At the Council of Governments meeting March 17, the California High-Speed Rail Authority presented its revised Burbank to Palmdale routes. Although San Fernando and Sylmar- along with communities along Highway CA-14 have been spared with the revision of the SR-14 route, Pacoima is not entirely clear of the controversial train’s tracks.
However, the plan to run the train along San Fernando Road, which would have severely impacted Pacoima, San Fernando, and Sylmar has been abandoned.
From Burbank to Palmdale, the SR-14 route is shown underground at Burbank Airport Station, ascending to street level in Sun Valley, elevated over the Hansen Spreading Grounds, until it submerges underground before Branford Street in Pacoima.
The route has been shortened and put part underground. The revised alignments show the train mostly underground through the San Gabriel Mountains and with street-level and elevated areas in populated areas.
High Speed Rail Board Chairman Dan Richards said at the meeting that “environmental justice” was a contributing factor in deviating from the original plan of running the train along current train corridors.
“It started to dawn on me,” Richards said, giving credit to the area’s politicians, “a lot for these alignments that are there already were created at the time where people did not think about the impacts of dividing communities.”
Residents from the communities where the train is being considered to pass through at 200 miles per hour have opposed and rallied against the train.
Georgina Carranza, a Pacoima resident and activist with Communities Against Displacement, thanked God at the meeting for “saving Sylmar, San Fernando, and Pacoima.”
“But the fight is not over,” she said, “We still got shadow hills, we still got Sun Valley.”