Congressmen attempt to withdraw
California high-speed rail funds.
Newberry Springs opposed DesertXpress is impacted.
Posted November 28, 2011
California High-Speed Rail Authority
Funding for California's high-speed rail project has become a target for
congressional opponents who have been attempting to withdraw $3.3-billion in
unspent federal grants already dedicated to start the Golden State's high-speed project.
A cartel of skeptical California Republicans that include Rep. Jeff Deham (R-Atwater)
and Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield), the House majority whip, contend that the proposed
California project is a financial boondoggle and is not affordable in today's recession.
Denham, who sits as House subcommittee chairman on the Transportation and
Infrastructure Committee, is attempting to have the $3.3-billion in federal funding recalled and
possibly redirected to highway construction.
This would not only be another crippling blow to California's high-speed rail dreams, but also
to the DesertXpress high-speed rail proposal between Victorville and Las Vegas.
To be ever financially viable, many believe that DesertXpress must better
connect with the Southern California market. Building a route to reach it through the
Cajon Pass is not financially feasible; the alternative would be to connect with California's
high-speed rail in Palmdale/Lancaster, approximately 45-miles from Victorville. With the
California high-speed rail being clouded in greater uncertainty makes the funding for the
DesertXpress more dubious and perhaps more costly.
Despite Congress having recently cut federal funding for the California high-speed
rail from the 2012 budget, California Governor Jerry Brown plans to seek Legislature approval to
initiate the state's high-speed rail construction in 2012 using the $3.3-billion already allocated
and $2.7 billion in state bonds.
Recinding the $3.3-billion may not pass the Democrat contolled Senate, but the
momentum against federal spending of billions for high-speed rail is escalating, paralleling the
The California project which has largely progressed without federal
scrutiny, will start receiving a stronger look in December when it will be the subject of an
oversight hearing conducted by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. Of
prime committee interest are the rocketing cost projections.
The DesertXpress 185-mile project was originally trouted by its
developers as costing around $5-billion that would be totally paid for by private investors; but
in March 2010, DesertXpress applied for a $4.9-billion loan from the federal Railroad
Rehabilitation & Improvement Financing program. Currently, construction start is dependent
upon the federal government granting a loan for nearly $6-billion.
Any coincidence in the similarity of the two logos?
Both entities support the other.