California High‐Speed Rail Authority (HSRA) /City of Palmdale, California
USD 1,130 - 1,750 million
2002 - 2003
The California High-Speed Rail Commission (CHSRC) has undertaken a process to develop a high-speed rail ground transportation system (HSGT) to connect the cities of San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Sacramento. The proposed HSR (High Speed Rail) system is similar to the HSR systems currently in place in Germany, France, Italy, Spain and Japan. The total length of the new high-speed railway line is 1,290km approximately including up to 24 stations. The design speed is 350km/h.
The purpose of the study ordered by City of Palmdale to Transmetrics/Geodata was to identify the best alignment and carry out a review on peculiar geological and constructive uncertainties regarding the construction of tunnels to minimize the investment of capital, risks regarding construction and potential extra-costs and delays. The two alternative alignments, AV and I-5, mainly differ in their length, accessibility, complexity of construction and associated risks. The AV alignment allows for high speed transport to 350,000 inhabitants and 150,000 clerks/workers. These numbers may rise to 700,000 and 270,000 according to the forecasts in the 2015 - 2020 period. The I-5 option allows for saving on the alignment length, but increases the length of the track in tunnels through the fault zone of the Tehachapi Mountains, which is the most expensive and risky civil work of the entire project. Tunnel excavation foreseen using TBM's, except for the entrance and low cover zones, where traditional excavation methods will be employed. In September 2004, the California High-Speed Rail Authority approved the alternative alignment through Antelope Valley preliminarily, with a station in Palmdale (AV alternative), since it is more cost-effective, has less impact on the environment and subjects to lower earthquake risk.
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