In a hurry to get from Bakersfield, Calif., to Merced?
By 2015, bullet trains capable of reaching 220 mph could whisk you there in just 45 minutes, less than one-third the time it takes to drive the 175-mile distance. The Visalia Times-Delta reports the first leg of the California High-Speed Rail system will connect those cities.
The segment, which would be built parallel to state Highway 99, traverses the flat San Joaquin Valley, where mountain passes and urban congestion won't restrict track speeds. But just how many people want to travel from Bakersfield to Merced?
Plans call for the high-speed line to run from San Francisco to Los Angeles with branches to Sacramento and San Diego. However service between California's two largest cities isn't likely to begin before 2018.
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