Congressman calls route underneath Angeles National Forest 'implausible.'
By Arin Mikalian, January 15, 2015
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) speaks at the city of Glendale's 13th
annual Commemoration of the Armenian Genocide at the Alex Theatre on
Thursday, April 24, 2014. This week, Schiff spoke out against a proposal
for a high-speed rail system running through an underground tunnel
beneath the Angeles National Forest.
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) is speaking out against the proposed idea of having high-speed rail
tracks run through underground tunnels beneath the Angeles National
Forest to connect Palmdale and Burbank and calls the alternative a
California’s High-Speed Rail Authority plans to
study having a section of the rail pass through the southwestern part of
the forest — known as the East Corridor — but Schiff said in a
statement on Thursday the group should stick to the plan of having rails
running alongside the 14 Freeway, an option that he believes would come
with a lower price tag.
Los Angeles County Supervisor
Michael D. Antonovich has proposed consideration of the route through 35
miles of the Angeles National Forest with 18 to 20 miles of tunneling.
has worked to preserve the forest and plans to introduce legislation
that would preserve the Rim of the Valley and San Gabriel Mountains as
part of a new or expanded national recreation area.
“I think the
environmental consequences, the public opposition and added cost to the
line all makes this a very implausible alternative,” Schiff said in a
phone interview on Thursday.
On Tuesday, more than 2,000 people
living near the preserve rallied at a church in Lake View Terrace in
opposition of a high-speed rail operating close to their homes, the Los Angeles Times reported.
“I think there’s a lack of public input in the process as the meeting the other night made clear,” Schiff said.
added that he doesn’t believe plans to tunnel under the forest would
come to fruition and that rail authority members shouldn’t even study
the alternative because it would delay construction.
The authority is expected to vote on the route sometime this spring.
The high-speed rail’s overall aim is to connect Los Angeles and San Francisco by 2029.
Construction is expected to get underway sometime in 2018.