XpressWest High-Speed
Train Project Derailed By
'Made in America'

This illustration looks good, with the railbed and ugly powerline supports excluded.

July 21, 2013

      The proposed high speed train between Victorville and Las Vegas appears derailed once again.  The Department of Transportation has pulled the plug on a $5 billion federal loan application presented by the developers.

      The proposed project known as the XpressWest (previously DesertXpress), has had a critical federal loan application withdrawn and returned by the DOT due to the applicants failing to acquire sufficient U.S. manufacturers for the project.

      The federal loan requirements require that a priority be placed upon American-made products.  The 'Made in America' label carries weight in Congress that wants more American tax dollars going to stimulate the American economy.

      The project, that is economically unfeasible, is not dead yet.  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D. Nev.), who has greased his own trolley tracks with financial campaign donations from Las Vegas entertainment interests supporting the proposal, has claimed that the project is "not over yet."

      The city of Barstow has voiced strong disapproval of the project for it bypasses the city without stopping; transporting otherwise road travelers that many of Barstow's businesses depend upon.

      The city of Ontario has also voiced opposition against the project.  Although Ontario doesn't have any flesh in the Victorville to Las Vegas route, Ontario would like to see a mag-lev system linking its airport to Las Vegas.  A mag-lev isn't practical to build however due to the grade of the Cajon Pass.  Mag-lev technology is better suited for a route through Newhall and Palmdale.  Not directly from Ontario to Las Vegas.

      The proposed route of the XpressWest would travel along Interstate-15 through northern Newberry Springs; outside of the Newberry CSD boundaries.

      The Newberry Springs Community Alliance presented opposition to the project when a federal hearing for the project was held in Barstow under the previous name of DesertXpress.

      The Community Alliance's opposition, in support of Barstow, is over the economic damage that the project would bring to the Barstow region; including the negative impact that stores closing in Barstow would have upon Newberry Springs and the remaining Daggett Triangle.

      The DOT is working with Amtrak, the California High-Speed Rail Authority, and others to seek a way that the XpressWest could be compliant with 'Buy America'.  The massive pork barrel project of high speed rail is part of a national high speed rail program that has been an early cornerstone goal of President Obama.

Earlier blog on DesertXpress.

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