Saturday, February 27, 2010

Desert Xpress Victorville Station Video found.


I tripped across this video on youtube.  Its announcing the Victorville Desert Express Station as "the Victorville Grand Central Station'.

Keep in mind that there are posts from over 9 months ago.  However this part of this video is cut from opening page of the Desert Xpress website and is no longer listed within its own website.

I dont know how the city of Las Vegas feels with using their famous logo sign in the middle of victorville?

Keep flying On the Ground!
Maglev ~ News

Monday, February 22, 2010

ARTIC Public Meeting Feb. 24!


Just saw this on the ARTIC web site.  (Final Notice) Public Scoping Meeting on this Wednesday in Anaheim.

This is your chance to come down to Anaheim and ask all the questions you want regarding the ARTIC project.

Anaheim West Tower Gordon Hoyt Building 
Conf Ctr. 2nd Flr
201 South Anaheim Boulevard
Anaheim, CA 92805

February, 24 from 1630-1830

(this is off of Lincoln Ave/Anaheim Blvd.)

Keep Flying at the Ground!
Maglev ~ News.

Friday, February 19, 2010


WOW!  Double the news about the CA/NV Maglev project!  Lets get to it....

(february 18)  Maglev train funds being sought again.

WASHINGTON -- Attending a national governors meeting this weekend, Gov. Jim Gibbons plans to press anew for the Obama administration to release $45 million in federal funds to advance the proposed magnetic levitation train line between Las Vegas and Southern California, an aide said Thursday.
Gibbons is scheduled to meet on Sunday with Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood after the Cabinet member's presentation at the National Governors Association winter meeting in Washington.

"He is going to ask for the status of why the funds have not been released," said Ryan McGinness, director of the Nevada state office in Washington.
"All the conditions were met as of May," McGinness said. "The (Federal Railroad Administration) agreed in October all the conditions were met. It is at least nine months."
A spokesman for the Federal Railroad Administration said Thursday the agency "is still reviewing the status of the maglev project in Nevada."
In a letter to Gibbons in September, LaHood said he could not commit to when final action would be taken.

(february 19) Letter backing Maglev line to Anaheim could further derail Reid

Credit American Magline Group officials for not giving up easily.
After appearing to lose the race to create a high-speed train line linking Las Vegas and Southern California, AMG has responded by obtaining a labor commitment letter with the Southern Nevada Building and Construction Trades Council.

Signed Tuesday by Steve Ross, the building trades council secretary-treasurer and a Las Vegas councilman; Neil Cummings, AMG president; and Ken Kevorkian, California-Nevada Super Speed Train Commission vice chairman, the agreement plays up the potential economic boon that could result from building a maglev line from Las Vegas to Anaheim, Calif. DesertXpress, a Vegas-to-Victorville route, has the backing of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

The letter's call for political intervention includes a comparison between the maglev construction and the building of Hoover Dam during the Depression. It touts the potential for "over 90,000 new construction jobs."

What the letter means for AMG isn't clear. DesertXpress has the inside track, and the lack of a long maglev line anywhere in the world makes AMG's critics more skeptical.
Could the letter make Reid's political life more complicated as he courts labor and fights for re-election?

Seems that the Maglev project still has legs behind it!

Keep flying on the Ground!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Las Vegas Monorail seeks Chinese Backing

From the Las Vegas Sun

(maglev news note)... With the Las Vegas monorail seeking bankruptcy protection, they are currently in hearings as to which section the monorail will fall under, Chapter 9 or 11.  (were not going to figure out which is good or bad for both the monorail or nevada, were the bonds are held)  During these hearings some new items became public knowledge.

"After the hearing, Myles brushed aside rumors that the monorail would attempt to sell its assets to the Regional Transportation Commission, where he served as assistant general manager before taking his current position in 2005.
Instead, he disclosed a multi-prong strategy that includes applying for Federal Transit Administration funds and pursuing a partnership with Chinese investors and government agencies, all for the purpose of expanding the monorail to McCarran International Airport.
To apply for the federal funds, though, Myles said the monorail likely would have to be sponsored by Clark County or another government agency in Nevada.
The China connection began with a five-day trip he took to Beijing in June with representatives of the proposed DesertXpress high-speed train project that would link Las Vegas with Southern California.
Myles said the Chinese officials he met included senior executives with a state-owned bank and a state-owned railway company."

