Is there a bullet train headed your way?

Rendering of California Bullet train |  California High-Speed Rail

Rendering of California bullet train | California High-Speed Rail Authority

Hundreds of people showed up at a public hearing last week to speak against the state’s $68 billion bullet train that would slice its way through their communities. Most of the opponents at the board meeting of the California High-Speed Rail Authority were from the San Fernando Valley and northern L.A. County. But their concerns about noise, vibration and disruption might also be shared by the residents  of Atwater Village, Cypress Park, Glassell Park and Lincoln Heights who live near the proposed bullet train route.

The exact route between L.A. Union Station and Burbank is still far from being determined but officials are focusing on these possible alignments:

  • Alignment 1: Trains would pass through a tunnel (pictured in purple in the map below) bored under Solano Canyon, Elysian Park and Elysian Valley before emerging in Glassell Park. The trains would then travel along the existing Metrolink train tracks that run between San Fernando Road and the L.A. River. The route through Atwater parallels the Metrolink train tracks.
  • Alignment 2:   Similar to Alignment 1 but the route jogs to the south near Solano Canyon.
  • Alignment 3:  Trains would travel along an elevated track (shown in blue on the map) that would pass through Chinatown and then run along  the Lincoln Height side of the L.A. River. The trains would then run on the ground on a route (pictured in green on the map) that parallels the Metrolink trains tracks through Cypress Park,  Glassell Park and Atwater Village.

It’s not clear how noisy or fast the trains – which could travel at speeds of up to 220 miles per hour – will be when traveling through this section.

“Until environmental studies are completed, we really can’t give you a specific answer as to the speed and noise,” said rail authority spokesperson Adeline Yee.  “But typically, high-speed rail trains are less noisy in comparison to diesel freight trains. Our system will travel at speeds up to 220 mph but in urban areas, it would be slower due to safety reasons.”

With the Union Station-to-Burbank section of the line not expected to open until 2029, officials are still “years away” from selecting a final route, Yee said.

Related Link:

  • Burbank-to-Los Angeles Project Section. CHSRA
Proposed routes for the bullet train

Proposed routes for the bullet train between Union Station and 2 Freeway


  1. It is easy to make dramatic arguments against California’s high speed rail project. Part of its goal is to provide economic opportunity by connecting southern and northern California. Here is a comprehensive summary of arguments for and against —


    Come on, San Fernando Valley opponents — don’t you want to be more connected to your city and your state and get a chance to get out of your cars?

    • No we don’t. Cars are way more practice. If I want to go to SF I’ll just catch a flight out of Burbank. The money we’re throwing away at this debacle should go to desalination plants. I think water is more important than a stupid train.

      • its not either/or! If you want a desalination plant then say it! We have plenty of money we can have both.

        The people who are against this are just scared of the unknown just watch a youtube about Japan or France, trains are chill. Yes there are going to be impacts and we all should work together to mitigate those not try to derail(pun intended) this project. Or go look at the fear mongering in the 90s when LA was building the subway, same shit, now no one cares and nothing happened, except we got a new transportation system.

      • We don’t need a desal plant. LA doesn’t have a water problem. (Thanks, Owens Valley and Colorado river!). Desal is by far the most expensive type of water measure we could implement.
        The people voted for the train (yeah!); it’s just sad that the feds aren’t doing anything to help. China could build a new bullet train system because they weren’t afraid to fund it.

  2. How about a damn train out of LAX?

    • seriously.

      this dog will NEVER actually get built….the only question is how much money gets wasted before it dies.

  3. This is not going to be a high speed rail. It is an absolute waste of money time and resources.

    why would you take a train that’ll take nearly 3 hours to get from LA to SF when you can fly in less than half the time? Oh and by the way for about the same cost.

    This is dumb people shoving a dumb idea down our throats.

    • This may very well be a dumb idea, and odds are it will end up costing ten times the estimates, but when you factor in the hassle of getting to and from the airport, plus the extra time to go through airport security, flying takes way longer than traveling by bullet train.

    • Bill has it right, It’s supposed to be faster than driving. Mr Juan has never been to Europe where the train is the best way to get between 2 city centers.
      I’m all for the bullet train! California is so far behind the rest of the world.

      • Downtown LA to downtown San Francisco in three hours would be amazing. It probably takes 4 1/2 hours by airplane.

      • The issue is we don’t have city centers in CA like those that exist in Europe. We need cars here, Europe was built to a walkable scale where train travel is much more feasible.

