U.S. Senate follows House in
eliminating high-speed rail funds.

Posted November 18, 2011

DesertXpress High-Speed Rail
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 Springs.

    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.

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