Trains For America

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UPDATED: Las Vegas maglev subject of deepening conflict

There is $45 million in federal money set aside for the maglev that is proposed to connect Los Angeles with Las Vegas. (Why is it “Los” and “Las?”) Anyway, Nevada Senator Harry Reid is ready to scuttle the federal money and direct it to a European-style corridor that would parallell I-15, This is going to get very messy and it will in no way assist the cause of developing high speed rial in North America.

The Los Angeles Times has a report.

Reid, who no longer supports the maglev project, said during an event to publicize the rail corridor that he would try to scuttle $45 million in federal funds earmarked for the proposal. The maglev project and a conventional rail line proposed by a private venture are trying to develop separate high speed passenger trains that would parallel oft-congested Interstate 15. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood announced Thursday that a swath of land along much of I-15 has been declared a federal high-speed rail corridor — one of 11 such zones in the U.S. Projects proposed in those corridors are eligible for federal assistance, grants and loans.

UPDATE: Associated Press gives some clarity and additional details on this story.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced Thursday that the route is now considered part of the federally designated California high-speed rail corridor.

Filed under: Passenger Rail Politics, United States High Speed Rail

10 Responses

  1. Lazlo says:

    Because “angeles” is masculine and “vegas” is feminine.

  2. patlynch says:

    Thanks. I knew that. (lol)

  3. rafael says:

    @ Pat Lynch –

    “This is going to get very messy and it will in no way assist the cause of developing high speed rial in North America.”

    #1: I hope you’re not seriously advocating coast-to-coast HSR, the technology only makes sense at the regional scale. For anything over 4 hours travel time between major population centers, just keep flying.

    #2: Since DesertXPress has apparently shifted its preference to electric trains, there is now an excellent opportunity to connect its line to the California network’s starter line via an additional connector across the mostly flat, sparsely populated High Desert of Southern California. Should be easy and relatively cheap to build.

    A wye at Barstow and another at Mojave would do the trick. Operators would pay each other trackage fees. Alternatively, south Palmdale-Hesperia-Victorville along the UPRR corridor or else north Palmdale-north Victorville along a greenfield corridor would be possible.

    Result: *direct* HSR service between Anaheim and Las Vegas via Los Angeles plus direct service between San Francisco and Las Vegas by 2020 or so. Sacramento and San Diego would be added by 2030, by that time a second connector between Victorville and Colton might be considered as well to provide a shortcut for LA-LV and SF/Sac-San Diego.

    Far from obstructing the further development of HSR, settling on a single technology (electrified steel wheels) will accelerate network integration in the West. What folks further east and north select for their own HSR networks is their decision.

  4. patlynch says:

    No, I tend toward a mix of HSR in the appropriate corridors and a mix of “high performance” long distance trains connecting larger regions.

    And your post is very interesting. Thanks,

  5. Allan says:

    DesertXPress is a private company so, aside from granting the use of the ROW, the gov’t should just step aside and let them build it. And when I say step aside, I mean no federal dollars.

    I wouldn’t pull funding for the maglev project until DesertXPress completes the tracks. The pull the funds and give them to another maglev project. The gov’t shouldn’t compete with a private project.

  6. Allan says:

    BTW, the Las Vegas Sun still supports maglev:

  7. Allan says:

    BTW, the Las Vegas Sun still supports maglev:

  8. paul martin Smith says:

    My understanding (by reading their web site) is that the business model for DesertXPress success and profitability depends on legalized gambling on board while the consists are still in California.
    (similar to riverboat gambling?)

    Messy? I should think so.

    Perhaps someone knowledgeable could explain the complexities of the L.A.- Victorville segment and why its not in DesertXPress plans?

  9. NikolasM says:

    Go to google maps then click the Terrain button….

  10. Sceseflerve says:

    Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now. Keep it up!
    And according to this article, I tottaly agree with your opinion, but only this time! 🙂

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