Judge: High-Speed Rail can use Pacheco Pass

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.

After studying high-speed rail's proposed route, a south-Valley woman Photoshopped this image of the bullet train cutting in front of her house.

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.

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  • Blog Author

    Michael Fitzgerald

    Mike Fitzgerald is The Record’s award-winning metro columnist. His column runs in the paper three times a week. Born in San Francisco, he was raised in Stockton. His column covers diverse beats including, sometimes, the offbeat. Read Full
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