SAN MATEO (KCBS) – Nearly all planning work on a four-track bullet train system along the Peninsula has been halted as authorities consider a lower-cost option that would minimize the impact on neighborhoods.

Roelof van Ark, CEO of the California High Speed Rail Authority said he’s stopping all planning work on the Peninsula until it’s determined whether to build a four-track, or a smaller two-track system. The latter was pitched by Congresswoman Anna Eshoo, State Senator Joe Simitian and Assemblyman Rich Gordon in April.

KCBS’ Matt Bigler Reports:

”I think their idea is a good one,” said transportation expert Rod Diridon, who was formerly a high-speed rail board member.

A two-track system would utilize both Caltrain and bullet trains.

”Their intent is to have the Caltrain system upgraded and expanded to be as wide as it can fit within its currant quarters, so you wouldn’t intrude into the neighborhoods,” said Diridon.

The high-speed rail board, which meets on Thursday may still opt to explore the four-track system in the long-run, even if it begins with just two tracks. They will also consider whether to extend the first bullet train in the state to Silicon Valley or Southern California.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Comments (3)
  1. Mark says:

    This thing is a white elephant that will end up costing the state trillions of dollars over time. NO high-speed rail system ANYWHERE on the planet operates at a profit. ALL are supported at great public expense. All planning and work should be stopped, and the federal funds returned to Washington.

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