Imagine boarding a train in the Bay Area, and two and a half hours later, you're in downtown Los Angeles.
No flight delays, no turbulence, no lost baggage, no traffic jams, and no gas station bathrooms to worry about -- just a one-way ticket that costs about $55.
These are some of the promises of the California High-Speed Rail project, a proposed network of electric trains that would reach speeds up to 220 miles per hour, and connect San Francisco and Sacramento in the north to Los Angeles and San Diego in the south. The project would cost an estimated $42 billion.
This may be a dream come true for transit officials and travelers hoping to spend less time in airport security lines or driving on Interstate 5. But many residents of Menlo Park and Atherton — including most City Council members — say high-speed rail is a nightmare.