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Hanford, Calif., did not want to see high speed rail become just a blur. Mayor John Draxler says if a line is going to run through the town, it might as well stop.
The Hanford City Council approved a Memorandum of Understanding with the California High Speed Rail Authority and Kings County regarding a higher platform track and station south of railroad tracks owned by Union Pacific. This will allow Hanford to have a high speed rail stop.
The California High Speed Rail Authority’s first option was an at-grade station north of the freight rail line, which would require a lowering the track. Negotiations with Union Pacific broke down, and the Class 1’s requests for executing such a feat were determined to be too much, so the option now is to raise the platform and station above grade as it crosses the UP railroad and Highway 198.
The California High Speed Rail Authority also is agreeing to do some requests by Hanford and Kings County. Those include placing the station south of the UP railroad, providing access of the station’s entrance road from the Highway 43 roundabout, designing access and station parking to city specifications, and providing two points of access to the station.
If Hanford did not sign the Memorandum of Understanding there was a good chance a high speed rail stop in the town would be eliminated.
Hanford Public Works Director John Doyel says the station will be at-grade, but the high speed platform will be elevated about 20 ft. Riders will be able to access the platform via an escalator or elevator.
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