Six Billion Dollar High Speed Train Moves Forward, With Taxpayer Help

The proposed high-speed train line known as the "Desert Xpress" received final environmental approval this week from the Federal Railroad Administration, according to KCET.  The rail would link the City of Victorville with Las Vegas, crossing through the Mojave Desert, and cost at least 6 billion dollars.  The private company proposing the rail line expects a 4.9 billion dollar loan backed by taxpayers to finance most of the project.  As noted on KCET's blog, the rail line has been criticized by citizens as a waste of taxpayer funds and an unwise choice for private investors.  Most travel between Las Vegas and California comes from the Los Angeles basin --why would drivers abandon their cars in Victorville to hop on the train?  And can the line generate enough traffic to pay off the investment?

Most of the line follows the same route as Interstate 15, but the additional infrastructure is expected to compound ecological harm in some areas.  Most notably, the rail line would cut through the Ivanpah Valley--which straddles the California/Nevada border--where the desert tortoise population is already under siege by multiple solar energy projects that threaten to bulldoze over 20 square miles of pristine desert in the area.

Comments

  1. The Mojave Desert is like a guy with a gun to his head, one bullet(Ivanpah) has been fired, now this.

    How many more bullets can it take before it and all its' endangered species keel over and die?

    Will this madness ever end?

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  2. I'm hoping people come to their senses, Bill. Six billion dollars for a train to Vegas? And they need a 5 billion dollar loan from the taxpayer? If private investors don't think its a good idea, why should we throw money at it?

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