Friday, December 24, 2010

Helendale may join Barstow opposition to DesertXpress


Helendale is located between Barstow and Victorville, not connecting to Interstate 15.  Please see the following article from the Desert Dispatch.

Helendale may join Barstow’s opposition to desert high-speed train

2010-12-22 16:27:16
HELENDALE • The Helendale Community Services District may soon be passing a resolution that would oppose a proposed high-speed train project that would connect Victorville to Las Vegas, allowing passengers to bypass Barstow.

The City of Barstow has opposed the DesertXpress project because of the potential economic effect the train could have on the city. The City Council commissioned an economic study released in October that stated the DesertXpress could eliminate up to 33 percent of the car and bus traffic that passes from Southern California to Las Vegas.

Members of the Helendale CSD are expected to pass a resolution at their next board meeting in January that will support the city of Barstow in its quest to stop or delay the project.
One of the board directors said he wanted to pass the resolution because of the potential economic effect to the High Desert area.

John Higdon, Helendale CSD board director, said he felt the project would negatively affect the economy throughout the High Desert. He also said he did not feel that the DesertXpress would create a large number of permanent jobs.

“I believe the amount of jobs is way overstated in the end,” said Higdon.

Although the DesertXpress is facing opposition from different communities in the High Desert and recently lost its company president, a spokesperson from the company said Wednesday that the project is still scheduled to begin construction next year.

Former DesertXpress Enterprises President Tom Stone announced his retirement last week after working on the project since the inception. The company released a statement about Stone’s retirement on its Web site.

“[Stone’s] commitment, leadership and expertise has established a strong foundation setting the stage for a groundbreaking next year on the first dedicated high speed rail project in America,” the statement read in part.

DesertXpress spokesperson Lee Haney could not confirm who the next company president would be, but said board chairman Tony Marnell has been leading a lot of the work on the project.

Haney said that the draft process for the environmental impact report for the project has been closed and DesertXpress is hoping to issue a final environmental impact report in the next few weeks. Once the report is finalized, Haney said the company would work to finalize the project permitting early next year and begin construction later in the year.
Contact the writer:
(760) 256-4122 or

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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Anaheim ARTIC issues RFQ for Shell and Walls

Over the past few days the City of Anaheim and ARTIC have issued a RFQ bid for scope of work for the ARTIC arch and interior structures.  Bid awarded July 2011.  Kinda of odd, if ground breaking was to take place in the spring of 2011.

Part of the structure (the roof) is called ethylene tetrafluoroethylene.  (think the Chinese Water Cube and Bird Nest buildings.)

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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

ANAHEIM Panoramas!


Here are some panoramas of the Anaheim area and the proposed ARTIC elements.

(Keep in mind:  All elements, proposals, station designs, locations, and elements have NOT been included, EIS elements have not been filed, and not been publicly secured and announced.  We strongly suggest that any questions about be directed to the respective team(s).  These panoramas are strictly for entertainment purposes only.)

(Anaheim Stadium)

(ARTIC/Santa Ana River Bed)


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HSR to start in Central Valley, NOT ANAHEIM

Lots of news about Anaheim in the past few weeks....

A potential "switched track" to the ARTIC project and HSR starting in Anaheim has been dealt a hand from FRA.  Build in the Central Valley to showcase HSR speed or loose $715 million from the FRA.

This news is also been a bad week to Anaheim as Curt Pringle Mayor of Anaheim until yesterday (Dec 7) decided not to participate in CAHRS meetings until his term ended due to, the possibility of conflict of interest.

AND the ARTIC project possibly not being fully able to accept HSR in its design.

This only confirms how important the ARTIC project and MAGLEV connections take place.

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Friday, December 3, 2010

Maglev Movie Monday (Friday)


We found this older video from 2008 that showcases the different db (decibel) levels of MAGLEV vs. car, rail, and air.  This is a great video for anyone questioning the noise levels of the Maglev operating.


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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Maglev Movie (Thursdays)!

We spent the holidays catching up on some of the Maglev News that has happened over the past few weeks.  We thought it would be great to post some additional videos from youtube.  Enjoy!

This is a great video showing close-up the Shanghai train flying by with Train audio.  Unfortunately we dont have a marker where the photographer was standing to get a speed of the Maglev.

A small quick video showing off the Max Bogel track fabrication plant in Germany and what looks like a Transrapid 09 sitting on the track.  No idea if this is part of the test track that was proposed to help further additional design features.

