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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

California HSR – Fresno to Bakersfield

Environmental Impact Statement

The Fresno to Bakersfield section of the 800-mile California High Speed Rail (HSR) system is approximately 114 miles long. The alignment alternatives travel from the city of Fresno south through the south central San Joaquin Valley to the city of Bakersfield. Stations will be in the cities of Fresno, where it will connect with the northern sections of the HSR System, and Bakersfield, where it will connect with the southern sections of the HSR System. An additional station for the Kings/Tulare area has been identified. In addition, sites for a heavy maintenance facility for assembly, testing, and commissioning of trains, train inspection and service, and train overhaul are evaluated in the Fresno to Bakersfield Section.

FRA jointly with the California High-Speed Rail Authority prepared a Tier 2, project-level Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement (EIR/EIS) for the Fresno to Bakersfield section of the HSR system. FRA and the California High-Speed Rail Authority began the development of the EIR/EIS in October 2009 [Fresno to Bakersfield Notice of Intent]. Through the High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail Program, FRA is providing funding to construct an initial Central Valley section from Madera County to Bakersfield (Kern County) California. A portion of the alignment analyzed in this EIR/EIS is part of that construction project in the Central Valley.

Previous FRA decisions were made about the Fresno to Bakersfield section of the HSR system in the Tier 1 California High-Speed Rail Program EIR/EIS and are incorporated into this project-level EIR/EIS. FRA and the California High-Speed Rail Authority prepared and circulated a Fresno to Bakersfield HSR Project Draft EIR/EIS, a Revised Draft Environmental Impact Report/Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement (Revised DEIR/Supplemental DEIS), and a Final EIR/EIS.

Based on the analysis of the Project’s potential environmental effects (both adverse and beneficial) in the Environmental Documents and substantive agency and public comments, FRA selected portions of the BNSF Alternative with the Kings/Tulare – East Station in combination with the Corcoran Bypass, Allensworth Bypass, Bakersfield Hybrid, and the Bakersfield Hybrid Station.

The following list includes a timeline of major milestones in the Fresno to Bakersfield environmental review process:

  • Prepared scope of environmental review of Merced to Fresno high-speed rail project:
    • Draft Scoping Report – June 2010
  • Developed and assessed alternatives and design options to be included in this project’s EIR/EIS process:
    • Supplemental Alternatives Analysis – September 2010
    • Preliminary Alternatives Analysis – June 2010
  • Circulate project Draft EIR/EIS – August 2011
  • Public Hearings on Draft EIR/EIS – September 2011
  • Circulate project Revised DEIR/Supplemental DEIS – July 2012
  • Public Hearings on Revised DEIR/Supplemental DEIS – August 2012
  • Final EIR/EIS – April 2014
  • Record of Decision approves Fresno to Bakersfield HSR project – June 2014

For more information see the California High-Speed Rail Authority website.