The California High-Speed Rail Authority (Authority) certified a Statewide Program Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement (EIR/EIS)(Tier 1) in November 2005 as the first phase of a tiered environmental review process for the proposed California High-Speed Rail (HSR) System planned to provide a reliable, high-speed, electric-powered rail system that links the major metropolitan areas of the state and delivers predicable and consistent travel times. A further objective is to provide an interface with commercial airports, mass transit, and the highway network and to relieve capacity constraints of the existing transportation system as increases in intercity travel demand in California occur, in a manner sensitive to and protective of California's unique natural resources. Based on the Program EIR/EIS, the Authority selected preferred corridors and station locations to advance for additional study.
The Authority has prepared an EIR/EIS that further examines the Bakersfield to Palmdale Project Section at the project level (Tier 2) within Kern and Los Angeles counties. The project includes construction and operation of a grade-separated, dedicated double-track, electric-powered, passenger, steel-wheel-on-steel-rail, high-speed railroad between Bakersfield and Palmdale, including a station in Palmdale. The Bakersfield to Palmdale Project Section is approximately 80 miles in length and traverses valley, mountain, and high desert terrain as well as urban, rural, and agricultural lands. From the north, this project section begins immediately southwest of the approved Bakersfield Station at the intersection of 34th and L Streets in Bakersfield, and extends south and southeast through the Tehachapi Mountains, then descends into the Antelope Valley, where it reaches the Palmdale Station and continues approximately 1 mile south of the station to Spruce Court in Palmdale.
Through Resolution # HSRA 21-06, the Authority has approved the Bakersfield to Palmdale Project Section Preferred Alternative (Alternative 2 with the Refined César E. Chávez National Monument Design Option, the Avenue M maintenance site and maintenance-of-way facility, and Palmdale Station).