History of High Speed Rail
The California High Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) is the State Agency responsible for the planning, design and construction of the California High Speed Rail system that will connect the San Francisco Bay Area to Los Angeles (eventually from Sacramento to San Diego) with a train system that will run at speeds of over 200 miles per hours. The envisioned San Francisco to Los Angeles High Speed Rail connection will offer users an alternative transportation mode connecting northern and southern California via a three hour train ride. Additionally, the HSR (HSR) will have train stations in Gilroy and San Jose, providing Bay Area residents with an additional local transportation option, further connect the region, alleviating pressure on local freeways and roads and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Two rail alignment options are being studied through Morgan Hill, including an alignment adjacent to the Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR) through the center of town and Downtown, and a second alternative along Highway 101. The first alignment from San Jose to north Morgan Hill is envisioned to be at-grade. The alignment south of Cochrane Avenue could be at-grade or utilize an aerial structure that would have a minimum 17 foot clearance at the intersections of Main, Dunne, San Pedro and Tennant Avenues. The second alignment option along Highway 101 is envisioned as an aerial structure, most recent studies show this alignment on the west side of the freeway from Cochrane Road to Tennant Avenue.
On February 15, 2017, Morgan Hill City Council adopted their 2017 strategic priorities which a specific focus on High Speed Rail. The 2017 strategic priority for High Speed Rail directly advocates for our community’s needs through our communications, discussions, and decisions. The City of Morgan Hill will continue to engage the community, the High Speed Rail Authority, state and federal legislators, and other regional agencies to mitigate negative impacts and convey Morgan Hill's position that the High Speed Rail Authority should only use the existing Highway 101 right-of-way to avoid all impacts to residents, schools, and businesses. Should the Authority decide the 101 right-of-way is not feasible, the City of Morgan Hill strongly advocates for the route with the least impact on Morgan Hill.
HSR plans to begin service by 2025. Construction for HSR is already underway in Central Valley with a 32-mile stretch between Madera and Fresno Counties. Scoping meetings are underway for the San Francisco to San Jose project section.