High Speed Rail Road, Problems, and Solutions for Crossing Tehachipi Mountains

A proposal by the California high-speed track authority seeks to develop a high-speed railway that connects the Central valley and the city. The proposed high-speed railroad in the state of California is faced with significant challenges and problems for its success. The proposed high-speed railroad is meant to pass through the Tehachapi Mountains, which is an important problem owing to the terrain of the mountain. The implementation of the project is to address the challenge of developing a pass through the wind farms and the steep grades. As a result, the high-speed body devised two proposed solutions as alternatives in the construction of the railway. Two passes at two locations of the mountain were identified the Tehachapi pass, which passes through Palmdale and the Antelope valley. The other pass proposed was the Tejon pass, which is also referred to as the Grapevine. The aim of the essay presented addresses the challenges of the proposal and a solution that can be adopted to solve these problems.

The Tehachapi Mountains provide as suitable terrain for the installation of wind turbines. Private companies have invested in wind energy most of them located at the Altamont pass. The high number of installations and companies operating these turbines pose a significant challenge for the high-speed railway authority to construct a pass through the mountain. The removal of these turbines, in turn, affects a large amount of activities operated by the companies who own the turbines. The proposed pass by the CHSRA (California High-Speed Railroad Authority) crosses through the farms with wind turbines. Even in compensating the owners, the removal of these turbines will still create a huge effect to the activities dependent on the energy generated by the turbines.

On the other hand, the construction of a high-speed railroad also faces the challenge of constructing the railroad on the steep valley. The steep range the railroad will be constructed on ranges from 1000 to 3000 m(California High-Speed Railroad Authority, 2014). The budget of the project is determined to shoot owing to the resources applied in the development of the climb. Similarly, the steep grade is also a stretch of 40 miles long. The CHSRA engineers consider the steep grades an alternative solution if another pass is not decided upon early enough. The constructions through the ranges are estimated to increase the budget of the project and consume a lot of time in its completion owing to the complexity of the development and the skills needed.

The solution of these two challenges in the construction of the high-speed railroad imminent to help connect the central valley to the city location. The construction cannot be done through the wind farms owing to the tremendous impact that it will create in power generation in the state. Many individuals and companies will be affected left without the ability to use energy for some time or their activities put on hold for time before their lines are re-routed. On the other hand, compensating the private companies owning the wind turbines in the mountains will be expensive to the state.

Therefore, the CHSRA can formulate designs for underground railroads through the mountain. The construction of an underground tunnel helps reduce the chances of the CHSRA interfering with the electricity generation from the wind turbines. An underground pass, however, will involve strategies to identify a point of minimal effect to the stability of the mountain and the resources that will be involved in the construction. The construction of an underground railroad will help save on the expenses that will be incurred in the construction of the 40 mile stretch and the implications to the electricity generation from the turbines.

The development can follow the Tejon pass propose earlier as one of the alternative passes for the railroad. The original Tejon pass was to connect West Bakersfield, Lebec, Santa Clarita, and Sylmar before ending at the Los Angeles Union Station. Similarly, the CHSRA can adopt the same route for the railroad, but then it goes underground as it approaches Lebec. The tunnel then emerges before reaching Santa Clarita where the descent to the next station Sylmar before joining the Los Angeles Union Station will be easy for the construction and the resources used.

In conclusion, the construction of a high-speed railway connecting Central Valley and California will help open up many other areas in the state. The construction, however, faces the challenge of determining the ideal pass to use in connecting these two points. Under the management of the CHSRA, there have been two proposals as to the ideal passes the structure can be developed. However, the problem of constructing through the wind farms and the steep grades of Mount Tehachapi increases the cost of construction and the ability to connect the two areas. Similarly, the development through the terrain increases the budget of the project and the number of resources to use. Therefore, an effective solution to these challenges is an underground tunnel that passes through the mountain. The underground tunnel helps reduce the costs incurred in the development of the railroad and the complexity of construction through the steep terrain.


California High-Speed Railroad Authority. (2014). Construction Package 1: Work is Underway. Retrieved November 23, 2014, from CA.gov: http://www.hsr.ca.gov/Programs/Construction/about_construction_package_1.html

Type of paper Academic level Subject area
Number of pages Paper urgency Cost per page: