The dream of taking a train from Los Angeles to San Francisco became one step closer to reality this week. The High Speed Rail Authority approved of bringing the rails through San Jose and the Pacheco Pass instead of through northern San Joaquin County.
According to the SF Chronicle,
The authority, whose members are appointed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, adopted the Pacheco Pass as the least environmentally damaging alignment on the second day of a two-day session in San Francisco.The next major steps for the rail is a bond for $9 Billion dollars to finance the construction. This bond should be on November's ballot.
Environmental studies for the rest of the system were completed in 2004, but controversy over which route to use between the Bay Area and Central Valley - the Pacheco Pass or the Altamont Pass - prompted further studies and much debate.
Backers of the Altamont argued that the route passes through more populous areas and would entice more riders and be able to accommodate commuter trains as well. Pacheco Pass supporters said that route is more direct, faster, and wouldn't require a costly and environmentally damaging bay crossing
The Rail Authority has some great interactive maps that show where you can go on the rails. check it out here.
Photo by kjh7r