  4. I sure hope they don’t build this… I’d much rather have more cars and more gridlock and more planes and more CLIMATE CHANGE! Yes! Yes! Say YES! to climate change and say no to modes of transportation that mitigate it! Making sure these folks who are against this are happy is much more important than the silly old atmosphere! YES to people, NO to climate! YES to gridlock! NO to public transportation! HEY, what about that 710 Freeway addition, YES YES YES!!!!! WE NEED MORE CARS! Single occupancy driving is a superior way to get around the city, and we all deserve our own individual car!

    • Martin Arredondo

      Yeah that’s right just like the LA subway system eased traffic. There are more cars in LA and the air is cleaner than it was 40 years ago. Public transportation sucks. Especially when you have to ride a long with all the low end dirtbags.

      • Oh, sir I so agree with you. Dirtbags, all! So disgusting, those bus riders. I just don’t understand why we subsidize busses. BAN THEM! NO MORE BUSSES! Full of disgusting people… yuk! Single occupancy cars for everyone!

        • Martin arredondo

          I’m glad you agree. When I drive my car I don’t have to worry about sitting next to drug addicts,gang bangers,people fighting,tagging or stealing.

          • “When I drive my car I don’t have to worry about sitting next to . . .” You sound like a frightened and demented target. EVERYthing is a potential threat to a marshmallow like yourself. Moreover, you cite threats that are more reflective of 1970s NYC than today’s L.A. I occasionally take public transportation that stops at the McArthur Park subway station and the worst I’ve experienced to and from my destinations is standing-room only. In fact, I take pride in the belief that public transportation is safer when citizens like myself are on board because I DO get involved but it’s never been necessary.

            You need to stop watching YouTube behind the sandbagged home and get out and experience the world a lot more. Or better yet, it may be time to get the hell out of Dodger, Pronto! . . you do still remember what “pronto” means, don’t you ArreteTonto?

          • Martin Arredondo

            I’m sure proper dos is wearing his superhero cape and speedo when he gets “involved”. The big bad dark Chicano who fights for the working class. Even though he has admitted that he has benefitted immensely from gentrification.

          • I ride the bus to work every weekday and I’m proponent of public transportation, but I’d be lying if I told you that I wasn’t exposed to the sights, sounds, smells, and shenanigans of drunks, gang-bangers, the mentally ill, and some poorly-socialized fellow riders. Overall, it’s tolerable and, having never been the victim of traumatic physical violence, I’m generally not fearful for my life, but the ride can by trying at times.

            I wouldn’t be a good advocate for public transportation if I didn’t acknowledge that these experiences are an obstacle to increased ridership and one of the stubborn appeals of individual transport. But, maybe mocking those who find public transportation unpleasant could shame enough of them to change their mind?

          • This is a distinctly L.A. phobia. I am from New York. There, everyone – rich, poor, clean, “dirt bag” – rides the subway. Its hilarious how fearful Angelenos are about having to actually interact or be in the same public space with people. God forbid. Its actually not a big deal at all. I ride the subway everyday in LA. Yep, there is sometimes that unstable homeless person who smells bad. But, instead of this being a horror to be reviled, it can be a learning experience. A dose of humanity. Don’t let your car turn you into a sociopath.

  5. Hey I was there…8 hrs – but been preparing for the battle to come…we did it several years ago and got Reyes staff to get some of the BurbankLA Union Station… Even the Burbank section is part of OUR mess as they bring the train up from 60-90ft depth to grade/elevated by the time it gets to Metrolink, south of Burbank Station…We need to keep the tracck below the SR-134-under Griffith….under the Stadium and have one track set pass under Alameda on the west and under Vignes on the east..underground from the Burbank underground station…to and beyond the underground station under red line and Union Station and keep one of the finest 1930s building in LA…

    We tried to get a more direct route from Palmdale to Union Station – underground and cuts 5-10miles off the length..but that is in the future…..So get ready and hang on for the next few years..

  6. The bullet train is happening — ground was broken on the first section, between Fresno and Madera, on January 6


    • Anyone for the current HSR plan in California has not done their homework. The construction alone will create so much pollution and traffic it will take 80 years of the train in actual service to make up for the damage. Not worth it. Also there is not a successful way to “mitigate” the loss of homes, businesses and open space that Californians will lose for this poorly planned project. AND the amount of debt future generations will incur for outdated transportation technology is mind numbing. @dontrailroadus #saveangelesforest #nohighspeedrail

      • Why should we believe you when the engineers, transportation experts, and anyone intimately familiar with the project agrees that it is a good idea, sustainable, and far cheaper over the next century than expanding roads and airports to accommodate the same amount of expected growth? Just because you don’t like the idea does not mean it is harmful or unwise.

  7. It is a massive and expensive plan, and it will change as it is executed. It’s underway:


    Here’s an interactive map with more details:


    and here’s some interesting evidence about the benefits of high speed rail:


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