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Zipping thru Manteca at 100 mph
California high speed routes being pondered
What the high speed trains will look like. This is a European version. - photo by Photo Contributed

You could one day move between Stockton and Los Angeles in just less than two hours.

That is how fast the California High Speed rail trains would move passengers with time factored in for stops once the intercity system expected to cost in excess of $50 billion is completed.

It includes possible routes that would send trains flying through Manteca at just under 100 miles per hour – that’s roughly twice the speed of the fastest freight train - or else zip past Escalon at speeds approaching 220 miles per hour.

The possibilities of the high speed rail project were explained by Stacey Mortenson of the San Joaquin County Rail Commission during a recent Manteca City Council meeting.

The high speed trains would have tracks separated from all roads and highways by either using bridges or tunnels. One of the routes through Manteca would run roughly along the Union Pacific corridor which would mean roads would either go under the tracks or the trains would be elevated passing through the city. No exact route though has been adopted.

The trains would use proven technology that has been described as safe and reliable and successfully in use throughout Europe and Asia.

Trains would all be powered by overhead electrical lines to eliminate pollution.

The run time between San Francisco and Los Angeles including stops is two hours and 38 minutes, between Sacramento and Los Angeles two hours and 17 minutes, between Stockton and Los Angeles one hour and 59 minutes, and between Sacramento and Merced 43 minutes.

Train stations would be limited along the route and would be located in major metro areas or critical locations such as Stockton, Sacramento, Modesto, Merced, Bakersfield, Fresno, and Los Angeles.

A $9.95 billion bond passed statewide in 2008 is allowing the funding for the next phase of work which is plotting exact routes. An environmental study is now underway. The goal is to formally certify the environmental documents for the Merced to Sacramento line which includes a possible route through Manteca by 2013.

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To contact Dennis Wyatt, e-mail