Monday, June 13, 2011

Vegasinc asking questions when HSR & MAGLEV will move forward

All, (from the Las Vegas Sun) have published (2) great question articles about BOTH DX and MAGLEV projects.  These articles show the real benefits to MAGLEV vs. DX.  We encourage readers to visit both links for the entire articles.  Richard N. Velotta wrote both articles.

"Is this train ever going to leave the station?"
By Richard N. Velotta
Monday, 13 June 2011
But it had—and still has—a serious flaw: It wouldn’t go anywhere near Hollywood. The line would end at Victorville, just south of which is Cajon Pass, a steep grade from the Los Angeles Basin to the high desert. The high-speed rail technology can’t climb the Cajon Pass grade. True, there are freight train tracks between San Bernardino and Victorville, but curves would be too tight for a high-speed train to maintain speed. The whole idea of having a high-speed system from LA to Vegas is to make the trip competitive with airlines. A slowdown at Cajon Pass would defeat the purpose.

Critics have publicly flogged the DesertXpress proposal from Day 1. Who in their right mind would drive from Los Angeles to Victorville, park their car in a lot, climb aboard a train for an hour and 20 minutes and then rely on public transportation once in Las Vegas?

Forget about Las Vegans wanting to go to Southern California. Victorville as an end point has always been a nonstarter for us. We would have even less desire to find our way into the vast California megalopolis on public transportation after getting off “the train to nowhere.” Yeah, you could rent a car at the Victorville station, but what’s the point? It would be easier and less expensive to simply drive the three hours through Victorville and then on to Los Angeles.

What does the management of DesertXpress think? No one would comment on the California developments, although in recent public appearances, officials have blissfully repeated that the route through Victorville is the way to go.
Unfortunately, I had also hoped to talk with them about recent concerns raised by homeowners along the proposed route into Las Vegas and how the train and its elevated track would be a noisy visible nuisance.

I also want to know what they thought of Texas developer Chris Milam’s ambitious plan to build baseball and soccer stadiums and a basketball arena at Interstate 15 and Russell Road. This is the same area DesertXpress officials have said is their No. 1 choice for a train station.

Have Milam’s people and the DesertXpress people—both represented locally by influential Sig Rogich—even spoken with each other?

And what about the status of DesertXpress’ $4.9 billion loan application through the Railroad Rehabilitation & Improvement Financing program, which provides direct federal loans and loan guarantees to finance development of railroad infrastructure?

 (new article)

"If 'Plan A' for HSR derails, 'Plan B' stands ready...."

By Richard N. Velotta
Monday, 13 June 2011
So what happens if high-speed rail plans in California derail? Is there a Plan B to get Las Vegans to LA?

The answer is obvious: Revive the original idea of using maglev technology, which wouldn’t be hindered by the steep grades of Cajon Pass and could shuttle passengers to and from Anaheim in about the same time it would take DesertXpress to run from Las Vegas to Victorville. The maglev plan, backed by the California-Nevada Super Speed Train Commission and endorsed by the Nevada Transportation Department and several Southern California municipalities along its route, is still alive.

Neil Cummings, president of American Magline Group, the company contracted to carry out the commission’s plan, says not much has happened since July 2009 when the scope of work for the starter segment of the project and $45 million in funding were approved.

“We’re still pursuing all possibilities to make this happen,” Cummings said last week. “Unfortunately, there’s been no communication from the Federal Railroad Administration, which has been beyond frustrating.”

Keep Flying On The Ground! 
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