The public will be able to comment on the document until April 13. CHSRA says the release of the document means that it is on track to complete environmental clearance for the full Phase 1 system by the federally mandated 2022 deadline. The final Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement for the Bakersfield - Palmdale section will be issued in 2021.

The Bakersfield - Palmdale extension will provide a connection from the Central Valley to the Antelope Valley and Los Angeles County, closing the gap in the passenger rail network between Northern and Southern California through the Tehachapi Mountains.

The new station in Palmdale will be a multi-modal interchange and will provide a connection with Metrolink commuter rail services to Burbank, Glendale and Los Angeles Union, although these trains take just under 2 hours to complete the trip to Los Angeles. CHSRA says Palmdale station could also provide an interchange with the proposed extension of Virgin Trains USA’s planned Las Vegas - Victorville high-speed line.

Funding initiative

Congressman Mr Jim Costa unveiled the High-Speed Rail Corridor Development Act on February 21 which would provide $US 32bn to fund projects in federally designated high-speed rail corridors. “This legislation will provide the needed funding to finish California’s high-speed rail project,” Costa said. “California is leading the nation in building modern, green train technology, which will get our cars off the road and improve our air quality.”

“This administration remains committed to fulfilling the vision of the voters and completing the full Phase 1 high-speed rail system,” says Mr Lenny Mendonca, CHSRA’s chairman. “Congressman Costa’s continued partnership to help us close the funding gaps to complete not only Valley to Valley but the entire project, puts us a step closer to that reality.”