The San Francisco Chronicle reports.
Officials of the California High-Speed Rail Authority say a flat, straight stretch through the San Joaquin Valley connecting Merced and Bakersfield will likely be the first completed.
Regional Manager Thomas Tracy told the Visalia City Council Monday that the 800-mile project will be built in eight phases. The first segment, due by 2015, would stretch from Bakersfield to Merced on an initial run from San Diego to Sacramento.
At its full 220 mph speed, the normally three-hour car trip from Merced to Bakersfield would take 45 minutes.