California bullet train: The high price of speed

Since it opened in 1893, Bakersfield High School has been the pride of this city and its academic cornerstone, the place where the late Chief Justice Earl Warren graduated and students call themselves the Drillers in homage to the region's oil patch.

It has withstood earthquakes and depressions, but perhaps it will not survive the California bullet train.

The train's proposed routes are taking aim at the campus, potentially putting a bulls-eye on the Industrial Arts Building, where future engineers, ceramic artists, auto mechanics, fabric designers and wood-workers take classes. Even though freight trains already lumber not far from the campus, these elevated trains could rocket by on a viaduct at up to 220 mph every five minutes, eye level with the school library and deafening the stately outdoor commons where students congregate between classes.

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-- Ralph Vartabedian, Los Angeles Times

Photo: Fernando Salazar, 17, a junior at Bakersfield High School, makes a box in the wood-working shop at Bakersfield High School. A proposed high-speed rail route would require closure of the school's industrial arts building. Credit: Anne Cusack, Los Angeles Times / October 13, 2011

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