Planners of California's high-speed rail project want to discard a more direct route from Los Angeles to Bakersfield over the Grapevine and continue development of a sweeping dogleg through Palmdale and Lancaster.
Though the option was ruled out in 2005, the Interstate 5-Grapevine corridor was revived for further study last May after state officials and some transportation experts thought it would save billions in construction costs and up to 12 minutes of travel time between Los Angeles and the train's ultimate destination: the Bay Area.
But a new study by the California High Speed Rail Authority now indicates that the longer, more tunnel-heavy route that turns east from the Central Valley through the Tehachapi Mountains to the Antelope Valley is the better option.
-- Dan Weikel and Ralph Vartabedian, Los Angeles Times
Photo: A freight train rolls past the Buena Park Metrolink station. Officials say upgrades could allow bullet trains to share rails already in use. Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times