California Choo-Choo (Cont’d.)

This one, you’ll have to read to believe, folks. And to get an idea of what the current route controversy in the San Fernando Valley is about, do read Ralph Vartabedian, Backlash Over Bullet Train Route, Los Angeles Times, June 9, 2015, at p. B1. It will tell you in some detail who the contending parties are and what their fight is about. Suffice it to say here that, as is the usual case, the proposed route of the planned “Bullet train” would go through the downscale Valley communities, like San Fernando, Sylmar and Pacoima, whose inhabitants are taking a dim view of being put in the path of the new high-speed rail line with its 200 mph trains. Even after you read what follows here, there will be more to come within a week or so when the railroad planners address the route planned to cut across the Valley on its way to Burbank.

It seems that the California “Bullet Train” honchos decided to hold an initial public hearing on the route segment running through the North San Fernando Valley, a suburban Los Angeles bedroom area. Of course, as is usually the case, the proposed route(s) would run through the more downscale Valley communities, notably the city of San Fernando which is up in arms over the prospect. But in a noteworthy instance of the “rabbits shooting at the hunters,” as a French politician once put it, San Fernando isn’t about to be rolled over without a fight.

To the surprise of the would-be railroad builders, the San Fernando types showed up at the hearing represented by its Mayor and other officials, compleat with its own public address system and if we read this stuff correctly, with its own police force. Hoo boy!

Long story short, these folks gave the railroad types an earful, along the line of not wanting to tolerate the new railroad line bisecting their community by sound walls built along the railroad right-of-way, and the consequent loss of some $1.3 million to the community. “[Y]ou are not really welcome,” said the San Fernando Mayor pro tem.

At this point, three alternate routes are being considered, some of which would require tunneling 20 miles under the San Gabriel Mountains, at a depth of  60 feet under the 5 Freeway, and — are you ready? — would cross the San Andreas fault below ground, and near Palmdale  above ground.

And so it goes. We can’t wait to see how it all turns out, and we await with anticipation the next “hearing” scheduled for June  9th, where — so it has been announced — those who wish to address the railroad folks will be given the generous amount of time of 90 seconds. Each.

Read all about it, in Ralph Vartabedian, Feeling Railroaded: San Fernando Leaders Say Planned Route Would Destroy Community, L.A. Times, May 30, 2015, at p. B1, and stand by for the next public meeting. It should be quite a show.

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