Above Ground or Below? That Is the High-Speed Question in San Jose

High-speed rail cars could one day be zooming overhead in San Jose. City leaders are on track to approve an aerial railway through downtown.

The question of whether the railway it will go 60-feet above ground or underground. The decision is likely to be decided more by cost and less by style.   

San Jose staff will study the aerial track, instead of a tunnel, for the train to run through downtown San Jose.

An elevated rail could soar as high as six stories into the air along the downtown route.

The stretch is likely to be between Highway 87 and Alma Street and where Highway 87 connects with Interstate 280.

But some people are concerned an elevated railway would be an eyesore. But it could be a real money-saver too.

The train would be part of a larger high-speed rail that runs up and down California. Because of the statewide implications, the high-speed rail authority has to sign off on it.

A decision should come in the next two weeks. The city of San Jose voted Tuesday night, a day after the Palo Alto City Council asked the rail authority to refocus its environmental studies.

It may decide next week to sue the agency over the same studies.

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