A great video (3 years ago) showing off the country side... you can also see the control operations tower at around 1:10.  At 3:30 the Maglev reaches full speed, and then look for the toll area (5:22) on the side of the freeway and you can see the storage facility and the (5:27) awesome short and steep hill that the Maglev has to go over to connect to the line.

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Las Vegas Sun: New leaders = revival of maglev?

Heres an article posted today the Las Vegas Sun.  It does bring additional encouragement to the tracks....


With new leaders, a revival of maglev high-speed rail?

Issues await positions of Sandoval, Heck

By Richard N. Velotta (contact)

Thursday, Nov. 25, 2010 | 2 a.m.

We may soon learn how our newly elected officials in Carson City and Washington will side on issues that involve the big pillar of our economy, tourism.
For instance, how will Gov.-elect Brian Sandoval come down on the duel between competing high-speed train proposals to join Las Vegas with Southern California?
Maybe this tips his hand: He wants to retain Susan Martinovich as the head of the Nevada Transportation Department, where she has been working with the California-Nevada Super Speed Train Commission, which supports a magnetic-levitation transportation system. Outgoing Gov. Jim Gibbons supported maglev, too. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid also did at one time, but now he supports the more conventional DesertXpress high-speed train between here and Victorville.
While the maglev project languishes because the Federal Railroad Administration won’t answer the state’s or the American Magline Group’s calls, the federal agency was quick to find $1 million to begin environmental studies for the critical link between Victorville and Palmdale, Calif., that DesertXpress needs to complete the Las Vegas-L.A. route.
There are additional graphics within the Las Vegas Sun site.

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CORRECTION: German Govn. want out of Transrapid

We have received a correction about the story that Germany wants to separate itself from Transrapid a few days ago.  

It appears that Transrapid in Lathen will have continued support at least until the end of 2011.

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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Could Florida HSR be De-railed?


We were sent this article from a local newspaper in a city that is within the proposed (1st segment) FL HSR line from Tampa to Orlando.  Florida's new Governor Rick Scott spokesman has quoted the following...



Florida has received $2 billion from the federal government ó 70 percent of the total cost ó to build a line from Orlando to Tampa. It is envisioned as an alternative for workers and tourists to the state's often snarled interstate system, promising, roaring along at 168 mph, to deliver them to their destinations in a fraction of the time.
But new Gov. Rick Scott as well as the state's leading transportation force in Congress, Rep. John Mica, are signaling that it is not too late to stop the project ó and that they may be the ones to do it.[...]

'However, he is opposed to investing in projects that have little or no return on investment to the state,' said Trey Stapleton, a spokesman for Scott. 'After looking at a final feasibility study on high-speed rail projects and determining what the state would be responsible for, he will assess the states funds and determine if there is adequate return on investment for the taxpayer's money.'

However, Florida has its hopes up, along with California (big winners in last years FRA funding awards) who are writing to the FRA and trying to pick-up what ever monies are sent back.  As other states who have won FRA monies some States like Wisconsin are considering sending the funds back.


In Wisconsin, Gov.-elect Scott Walker staked his campaign partly on a promise to kill a proposed high-speed rail line connecting Milwaukee and Madison, even though the state had already received $810 million from the federal government. Walker said future operating and maintenance costs are too much for his state's taxpayers.
And in Ohio, newly elected governor John Kasich has vowed to reject $400 million of federal funding to build a high-speed rail connection in central Ohio. Kasich said with trains expected to go just 50 mph in many stretches of Ohio, he fears riders won't have any incentive to get out of their cars to ride it.[...]
One of our readers who travels the I-4 corridor has also noticed an aggressive marketing campaign by Siemens with radio ads, local web banners, and even billboard ads with their HSR trains being the focus.

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States receiving HSR Monies want to give it back. Other states with open arms.


In a recent turn of events, some states who applied for FRA funds ranging from tunnel expansion to increasing track speeds were awarded monies, are now wanting to give it back.  Some of the reasons are that some States dont have enough monies to either assist finishing the projects or dont want to get into further debt.

States like California and Florida (see other article) have already submitted letters from State Governors offices to the FRA asking that if the monies are returned that they would like to be the first to use some of those monies.

(Editor Note:) 
Loretta Sanchez represents the 47th district.  This covers the Anaheim/Santa Ana/Garden Grove area that will cover the ARTIC projects location.


