Instead, existing rail systems will be enhanced.
Either way, I believe the system will be a boon for Valley cities. If it survives court challenges, Republican opposition, local opposition, and the High-Speed rail Administration’s mistakes.