7061 East Pleasant Valley Road, Independence, Ohio 44131 • (216) 241-2630 / Fax: (216) 241-6516

News and Issues
User Info

Altamont high-speed rail relies on toll hike

(The Contra Costa Times posted the following article by Lisa Vorderbrueggen on its website on May 12.)

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Alameda County Supervisor Scott Haggerty has revived a bid to bring high-speed rail to the Bay Area over the Altamont Pass instead of from the south through San Jose.

Haggerty presented his case to a Bay Area transportation committee Friday in an attempt to secure political support for a $2 million feasibility study. The money would come from the proposed $1 bridge toll hike authored by Sen. Don Perata, D-Oakland.

The supervisor and others say an Altamont alignment through the Tri-Valley would serve more riders, provide better connections to other transit, ease crowding in the I-580 corridor and expedite a Sacramento link.

"I want a study based on data and the truth, not politics," Haggerty said.

The panel agreed to send the question to the full Metropolitan Transportation Commission but declined to take a position.

The supervisor faces considerable technical issues and powerful political opposition from Silicon Valley.

After two years of analysis, the California High-Speed Rail Authority plans to release its draft environmental study of the 700-mile high-speed electrified route by late summer.

The document is one of several steps in a tight schedule that culminates in November 2004, when voters will be asked to OK a $9.9 billion bond measure.

The money would fund construction of the first segment that stretches from Los Angeles to San Francisco via Pacheco Pass and San Jose.

Authority Director Mehdi Morshed said a detailed Altamont analysis could delay the environmental documents a year or more and cost the project more than $1 billion in inflation.

The authority rejected the Altamont 18 months ago, concluding that it posed unacceptable technical issues and required the construction of a new bridge across the Bay.

"Can you see (a bridge) happening?" Morshed asked the panel. "I can't."

The Pacheco alignment sends high-speed rail north from Los Angeles to Merced, where it heads west through Los Banos and Gilroy.

It then tracks north into San Jose and splits into branches, one into Oakland and a second into San Francisco.

Altamont advocates call for the rail line to continue northward into Stockton, veer west over Altamont Pass into Fremont and split to Oakland, San Jose and San Francisco over a new Dumbarton rail bridge.

Monday, May 12, 2003

Like us on Facebook at

Sign up for BLET News Flash Alerts

© 1997-2021 Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen


Decertification Helpline
(216) 694-0240

National Negotiations

Sign up for BLET
News Flash Alerts


Amtrak restores long-distance routes after funding from Congress
MBTA looks at cars, track as cause of derailment that sidelined CRRC cars
CSX plan to buy Pan Am Railways rejected
NJ Transit: We’re ready for your return
STB Chairman addresses current rail issues at annual grain association meeting
How BNSF manages mud, rock, water and snow detection
FRA’s Bose, Southern Rail Commission discuss interstate rail pacts
Railroads moved more transborder freight in March
Q&A: Railroad Retirement survivor benefits
Unemployment and Sickness Benefit flexibilities under the Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act (RUIA) during the COVID-19 virus outbreak
Get the latest labor news from the Teamsters

More Headlines