Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Barstow newspaper reports Maglev maintenance facility


From the Barstow/Victorville (Desert Dispatch) Newspaper.  Former Barstow Mayor Lawrence Dale (who sits on the CNSTC board)  announced that they are still anticipating the Maglev project and a maintenance facility.

This story also covers last weeks Senator Reeds Attempt to redirect the 45 million to McCarran Airport Exit ramp.
See the story below.

Proposed maglev train loses federal funding

2010-03-23 16:26:39
Backers of a proposed magnetic-levatating train that will run between Anaheim and Las Vegas with a stop in Barstow say they will stick to their schedule despite the likelihood that the federal funds they expected will be shifted to a different project.

Federal transportation funds in the amount of $45 million were intended for the $12.1 billion maglev project but is now being shifted to the Nevada Department of Transportation with the intent of widening a connector road near the McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas. Ultimately, however, the state of Nevada will decide what to do with the funds.

The $45 million was shifted away from the maglev project as part of a jobs bill voted for by Nevada senator Harry Reid and signed into law Thursday by President Barack Obama. Reid switched his support from the maglev project last summer to a privately-funded high-speed train being built by DesertXpress Enterprises. The $4 billion diesel-electric train would run between Victorville and Las Vegas without a Barstow stop.

The California-Nevada Superspeed Train Commission and the American Magline Group, the maglev project’s public and private backers, are confident that the state will shift the $45 million back to the train project, said Mark Fierro, commission spokesman. The American Magline Group has already matched the federal funding by $11.25 million. The project should have received the funding last year, Fierro said.

“We say that when we receive the $45 million that we would be ready to break ground on a portion of the project within 90 days,” he said. “We would have been well underway with construction right now were it not for the delays that we’ve experienced in Washington.”

Former Barstow Mayor Lawrence Dale, who sits on the California-Nevada Superspeed Train Commission, said he’s disappointed that the commission hasn’t received the federal funding. There hasn’t been a recent meeting of the commission because they haven’t received the funding, he said.
We’re still very much involved with trying to move ahead with that project,” he said, adding that the maglev project would also include a maintenance facility in Barstow. “We are not anticipating that we won’t receive funding.”

The DesertXpress project is still mired in environmental review, said company spokesperson Lee Haney. Officials expect a final environmental impact statement to be completed in the summer. Construction will begin by the end of this year, she said.

DesertXpress officials met with current Barstow Mayor Joe Gomez last fall with regards to a stop in Barstow. A stop in Barstow is not planned at this time, however.
Gomez was unavailable for comment Tuesday.
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