Thursday, October 1, 2015

XpressWest High Speed Rail which was called DesertXpress is Beginning to Take Shape

The plan is a brainchild of Marnell Corrao Associates a privately held company and it is backed and proposed by private funds. The initial plan is to connect from Victorville in San Bernadino County to Las Vegas with a connection to Los Angeles in Palmdale, Ca. It has further proposal to connect to Phoenix Arizona, Salt Lake City, and Denver Colorado According to reports the cost of the Victorville to Las Vegas section will cost $7 billion with $1.4 Billion coming from the Federal Railroad administration. The 50 mile connection between Victorville to Palmdale is part of an agreement with the LA County Metro Transportation Authority to explore a connection to Metorlink and potentially the Cal High Speed Rail. This looks to be a parallel construction. The initial proposed route between Victorville to Las Vegas looks to run along Hwy 15.This route is largely uninhabited desert land. Most of this land is owned by the Bureau of Land Management (Federal Government) and National Park Service. The uniqueness about the initial route is that there are no proposed stops between the two cities, so it looks to be a straight shot to Vegas. Further reports indicate that the investor group has applied for a loan as of Oct 2011 for a $4.9 billion through the federal Railroad Rehabilitation & Improvement Financing program. The loan and funding are far from approval as Senate and House leaders has indicated the project is a taxpayer risk. As recent as July 2013 news report indicated the loan was suspended. This essentially means denial of the loan, but the developer indicated they are proceeding without firm funding in place. The most recent report is interest from Chinese firms, but that is to build and operate the train, with no indication of Chinese funding. Thus it looks like a project under development costing billions with no firm plan in mind to accomplish it. It will most likely be part of the Presidential nomination cycle as Nevada is early on the primary list. Don’t rush to buy the land just yet.

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