"Myles also defended his $331,000 salary and the $5,000-a-month stipends paid to the monorail’s five board members. His salary in particular, he said, is about equal to what the heads of public transit systems make when benefits packages are considered.
Markell also heard arguments between the monorail and Wells Fargo Bank, which had exclusively managed the transit operator’s accounts until last fall. The bank had began rejecting requests for certain reimbursements — including the $6,700 Myles spent to go to China — arguing that they did not fall under necessary operation and maintenance expenses.
But the monorail, which had begun exploring a restructuring of its debt, opened an account with Bank of America to cover expenses it said Wells Fargo refused to pay.
Wells Fargo, which has been involved since the bonds were issued, stepped up its role as a trustee of the monorail’s funds in 2007 after the monorail defaulted on the bonds.
Markell is being asked to decide whether the bank’s trustee role was violated by the monorail and whether any sanctions are appropriate.
The monorail filed for bankruptcy last month, revealing at the time that it owed $500 million to $1 billion.
Although monorail officials say it makes enough money to pay for ongoing maintenance and operations, it does not earn enough from ridership fares and advertising to pay off the bonds.
The four-mile transit route that runs east of the Las Vegas Strip has carried more than 40 million passengers, but its ridership has fallen far short of initial projections.
Miles told Markell that in recent years, the percentage of tourists who use the monorail has dropped from 20 percent to 16 percent because the transit operator has been spending less money on marketing and because fewer people are flying into Las Vegas.
Traditionally, 80 percent of the monorail’s riders are individuals who fly into town."

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Desert Xpress letter to Vegas Construction Unions.


It looks like Desert Xpress (DX) has inquired to the Las Vegas construction unions to draft a agreement for the project.

(Find it here)

The DX team also in the letter reveals that there is a presentation on March 1.  (no location or a time) and (doesn't mention any presentations on its website)

Keep in mind that the Maglev team has presented to the associated General Contractors back on Friday, January 22.

(Find it here)
Editors note:
If Maglev does get government backing for the China loan... this will be a race as to who will get to Victorville and up and running first!  If they start on both ends (anaheim, vegas)  it will still be 5 years at least to have the full line up with paying passengers.

"Keep on flying on the Ground!"

Sunday, February 14, 2010

E220 route and High Dessert Corridor to Victorville SCLA

Readers please keep in mind that we have not been able to find any current information on this project if it is continuing or is stalled due to budget:  This article is from 2008 and just shows all the planning required for a project this size.

DesertXpress to Vegas moves forward

2008-08-01 17:00:37

VICTORVILLE — Plans for DesertXpress — a privately-funded, high-speed train from Las Vegas to Victorville — continue to move forward, though at a slower speed than originally projected.

The train will cover roughly 200 miles over newly built track at a top speed of 125 mph. It will drop visitors in Vegas in just over an hour and cost $110 round-trip, according to Tom Stone, president of DesertXpress.

Mayor Terry Caldwell said the project is expected to create roughly 2,000 to 3,000 jobs, in customer service and at the adjacent train maintenance and repair facility.

The project is awaiting approval under an Environmental Impact Statement, began in July 2006 by the Federal Railroad Administration, according to spokesperson Steve Kulm. Though the city originally hoped to have the draft EIS in September 2007, Kulm said he expects the study to be complete by the end of this year or early 2009.

“I am not aware of any major environmental issues at this point,” Caldwell said. The project primarily uses existing rail or freeway right-of-ways along Interstate 15.

Kulm said DesertXpress originally submitted insufficient data for the EIS and that they had to request further details, which delayed things a bit.
The terminal itself is planned as a luxury development, with a promise that visitors will start their Las Vegas experience in Victorville.

“MGM and the Bellagio and all the major hotels would have a miniature replica of their hotel’s front desk at the station,” Caldwell said.

Passengers can then check into their hotel, purchase show tickets and check their bags at the terminal, with staff delivering luggage directly to the hotel room.

The terminal will also generate tax revenue, relieve traffic congestion on the I-15 and open up the northeast portion of Victorville for upscale development, Caldwell said.

In addition to plans for the train, Victorville is simultaneously developing plans for an upscale, master-planned community in the surrounding Northern Triangle. It is planned to cover upwards of 5,000 acres bordered by the Mojave River and the I-15, a large portion of which will be acquired by Victorville through a land swap in the works with CEMEX cement company.

Though the concept for this community was in the works before the city become involved with the train project, Caldwell said the two are a perfect marriage.

Also in the works — in a separate but complementary project — is the E220 High Desert Corridor, providing a transportation link between the Antelope Valley and Victorville. Though the roadway is being developed primarily to provide an alternate route to transport goods from Los Angeles to the High Desert and beyond, it will also lead Los Angeles visitors to the train’s terminal.

The DesertXpress itself also includes plans for a possible future extension to Los Angeles.

Keep in mind that doing some research on the E220 (freeway/(possible toll road) might have to share the route with the possible Palmdale expansion.  (Also note that the alignment for the Xpress Palmdale expansion, the CHSR station in Palmdale have yet to be released.)

