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California State Rail Plan
The California State Rail Plan will be used as a planning tool for improving the overall state rail system. It will provide a long-term strategy that will enable Caltrans, the California High Speed Rail Authority, commuter rail operators, freight railroads, and communities to plan for the future.
Because there has been little interaction with the Tribes during the development of this plan, the Division of Rail has scheduled an informational meeting for the Tribes. It will take place on March 1, 2013 from 9:30 – 11:30 am. The meeting will be held at the Woodland Training Center (624 N. East Street, Woodland, CA), and there will be a teleconference connection for those who wish to participate by phone. I know this is short notice, but I want to be sure that you are aware of the upcoming meeting so that you can pass the information on as appropriate.
The goals of the meeting on March 1 are to do the following:
Because State Government Code now requires that a 10-year rail planning document for both passenger and freight rail be updated every 2 years, it is likely that The Division of Rail will start working on a revised rail plan soon after the current one is finalized. As a result, the March 1 informational meeting might also offer an opportunity for Tribes to comment on processes for requesting and receiving input from the Tribes on future CA State Rail Plan updates.
California State Rail Plan Background Information
The Caltrans Division of Rail is working on updating the California State Rail Plan and are seeking comments on the draft document. Input made on the plan will be considered and will be reflected in the final planning document. The draft CA State Rail Plan can be found at the following website: http://californiastaterailplan.com/project-materials/
The CA State Rail Plan is intended to describe existing conditions, to establish a vision, to set priorities, and to present implementation strategies to enhance passenger and freight rail service in California. The CA State Rail Plan will be the first planning document that describes how the planned CA High Speed Rail system will be integrated with existing and proposed conventional rail systems, and it also attempts to incorporate plans from California Commuter Rail Authorities into the picture of the current and future California Rail System.
The CA State Rail Plan talks about existing passenger rail systems including intercity passenger rail service (like Amtrak) that provide transportation between metropolitan areas, to rural areas of the state, and to points beyond the borders of California. The Amtrak connecting bus network and commuter rail will also be discussed during the passenger rail overview.
The freight rail network is also discussed in the CA State Rail Plan: the existing facilities and operators, the functioning of the rail network for freight shipments, and capacity constraints are discussed in the plan. Because Freight railroads in the state are owned and operated by private companies, this plan also outlines State and Federal involvement in the process
Because the CA State Rail Plan is intended to present a complete picture of the rail needs in California, it also includes a description of the blended system concept for high-speed rail and commuter rail as outlined in the CA High Speed Rail Business Plan.
Finally, the plan includes a list of possible rail projects. Many of them are operational in nature, and while they are not yet at the programming phase (and are conceptual in nature), they might include information that could be of interest to the Tribes who might be impacted.
For more information on the CA State Rail Plan, see the following websites:
To Submit Comments: