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California High Speed Rail Project

Redwood City provides this web page to help keep our community informed about the local segment of the California High Speed Rail (CHSR) / Caltrain Electrification project.Information presented here is gathered from CHSR’s documentation and website, as well as other sources.

Upcoming and Recent Meetings:

Wednesday, November 3, 2010, 7 pm
City Hall
1017 Middlefield Road, Redwood City

A brief recap of the previous meeting, followed by presentation and an opportunity for more in-depth conversations around key questions related to the possibility of a high speed rail station in Redwood City.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010, 7 pm
Veterans Memorial Senior Center
1455 Madison Avenue, Redwood City

CHSRA representatives will provide the community with an overview of considerations, features, and potential impacts of a station option in Redwood City, and will provide ample opportunity for questions and answers.

Monday, June 14, 2010 - 7 pm
City Hall Council Chambers
1017 Middlefield Road, Redwood City

The City Council will review the draft response to the High Speed Rail Authority regarding the Preliminary Alternatives Analysis Report, prepared by the Council's High Speed Rail Ad Hoc Committee. The recommendation is that the Council endorse the letter, which would subsequently be sent to the Authority.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010 – 7 pm
Veterans Memorial Senior Center
1455 Madison Avenue, Redwood City

Hosted by the City of Redwood City. This meeting provides an opportunity for the community to have small group discussions about what they support or are concerned about in the HSR project, how those concerns might be addressed, and their preference and opinions about the alternatives presented by the HSR. From this second meeting City staff will compile the attendees’ comments, concerns, areas of support, and opinions on preferred alternatives, and fold them into the City’s official “comment letter” to the HSR. All collected comments will be provided to the HSR, along with the letter from the City Council outlining the City’s specific comments on the alternatives.

Thursday, April 29, 2010 – 7 pm
Veterans Memorial Senior Center
1455 Madison Avenue, Redwood City

Hosted by the California High Speed Rail Authority – Peninsula Rail Program (this is not a City-sponsored meeting; City staff will be in attendance to open the meeting and introduce the High Speed Rail staff).

The purpose of the April 29 meeting is for the High Speed Rail (HSR) staff to present updated information to the community on the project’s schedule and process, to outline the existing physical conditions of the proposed segment through Redwood City, and to review the alternatives for how the project might be built in Redwood City. There will also be a question and answer panel, and plenty of displays depicting the alternatives.

Current status of the project:

In August, the CHSRA released its Supplemental Alternatives Analysis, which declared that the sole remaining alternative for HSR in Redwood CIty would be the aerial configuration. The City sent a letter to the CHSRA expressing disapproval of the deletion of all other alternatives for Redwood City.

In September, the City sent the CHSRA a letter requesting review of "below grade" alternatives, and offering that the City would assist in this effort by engaging the services of a consulting firm to examine the implications of various aligments, and of a downtown station.

At its meeting on June 14, the City Council reviewed and approved the written response to the High Speed Rail Authority regarding the Preliminary Alternatives Analysis Report, prepared by the Council's High Speed Rail Ad Hoc Committee. The letter was subsequently sent to the Authority.

Two community information meetings were held in Redwood City. One, April 29, was hosted by the High Speed Rail Authority. Approximately 80 people attended for the presentation and to see some displays.

The other, May 11, hosted by Redwood City, drew about 35 people who participated in small group discussions. The participants offered a great deal of comment and input for the City, which will be attached to the City's official comment letter on the Alternatives Analysis, to be sent to the High Speed Rail Authority.

In April, 2010, the California High Speed Rail Authority released the Preliminary Alternatives Analysis for the San Francisco to San Jose segment of the project.

A number of information meetings are being held in peninsula communities at which HSR staff are presenting updated information on the project’s schedule and process, outlining the existing physical conditions of the various segments on the peninsula, and reviewing the alternatives for how the project might be built through peninsula communities.

In late April, the California State Auditor's office released a report critical of the fiscal oversight and business plan of the California High Speed Rail Authority (see report at The HSR's response letter can be viewed here.

Next Steps:
The CHSR is expected to produce a Supplemental Alternatives Analysis Report, taking into account the peninsula cities' comments on the AA report. Following that will be production of a Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR). The public review process for the Draft EIR is anticipated to take place in late 2010, with the creation of the Final EIR expected in late 2012.

Earlier milestones:

Late 2009
As a result of the “scoping” meetings held earlier this year, the CHSR has produced a Draft Scoping Report for the San Francisco to San Jose segment. The purpose of those meetings and the Draft Scoping Report is to identify issues that should be addressed in the draft environmental document expected to be released for public comment in late 2010.

The entire Draft Scoping Report (revised - August 20, 2009) is available at the CHSR website at On the left sidebar, select “San Francisco to San Jose section” then scroll down to “Draft Scoping Report (revised)."

Brief overview of the major issues identified in the Draft Scoping Report (see the report for details and additional issues):

  • Protection of the Environment
    Present the effects of high speed train (HST) construction and operation on the physical and socioeconomic environment.
  • Alignment and Station Alternatives
    Consider a full range of alternatives, including alternatives that do not follow the proposed Caltrain right-of-way, vertical alignments, including tunnel, trench, at-grade, and aerial configurations, and station locations and design.
  • Connectivity and Coordination with Other Transportation Facilities
    Describe integration with existing airports and transit systems.
  • Alternative Technologies
    Consider halting the HST in San Jose and having passengers transfer to the existing Caltrain express trains, which are proposed to be electrified, or rely on other existing transit systems, including buses and BART.
  • Project Funding/Cost
    Present the full costs of building and operating the project, including the burden on taxpayers and local municipalities.
  • Land Use and Property Acquisition
    Report the extent of land acquisition and the CHSR Authority’s policy on use of eminent domain, and how property owners would be compensated; estimate the anticipated reduction in property values and fiscal effects from loss of property tax revenues.
  • Public Outreach
    Improve the quality of communications with the public, including public input and ample public involvement in the EIR/EIS process and the development of alternatives.

The City of Redwood City provided a significant number of detailed comments to the CHSR as part of the scoping period, as did the Redwood City/San Mateo County Chamber of Commerce and the Seaport Industrial Association based in Redwood City. Those comments are all presented in the Draft Scoping Report.




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