(E220 Route 50th St. East Palmdale to Victorville)

(SCLA...Southern California Logistics Airport and the E220)

(Distance between SCLA and the 2 proposed Victorville Xpress stations)

There are two videos that discuss the project to the high desert corridor that involves the use of the Southern California Logistics Airport (SCLA).  This was an old Air Force Base that the land has been given back to the community. The Airport along with the corridor is attempting to sell its self as a Cargo distribution center where freight would be shipped via train from the Long Beach area ports to Victorville (SCLA) then routed via truck (North and East).

(keep in mind MAC users...these videos are .avi)

(There are also route maps that show the possible alignment of the E220 connecting to the SCLA)

(In digging around the FRA website I found the section of proposed routes for the Xpress, station locations, etc).
The link shows the possible placement of the Victorville Station which ends at the E220!

Here are the proposed station locations for Victorville. 
(Hope they add sound abatement for the homes next to the curve coming from Palmdale)!!!

If you want to see the entire Xpress listing to the FRA....

The Maglev project has yet to announce its location for the Barstow/Victorville station location.

Thats it for now!

"Keep flying at the Ground!"

Korea/Germany/China/Japan looking for GOLD in CALIFORNIA!

Below is the German Siemens EMU RUS EVS (Sapsan) "Velaro" train built for Russia.  Connecting Moscow and St. Petersburg now in 3 hours and 45 mins instead the current record 4 hours and 30 mins.
Friday, February 12, 2010, by Neal Broverman

With the recent federal cash influx and the passing of Prop. 1A, state officials have said they could break ground later this year on the high-speed rail link from Anaheim to SF, and connecting in Union Station (eventually reaching San Diego and Sacramento). The complex process of how this thing will be paid for is still unclear, but design and construction companies are looking at the $45 billion deal, and now theKorea Times reports that South Korean companies are trying to get their name on that contract. "Second Vice Minister Choi Jang-hyung of the Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs visited California this week and signed a [Memorandum of Understanding] with the California High Speed Rail Authority Thursday." Doesn't mean a Korean company has the deal--Germany, China, Japan, and Italy also want the project. Germany recently built a train that travels almost 250 miles per hour (pictured), and is being considered for the California line. Helping Korea's bid is that the nation's Hyundai Rotem corporation recently exported 131 train cars to Metrolink, LA's commuter rail system. Korean companies have also helped build China's burgeoning high-speed rail network, which the New York Times points out is spurring growth and finding riders, even among the nation's lower-class. Meanwhile, the Export-Import Bank of China has said they'll provide a loanfor the proposed maglev from Anaheim to Vegas, which would zip passengers between the cities in a little over an hour. 

Monday, February 8, 2010

Construction Supports photos from China

While reviewing some photos of the beam construction, it got me thinking about how they built the beams in Shanghai.  So a little research and came across these terrific photos of the construction site, including the main station.  You can find all these photos at the following site:

*It should be noted that the construction processes for Ca/Nv project have NOT been announced yet.  These photos (this post and last) only provide insight into how it has been completed elsewhere.**

Support beams waiting for Guideway sections.

Guideway installation process.

Overhead crane operation.  

Station Construction

Almost finished!

Station Switch at BELOW ground level!

I love this photo!  The increasing grade (from ground level).  Also keep in mind...this is only 3 sections!  When the full route opens the train will be running 10 sections!


Keep flying at the ground!
Maglev ~ News

Thursday, February 4, 2010


Not a lot of posts about the CA~NV project since the possibility of the bank loan from China.  So I though I would dig though some of the photos of how they build the beams needed for the Maglev train.

You can find these photos at:

Heres one of the beam factory JIGs where you can see the welding units on the right hand side.

A finished beam being lifted by two cranes.  This appears that the track work design is from the Germany testing facility.  You can also see the angle of the track that the train will sit on.

The Motor windings being installed.

Enjoy the photos...

"Keep flying on the Ground!"

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

MAGLEV gets OK from CHINESE backers...

Its been a few days since the announcement....(I havent been feeling well).  

So during the Jon Ralston interview... on Las Vegas channel 3.  The CNIMP team pulls this ACE card out of their sleeve.  If you haven't seen the video... It's block 3 on Feb 2.  (you have to scroll to the right).,5399

The Export/Import bank of China is willing to pony up (are you sitting down) $7B! For the project.

It does have a few guidelines that it has to meet (having the loan backed by the Federal Government) but, not all the details have been worked out.

This is a promising step forward... but there are a few more steps to be defined before shovel takes to ground.

Thats all the information we've got at the moment.  

Keep your fingers crossed for some more news soon!  If you haven't already, I would sign-up on the CA/NV maglev facebook page to keep up to-date!

Keep flying on the ground!
Maglev News.