Bob Childress, pastor of Church of the Canyons in Santa Clarita, worries that the proposed bullet train will go right through his church.

Bob Childress, pastor of Church of the Canyons in Santa Clarita, worries that the proposed bullet train will go right through his church. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times / November 27, 2012)

A few hundred faithful pass through the doors of Pastor Bob Childress' sanctuary every Sunday, but he worries that sometime in the next decade a 220-mph bullet train may take their place.

The future route of the train, as currently drawn, takes dead aim for the Church of the Canyons, an evangelical refuge on Sand Canyon Road in Santa Clarita with a congregation of 450.

"This will be an excellent test of our faith," Childress said.

California's bullet train has generated plenty of opposition in the areas around the San Gabriel Mountains. Elsewhere in Southern California, though, local governments are either embracing the train or choosing to remain neutral.

"It's out there in possibility land," San Fernando City Manager Al Hernandez said, noting there is little buzz about the project in his community, even though it may get one of the few passenger stations in the region.

Some officials in Santa Clarita, Burbank, Palmdale, Los Angeles and Los Angeles County have asked the California High-Speed Rail Authority to consider alternative routes, but no city has expressed serious opposition. In fact, Palmdale officials threatened to sue the rail authority if the bullet train did not go through their city.

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