Thursday, October 20, 2011

Vegas Neighborhood asks questions about DX

An additional story from the Las Vegas Sun and Richard N. Velotta about the Dean Martin Rural Neighborhood Preserve Association has sent a letter to the FRA announcing questions and concerns about the DX HSR project, including how it will effect McCarran Airport, land use and safety.
The Las Vegas Sun has posted some of the highlights of its questions:

Thursday, Oct. 13, 2011 | 4:41 p.m.
The association says worldwide, no private commercial high-speed railroad is profitable. It said several states’ governors have stopped projects or rejected loans because of the possibility of high operating costs.
• Although Sen. Harry Reid, who supports DesertXpress, has said 80,000 jobs would be directly or indirectly created by the proposal, a federal environmental impact statement says it would generate just over 700 permanent jobs, 70 of which would be in Nevada.
• The DesertXpress ridership study was conducted more than five years ago with optimistic projections. The association cited Amtrak, Megabus and the Las Vegas Monorail as having similar optimistic projections that never materialized.
• The association questions whether Las Vegans would take the train to Victorville only to rent a car there to continue the journey to Southern California.
• The association also rehashed Reid’s withdrawal of support for a maglev project to get behind the DesertXpress, which was backed by Republicans for Reid organizer Sig Rogich, a supporter of the train.
• The environmental impact statement said an elevated track would affect one of McCarran International Airport’s east-west runways.
• The proposed rail line does not conform to a land-use plan along the Dean Martin corridor. The west side of that corridor is designated for rural neighborhood preservation.
• The document questions whether trains on tracks elevated 50 to 85 feet above ground would be affected by high winds and whether the pillars elevating the track would be a safety hazard on the highway below.
• The association said a 4-foot barrier would not contain the sound of the moving train, especially if the tracks are elevated.

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