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Public comments sought on latest California high-speed rail phase

The Angeles National Forest in the San Gabriel Mountains is recovering five years after the Station Fire burned a quarter of the forest.
Jed Kim
FILE: The U.S. Forest Service is seeking public comment on a request to drill test borings in the Angeles National Forest as part of assessments underway for the high-speed rail project.

The U.S. Forest Service is asking the public to weigh in on the latest plan for the California bullet train. 

The California High-Speed Rail Authority is proposing to drill several test holes in the Angeles National Forest to check geologic conditions in the area and determine if building a rail tunnel through the forest would be possible.

The authority's tunnel alternatives stretch from the north edge of the San Gabriel National Monument south of Acton to the Tujunga Wash on the south, according to the project's environmental document.

The rail authority had originally proposed an above-ground track between Burbank and Palmdale, but communities along the route protested, prompting officials to look at running the rail underground.

Officials stressed that their request for feedback only applies to the request to drill test holes, not the tunnel option itself. If the plan moves forward, the tunnel alternative would still require a full environmental review, including its own public comment period.

The forest service will be taking comments by regular mail or email at the following addresses: Angeles National Forest and San Gabriel Mountains National Monument, Attn. George Farra, 701 N. Santa Anita Ave., Arcadia, CA 91006 or Include the subject item, HSRA GI.

Comments will be taken through Oct. 23.