California High-Speed Rail Line Approved Between Bakersfield and Palmdale

The board’s certification of the Bakersfield to Palmdale Final EIR/EIS and approval of the project section allows the authority to begin preconstruction work as funding becomes available.

The section provides a north-south high-speed rail connection between the Central Valley and the Antelope Valley in northern Los Angeles County, closing the passenger rail gap that currently exists between the two regions. It’s also designed to accommodate a connection with the Brightline West high-speed rail project to Las Vegas.

The certification also reaffirms the authority’s commitment to complete the environmental process for the full Phase 1 California High-Speed Rail System from San Francisco to Los Angeles/Anaheim by 2023.

In June, it prepared and released the final EIR/EIS as the lead agency for both CEQA and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Responses to public comments received during the CEQA and NEPA review periods are part of this final EIR/EIS.

Next steps include issuing a record of decision consistent with NEPA requirements and filing a CEQA notice of determination.