Currently, Las Vegas has no passenger rail service, not even Amtrak. The closest thing we have is the Monorail that travels between several Strip hotels. It's not profitable but it is run by a private company with no government subsidy.
Well, now we have two competing railroad companies that propose to provide railroad service from Las Vegas to California.
The first proposal is the Desert Express, which is a high speed diesel train that will go from Vegas to Victorville. Victorville. Just think about that, Victorville CA, a city in the middle of no where.
The 2nd proposal is a MagLev train that will travel from Vegas to downtown Anaheim, CA. The train will travel about 200 mph or more.
Harry Reid currently supports the Desert Express but only after he supported the MagLev train and Reid was instrumental in pulling funding from the Mag Lev project to the Desert Express.
So, the Clark County commissioners decided to play with the devil.
From the Las Vegas Sun: "Clark County commissioners unanimously approved an agreement Tuesday that will allow county staff to work with DesertXpress on part of the high-speed rail line.
The DesertXpress plan calls for a traditional steel-wheel train to be built in the Interstate 15 right-of-way between Las Vegas and Victorville, Calif.
But the freeway right-of-way isn’t large enough to accommodate the train between Russell Road and Tropicana Avenue in Las Vegas, so the company needs permission to build the line in county right-of-way along Dean Martin Drive, just west of I-15.
The agreement does not give permission for the train to be built, but will help the train company as it seeks a license from the Federal Railroad Administration and allows county staff to help determine the use of county property."
The commissioners have decided to play with the devil. While they have no say about the railroad being built, but working with the Desert Express will give the Desert Express a leg up.
But the fact remains, no matter who builds the train, if it ever gets built, both the Mag Lev and the Desert Express will require a lot of government money. There is no way the trains will be profitable or break even. Not when you have cheap air fare between Los Angeles and Vegas or you have a fairly short drive of about 5 hours and you can go anywhere in the Valley,, unlike the choo choo trains.
But I am wondering about this. The Desert Express is supposed to run on diesel fuel. Isn't that more polluting than the electric Mag Lev?
It really makes me wonder what made Harry Reid decide to switch sides on this issue. It goes against his green energy policy. The plan makes no sense whatsoever. Come on, Victorville? Think about it. So, why is Harry flip flopping?
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