The California High-Speed Rail Authority Board of Directors met this week to consider planning options and route alternatives as well as hear engineering and environmental progress reports from the Bay Area to the Los Angeles Basin.

In addition to two Antelope Valley segments near State Route 14 on the Bakersfield-Los Angeles route, the board now also wants to study a previously considered but shelved Grapevine route along Interstate 5. “We’re looking at all factors and all means to get past the Tehachapi Mountains and into the Los Angeles Basin – and if that means we need to give the Grapevine another look, now is the time to do it,” says Roelof van Ark, CEO of the California High-Speed Rail Authority.

The board also approved some ground-level track and station options in Fresno, Merced, Corcoran and Kern County; delayed a decision on a “phased approach” for the San Jose-San Francisco segment that would allow a gradual introduction of high-speed service with the construction of dedicated tracks; and approved the study of additional track design options for Morgan Hill south to Merced.