California has already taken significant steps to make high-speed rail a reality. In July, the Federal Transit Administration awarded the City of Anaheim $5 million to help fund the Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center (ARTIC) project. Once completed, ARTIC will accommodate existing bus, rail, and shuttle connections to the Anaheim Resort Area, as well as high-speed trains.
The California Delegation’s letter follows a similar appeal sent by Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), and California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger earlier this week. A copy of the Delegation’s letter can be found below:
Secretary LaHood and Administrator Szabo:
As several states have recently announced their intention to cancel their high-speed rail plans, we see this as an opportunity to concentrate our federal investment in a state that is both an ideal location for high-speed rail and ready and eager to implement a high-speed rail system.

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German Fed. Gov. wants out of Transrapid Test Track


We found this article on German website and will post the translated link for you to follow.  It appears that this will be the last year for the Transrapid test track near Lathen.  The IABG testing group that had tested the Transrapid 09 version has already stated that they have closed their portion of the facility.

There is additional hope on the horizon however, for Transrapid.  It appears that the Chinese will be expanding their test line in Shanghai (see other story); Brazil Olympics bid; and for either the Pittsburgh or Vegas routes in the U.S.

Lathen: money or for up to one year 

Federal government wants to get out of Transrapid

As the CDU member of parliament said Gitta Connemann our newspaper, are available for 2011 again € 5.95 million. This, we have five million euros blocked until the traffic and the Ministry of Finance with the industrial facilities operating company (IABG) in Ottobrunn and the Emsland district have agreed on a settlement concept.
Connemann District and Hermann Bröring (CDU) hope that the plant can not be demolished, but can be converted into a center for electric vehicles. This concerns for example the further development of battery technology and the non-contact inductive power transfer. According Bröring the preliminary contract with the operator of the IABG test facility has already been closed. "In Lathen all infrastructural and personnel requirements for such a center of excellence exist," the county government. "It would be for the Emsland a great opportunity university remotely to this seminal issue process." Therefore, it was "economically shame" if the track would be dismantled in the Emsland region and would have to be created somewhere else in a few years a new facility for this future task.
The district is therefore in principle prepared to lead, together with IABG negotiations with the federal government over the continued existence of the pilot plant, and thus "to apply for a fee, restoration obligations," said Bröring. The costs are estimated at about 40 million €. After a raise in 1984 with the former track operator MVP concluded contract, the federal government this amount. If there were an agreement to re-use in the direction of electric vehicles, the money to the district and the IABG would be made available for use on their own. The federal government would dismiss it out of its obligations.
Gitta Connemann said that it regretted the development, but I also see a chance to get 60 jobs in Lathen. "I would have wished, however, from Berlin, a tangible commitment to the Transrapid. The monorail is for me the means of the future. "This has been seen in the Department of Transportation only. In the consultation document therefore further six million euros for 2012 were provided. This had, however, can not, despite the huge efforts of their colleagues Georg Schirmbeck (Osnabrück) from the budget committee to enforce said Connemann.Concerns have been mainly the FDP members Claudia Winterstein from Hanover.

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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Updated Desert Express Victorville proposed station location.


We have found a partial proposed new amended station location for Desert Xpress in Victorville.  There were other proposed location(s)...However, a search on the FRA web-site is not pulling all the proposed change listings that were available a few days ago.

We find this one particularly interesting as it shows the location of the station -- right next to an off ramp for the proposed new East/West 220 freeway will run from (Apple Valley/crossing I-15/Palmdale.)  

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Japan firm creating thin-film solar cells on MAGLEV TRACK


We were sent this article about this Japanese firm that is creating "thin-film" solar cells.  Miyazaki Solar Way Co. has attached and build a 1-megawatt (1,000 kwatt) power plant based on panels that have been installed at the Linerar Miyazaki Test track.

Kyushu taking the lead in thin-film solar cells

photoFuji Electric Systems Co.'s FWAVE solar cell sheet bends easily when picked up. (Kazunori Haga)photoHonda Soltec Co.'s solar cell (Kazunori Haga)photoAt Miyazaki Solar Way Co.'s facility in Tsuno, Miyazaki Prefecture, 442 solar panels are lined up over 260 meters on a former experimental maglev train track. (Haruki Morishita)photoMiyazaki Solar Way Co. is building a mega solar power generation facility that will feature 10-by-4-meter thin-film solar panels in Tsuno, Miyazaki Prefecture. (Kazunori Haga)

