Thursday, July 8, 2010

High-speed rail's consolation prize

What happens if high-speed rail in California falls through, as some have predicted?

As far as Tracy is concerned, hopefully not too much.

The biggest benefit of high-speed rail for Tracy is that a connector between the San Francisco-to-LA and Sacramento-to-LA lines would hopefully run through the city, linking with BART in Livermore and securing a faster, more reliable commuter conduit than the current Altamont Commuter Express.

But according to a presentation from ACE at Tuesday's City Council meeting, getting ACE on its own rails and operating at a higher speed — up to 90 mph with current equipment if new tracks are laid on an exclusive right-of-way — is in the long-range planning cards with or without high-speed rail.

So I'm still hoping for that bullet train to happen. But if it doesn't, Tracy's still looking at a pretty decent consolation prize.

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