Madera County selected for high-speed rail drop-off point

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The proposed high-speed rail stop would not be a full-service station just a stop where passengers could get off to catch a connecting Amtrak train. (KFSN)

Madera County has been selected by the California High-Speed Rail Authority for a drop-off point.

The proposed high-speed rail stop would not be a full-service station just a stop where passengers could get off to catch a connecting Amtrak train.

A high-speed rail bridge over the Fresno River in Madera County continues to take shape.

Crews have been busy on the 25-foot high viaduct next to the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad tracks. Several columns are in place ready to support the 1500-foot bridge which should be finished this summer.

"It's a seed being planted and it's going to grow. That's what we want," District 4 Supervisor Max Rodriguez. "You can see the atmosphere of excitement here because they see things are going to happen."

The High-Speed Rail Authority has proposed the Amtrak station on Road 26 in Madera serve as a strategic stop. There, passengers would be able to get off a high-speed rail train for an Amtrak connection or vice-versa.

"I know that having an enhanced, vibrant, accessible modern transportation system coupled with increased job opportunity and housing choice help us attract and retain our young people," council member Will Oliver said.

City and council officials were all looking to the future. They believe the intermodal facility connecting high-speed rail and a commuter train would give Madera County a boost when it comes to economic development.

"It allows our residents to have new connections to educational institutions that they didn't have before, job opportunities elsewhere," District 1 Supervisor Brett Frazier said.

At this point, the Madera stop is the valley's only planned joint station connecting both high-speed rail and Amtrak.
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