In the fast-growing solar cell market, companies based in Kyushu are challenging the established players with next-generation thin-film technology, backed by support from local governments and universities.
The market is dominated by solar cells that sandwich crystalline silicon between glass substrates. Products from domestic leaders Sharp Corp. and Kyocera Corp. are primarily of the crystalline type.
However, the expanding market has fueled fears of possible silicon shortages. Should the supply-demand balance crumbles, raw materials costs could suddenly jump.
Many companies are now focusing on products made of thin layers of film that use either a small amount of silicon or none at all.
Fuji Electric Systems Co. is manufacturing an amorphous (non-crystalline) type of solar cell that uses only one-200th the amount of silicon of conventional products at its factory in Nankan, Kumamoto Prefecture.
FWAVE, a thin, flexible black sheet covered with small holes encased in a transparent plastic film, bends easily. It can be attached to domes and other curved surfaces.
"(FWAVE) can be set up in places where installation of solar cells has been difficult because it is thin, light and flexible," said Masao Yokomizo, a general affairs manager at the Kumamoto plant.
Alpinist Ken Noguchi says he attaches an FWAVE sheet to the outside of his tent to power his cellphone and other devices.
Kumamoto University is conducting research with Fuji Electric Systems.
"The age of just laying solar cells on flat surfaces such as the roofs of houses is over," said Isao Taniguchi, president of Kumamoto University and a scholar of electrochemistry. "The next generation of solar cells will open up a new era."
In Ozu, Kumamoto Prefecture, Honda Soltec Co., a wholly owned subsidiary of Honda Motor Co., is conducting research for mass-producing a type of solar cell that uses no silicon.
The product, known as CIGS type, is made from copper, indium, gallium and selenium.
Thin-film solar cells can generate electricity even in low-light conditions. They are suited for residential use because the amount of electricity generated does not change much even if the array is partially shaded.
Still, the market share is limited because power generation efficiency is lower than that of conventional products.
"The performance of thin-film solar cells is improving. They will be able to compete head-on with crystalline products in the near future," said Akio Kazusa, president of Honda Soltec.
The Kumamoto prefectural government will open an 800 million yen ($9.8 million) center next spring to support the development and production of thin-film solar cells on the technological front.
"There are a lot of companies possessing excellent engineering skills in Kumamoto Prefecture, and I would like to see them compete globally with thin-film technology," said Masahiro Kashiwagi, a former Toshiba Corp. engineer who serves as an industrial technology adviser for the prefectural government.
The Miyazaki prefectural government, meanwhile, announced its Miyazaki Solar Frontier Concept in March 2009 to develop its solar cell industry.
One of the pillars is a plan to set up mega-solar power generation facilities, capable of producing more than one megawatt of electricity, in the prefecture.
The plan is designed to take advantage of geography that affords Miyazaki the nation's third-longest duration of sunshine, averaging 2,108 hours a year between 1971 and 2000.
Solar Frontier KK, a wholly owned subsidiary of Showa Shell Sekiyu KK, is manufacturing a type of thin-film solar cell made of copper, indium and selenium in Miyazaki Prefecture.
The company is also working to set up a mega-solar power generation facility in the prefecture.
In April, Miyazaki Solar Way Co., a subsidiary of aerial surveying contractor Kokusai Kogyo Co., began operating an experimental installation of three different types of solar cells in Tsuno, Miyazaki Prefecture.
Next spring, the company plans to complete construction of a mega-solar power generation facility that uses 12,520 thin-film panels made by Solar Frontier.
The University of Miyazaki, with support from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, opened a graduate course at its Faculty of Engineering aimed at developing solar cell engineers in autumn 2009.
It has invited engineers from manufacturers to serve as lecturers. The second term, which began in October, has attracted 42 students, or 30 percent of the faculty's graduate school population.
"Solar power generation is a growth industry, but there are few specialists because it is a new field," said Masahisa Otsubo, dean of the university's Faculty of Engineering. "The development of people capable of working on next-generation solar cells is an urgent task."
Chikahisa Honda, a professor of electrical and electronic engineering in charge of the course, said: "We would like to foster people who can lead the global solar power business in Miyazaki Prefecture. We stand a good chance because there are many related manufacturers and facilities in Kyushu."

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Friday, November 12, 2010

Ivanpah Solar Plant to break ground on public land

We found this article very interesting as Ivanpah, CA is the valley area around the proposed Ivanpah Airport (to the North West) for expanding McCarran Airport in Las Vegas.  There are additional Solar power plants to the North-East off of Nevada-95 (about 15 minutes South of Boulder City).

This Solar site is located just to the West of the Primm Resorts Golf Course (on the CA side of stateline/Primm).

