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California High-Speed Rail Program: Palmdale to Burbank Project Section

PROJECT WEBSITE: California High-Speed Rail Program: Palmdale to Burbank Project Section

All dates below are specific to the schedule of the Environmental Review and Permitting processes for this project.

In Progress




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Surface Transportation

Surface Transportation

Project Category

Project Category DOT Projects

High Speed Rail

California, High Speed Rail

Other Agencies with Actions or Authorizations:

Department of the Interior

Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service



Department of the Army

Department of the Army, US Army Corps of Engineers - Regulatory


The California High-Speed Rail Authority (Authority) is responsible for planning, designing, building and operation of the first high-speed rail HSR system in the nation. California HSR System will connect the mega-regions of the state, contribute to economic development and a cleaner environment, create jobs, and preserve agricultural and protected lands. The system will run from San Francisco to the Los Angeles Basin in under three hours at speeds capable of over 200 miles per hour. The system will eventually extend to Sacramento and San Diego, totaling 800 miles with up to 24 stations. In addition, the Authority is working with regional partners to implement a state-wide rail modernization plan that will invest billions of dollars in local and regional rail lines to meet the state’s 21st century transportation needs.

The Palmdale to Burbank Project Section is part of the first phase of the California high-speed rail system and connects the Antelope Valley to the San Fernando Valley and the rest of the state.  The approximately 40-mile HSR project section will bring high-speed rail service to the urban Los Angeles area and at approximately 20 minutes, the travel time between these destinations will be dramatically reduced. It will connect these two key population centers in Los Angeles County with multi-modal transportation hubs at the Palmdale Transportation Center and at the Hollywood Burbank Airport.

Due to the potential significant environmental impacts of the project section, a NEPA environmental impact statement is being prepared.  The Notice of Intent was published in the Federal Register on July 24, 2014, to begin the Tier 2 project-level environmental review process. The NOI stated the purpose of the project section, the project limits, a description of alternatives to be considered, the need for public and agency input, potential environmental impacts of the project, points of contact for additional information, and the dates and locations of the scoping meetings.

The environmental review, consultation, and other actions required by applicable Federal environmental laws for this project are being, or have been, carried out by the State of California, working through the California High-Speed Rail Authority (Authority), pursuant to 23 U.S.C. 327 and a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) dated July 23, 2019, and executed by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and the State of California. As specified in the MOU, under the NEPA Assignment Program the FRA has assigned its federal environmental review responsibilities to the Authority. However, the FRA retains responsibility for certain activities including performing Clean Air Act conformity determinations and conducting formal government-to-government tribal consultations. Otherwise, the Authority is the federal lead agency for the Palmdale to Burbank Project Section, in addition to being the project sponsor.

Five cooperating agencies are included in the NEPA review process: the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) agreed by letter, dated December 30, 2009, to be a cooperating agency under NEPA; as did the Surface Transportation Board (STB), per their letter dated May 2, 2013; the United States Forest Service (USFS), agreed by letter dated August 25, 2014; the U.S Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management, agreed by letter dated November 6, 2012; and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requested participation as a cooperating agency under NEPA by letter, dated September 3, 2020. Multiple other federal agencies have been involved and have contributed to the NEPA environmental review process including the following: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), the National Park Service (NPS), and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP). The Authority is also the state lead agency under CEQA and more information about the project section and required federal, state, and regional approvals can be found on our website at

Permitting Timetable

The permitting timetable below displays data as reported by agencies. Dates for Environmental Review and Permitting processes (Actions) that are in 'Paused' or 'Planned' status are subject to change and are not indicative of a project's final schedule.

  • For information about extensions, select an Action from the timetable below and select 'View Action Details' at the bottom of the page.
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Overall Project Timetable
Extension or Delay
Ahead of Schedule
No End Date

Action Information

For additional information, please select an Action from the Permitting Timetable above.

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Milestone Original Target Date Current Target Date Milestone Complete