U.S. Senate follows House in
eliminating high-speed rail funds.
Posted November 18, 2011
DesertXpress crusing speed may be 0 MPH.
The U.S. Senate, following an earlier vote by the House, approved legislation
that ceases federal funding for high-speed rail projects. High-speed rail has been a major
stimulus goal of President Obama.
This will seriously jepardize California's dreams of a high-speed rail link
between the Bay Area and Southern California. Likewise, critical funding for the DesertXpress
high-speed rail service between Victorville and Las Vegas has been eliminated.
California's Governor Jerry Brown, in a move to appease his union support, has
stated that he will launch construction of California's project next year with the $12.3 billion the
state has available; $3.3 billion in earlier federal grants and $9 billion in bonds authorized by
California voters in 2008. The current cost of completing the California project has been
recently reestimated to be over $100 billion dollars.
DesertXpress, which has been highly supported by Nevada's Democratic Senator
Harry Reid, will now not likely to be able to acquire private financing without federal
support. The DesertXpress rail is proposed to run along the I-15 through Barstow and Newberry
The only apparent hope for the rail projects would be a reconfiguration of
Congress in the 2012 elections.
Update: November 23 - House Republicans are attempting
to hold back the federal $3.3 billion unspent on California's high-speed rail project and to divert it
to California highway improvements. The spiraling high-speed rail costs are branded by opponents
as being unaffordable.