Will high-speed rail project derail San Diego homes? - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Will high-speed rail project derail San Diego homes?

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - A plan is in the works to bring a high-speed rail to San Diego County. The proposed bullet train project would connect San Diego to Los Angeles, but in order to build the rail, some residents may be forced to lose their homes.

Optimistically speaking, the San Diego to Los Angeles route won't break ground until after 2020, but if residents have an opinion about this project, they need to speak up now.

California voters approved a high-speed train project that would take San Diegans to San Francisco in four hours. Although most voters approve the idea of a futuristic train, reality is setting in.

The tracks have to go somewhere, and many Californians could lose their homes to eminent domain. Heated community forums like one held in the Los Angeles area could soon be taking place in San Diego.

Rancho Bernardo resident William Harden liked the idea of high-speed rail, until he heard the train could roll right through his neighborhood.

"If you have a high-speed rail going through here, the noise is going to affect the property value," Harden said.

As it stands now, the train travel through Escondido south to Lindbergh Field and either follow the Interstate 15 corridor south along the 163 to I-8 or veer west at state Route 56, then south on the 5 to the airport.

Greg Reinhart, who lives in Rancho Penasquitos, doesn't want to sacrifice his home.

"This is the first I've heard of meetings and people getting together," Reinhart said.

Jeff Barker, a spokesperson from the California High Speed Rail Authority, says they need the public's feedback.

"It's undeniable, you cannot build an 800-mile system through the middle of the most populous state in the country without having some impacts. It's our job to identify what those problems are and avoid them as best as possible," Barker said.

Although rail advocates say building a bullet train will create 600,000 jobs, Deborah Callahan of Escondido wonders if the $43 billion project pencils out.

"In theory it's a great idea, however, it's not proven to be cost-effective," Callahan said.

If you'd like to say if you're onboard or not, community open houses are scheduled next Monday in Escondido, Tuesday in Kearny Mesa and Thursday in Old Town.

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