Next week, the CAHSR Authority Board will select an alignment for the Fresno-Bakersfield segment of the high-speed rail line. Staff recommends selecting an alignment that includes numerous bypasses, including an eastern bypass of Hanford, and parallels the BNSF railway (the current route of Amtrak San Joaquin trains). Curiously, the segment would go through Wasco and Shafter, communities that have warmed to HSR even though no station will serve either town. A route into Bakersfield that consolidates two route variations and avoids the most impacts with the Kern River was also recommended. The preferred alignment would cost $7.1 billion, a $500 million savings over following the BNSF railway in its entirety, and would take 34 ½ minutes to traverse. A staff report is now available. Should the Authority Board select the preferred alternative, the compilation of the final environmental document may commence.