Find out more information at:

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FOUND! Available land for sale near DesertXpress


We have found a link that is showing how much acres of land are going for near the proposed station for DesertXpress.

2 acres are going for the price of a small new house!  115k

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Friday, October 22, 2010

FOUND! City of Barstow report to FRA AGAINST DX

It's been a busy month with press on both sides:  MAGLEV supporters in Las Vegas asking questions to the FRA regarding the DX report.

And DX coming out with a fancy new website (just in time) for the FRA to announce that the DX can now submit for Federal Backed Loans....
(wait a second....I thought DX didn't need Federal Money)...but that is ANOTHER subject for ANOTHER time.  

With all the press (during the FRA re-examining the DX EIR reports because they now want to build tunnels, and cross part of the Mojave National Forest, and other small items eg...increased db levels in Barstow) the the City of Barstow has made it known that it does not support the DX project and has hired a consulting firm to inform all of its residents of the negative aspects of the DX not stopping in Barstow.

Keep in mind that the MAGLEV project has always planned on stopping in BOTH Victorville and Barstow.  And is planning on a maintenance facility in Barstow.

We found today a link to the ENTIRE report that the consultant firm has sent to the FRA (on behalf of the City of Barstow) regarding questions about the DX project...(such as why... the MAGLEV project is not included in any of it's 'DX' EIR reports as a complementing/competing project).

Enjoy the link.  Be forewarned that its 9MB and 110 pages.

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Monday, October 4, 2010

Barstow looking into combatting against DX


Please see the following article from the City of Barstow, CA.  They have started to look into making the city aware of the possible financial issues that will arise if the DX does not build a station in Barstow.  Keep in mind that the MAGLEV project not only has proposed building a station (for both victorville and barstow) but, also a proposed MAGLEV maintenance facility increasing jobs.

Heres the date and location for the FRA hearing that will take place in Barstow.

"The Federal Railroad Administration’s public hearing on the train’s supplemental environmental impact statement released earlier this month from 5:30  to 8 p.m. Oct. 14 at the Hampton Inn at 2710 Lenwood Road." 

2010-10-03 09:07:35
BARSTOW • After it approved an economic study in opposition to a proposed high speed train between Victorville and Las Vegas, Barstow officials are now proposing that the city hire a public relations firm to spread awareness about the train’s negative impacts to Barstow.

The City Council will be asked Monday to approve a $20,000 professional services agreement with Public Management Advisors, a consulting firm for public agencies. If approved, the consultant will come up with a communication plan to spread awareness of the loss of revenue and the loss of jobs in Barstow should the DesertXpress train be built.
City officials estimate that Barstow could lose $1.3 million a year in sales tax revenue if the DesertXpress train is built. This is based on a traffic impact study, which states the train would result in 20 percent fewer cars on Interstate 15. The train would connect Victorville with Las Vegas, bypassing Barstow.

According to its contract with the city, if hired, Public Management Advisors will position Barstow as an environmental and economic advocate, put political pressure on California government officials and offer commentary to influence public opinion. It will send press releases and pitch story ideas to newspapers in Nevada and Arizona as well as the Los Angeles Times and the Desert Dispatch.

City Manager Richard Rowe could not be reached for comment. Ron Rector, the city’s community and economic development director, and the person making the proposal, wrote in an e-mail Friday that he does not comment on agenda items that haven’t been before the City Council for approval.

The City Council Sept. 15 approved a $22,000 contract with economist Ronald Barbieri to prepare an economic study that will be submitted to the Federal Railroad Administration at a public hearing Oct. 14.
DesertXpress officials hope to be through the permitting process by the end of this year. Project officials are currently applying for a federal loan to partially fund the project.

The DesertXpress is one of two high speed trains proposed for the High Desert. The Council has long opposed the project because it does not have a stop in Barstow. A magnetic levitating train between Anaheim and Las Vegas with a stop in Barstow is being developed, but would need to be funded by government dollars. (keep in mind that now DX is also now asking for Federal dollars)

The Federal Railroad Administration’s public hearing on the train’s supplemental environmental impact statement released earlier this month from 5:30  to 8 p.m. Oct. 14 at the Hampton Inn at 2710 Lenwood Road. The supplemental environmental impact report can be found at the FRA’s Web site at

The Barstow City Council meets at 7:30 p.m. Monday in City Council Chambers at 220 East Mountain View Street. Copies of the agenda and staff report are available at Meetings are televised live at Time Warner Cable Channel 6.

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