Proposed LA to San Diego High Speed Train Would Avoid OC

Proposed LA to San Diego High Speed Train Would Avoid OC

A Los Angeles to San Diego high-speed train proposal that's picking up steam (sorry) would bypass the traditional Amtrak Surfliner route down the coast through Orange County and instead head eastward from LA through the Inland Empire.

The state plans new tracks for 220 mile-per-hour trains from Los Angeles to San Diego via Pomona, Ontario, Riverside, Murrieta and Escondido. Trains would make the trip from LA's Union Station to downtown San Diego in one hour and 18 minutes. Amtrak's Surfliner from LA to San Diego via coastal Orange County currently takes nearly three hours, while driving it in a car can take up to six days.

At least it seems to take that long.

Public hearings on the proposed route begin Oct. 20 and continue through Nov. 2 in Corona, Monterey Park, West Covina, El Monte, Pomona and Ontario.

That does not mean Orange County will avoid snore-inducing state meeting action. California legislators have passed a law that the first leg of the $40 billion, 800-mile statewide system will be from Los Angeles to Anaheim. A separate environmental study for that high-speed line is under way.

The second target would be connections from LA to San Francisco and Sacramento. The Riverside/San Diego high-speed leg would likely be funded third.

Officials are holding out hope that enough construction money will arrive in time to build all three legs simultaneously. Meanwhile, a privately-funded high speed track between Las Vegas and the outskirts of San Bernardino may also eventually connect with the California network.

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