Associated Press File
Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2009 | 5:35 p.m.
- Beyond Victorville: Coloradans covet high-speed rail, too (9-14-2009)
- DesertXpress train aiming for March construction start (9-1-2009)
- Forum to address DesertXpress train proposal (6-28-2009)
- High-speed train plan gets notice in D.C. (6-24-2009)
- Public or private, rail line will need major subsidies from government (6-14-2009)
- Maglev or DesertXPress, this could be your new ride (6-14-2009)
- Trade-offs between technologies include speed, cost (6-14-2009)
- Maglev train to press on without Reid (6-10-2009)
- Reid sides with Desert Xpress fast train option (6-9-2009)
- State sends no representative to talk on high-speed trains (6-5-2009)
- Obama outlines vision for high-speed rail network (4-16-2009)
- 8 states seek stimulus money for high-speed rail (4-15-2009)
- No waste in rail dream (3-5-2009)
- Economic crisis an opportunity to be greener (3-1-2009)
- Vegas, Midwest seek the $8 billion for fast trains (2-23-2009)
- Calif. bond would launch bullet train project (9-26-2008)
WASHINGTON - The competition between two proposed high-speed trains running from Las Vegas to Southern California ignited anew today after federal authorities announced $45 million for the maglev project that had lost key political support earlier this year.
Gov. Jim Gibbons backs the magnetic levitation rail project that critics say relies on a technology that is unproven in this country and too costly. He announced the federal planning funds.
The long-envisioned maglev train between Las Vegas and Anaheim suffered a setback this year when Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced he was pulling his support. Reid now prefers the proposed DesertXpress train -- a much cheaper alternative.
DesertXpress is backed by Nevada political guru SigRogich, a Reid supporter, and is much further along in the planning process with hopes of breaking ground on construction next year. But it too has shortcomings: Critics are skeptical of the route between Las Vegas and the California high-desert city of Victorville, some 80 miles from Los Angeles.
DesertXpress says it is a private venture that would only rely on federal government loans -- though experts say few private train lines are profitable.
Maglev would rely more heavily on federal funds, and is seeking part of the $8 billion for high-speed rail Reid helped to secure in the econmic recovery act.
Nevada's Republican Sen. John Ensign has long preferred DesertXpress.
With Gibbons behind maglev the split among Nevada's top elected officials could further complicate either project's prospects.
Nevertheless the governor welcomed the federal funds. “This project will put Nevadans to work and will help bring our transportation infrastructure into the 21st century,” Gibbons said.