California may bypass Tehachapis on high speed rail route

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The California High Speed Rail Authority may pursue a route through Grapevine, Calif., that would miss the Tehachapi Mountains, KBAK News in Bakersfield, Calif., has reported. The “Grapevine” would be a change of policy from earlier plans, but the authority says the alignment would be preferable.

Earlier plans had called for a Tehachapi routing via Palmdale, Calif., because it would be less mountainous than the grapevine route. The authority said it would also present fewer seismic problems and be less expensive.

However, it would also be approximately 25 miles longer. And further studies say the Tehachapi alignment might require more tunneling than previously thought, which would lead to higher costs.

The authority will now launch a detailed study of the two alternatives to decide which would be preferable.
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