Valciente and Martin, who are in their 70s, tend to orange and other fruit trees and corn on their 6 1/2-acre farm. Chickens roam uncaged, pecking at the dirt around the pomegranate trees, pepper plants and cacti in the yard.
The AVE trains speed by the small farmstead several times an hour, “and it hasn’t affected us at all,” Valciente said.
"We don’t even feel them," added Martin. Even though their house is close to the tracks, she said, the trains create no wind turbulence and are less bothersome than slower-moving regional commuter trains because noise from the AVE trains passes so quickly…
That experience stands in contrast to the loud and growing objections to California’s plans by some farmers in the San Joaquin Valley, where faith in the state rail authority and the economy are in short supply. Growers and ranchers say they fear losing farmland and even their homes to the tracks, they worry that tracks across their land will keep them from moving easily across their fields, and they doubt they’ll be fairly compensated for their property or troubles.