Sunday, September 20, 2015

Building high speed train infrastructure, Los Angeles to Las Vegas

ABC News/Susanna Kim, 9/8/15.  "High-speed rail between LA-Las Vegas in the works." 

.... "China Railway will join XpressWest for the project, with the hope of starting construction as early as September 2016. China Railway International USA, which announced yesterday it's investing $100 million in the project, is a consortium led by China Railway, the national railroad of the People's Republic of China.

map of Los Angeles-area Metrolink lines linked with future high-speed train route.... Called the Southwest Rail Network, the project aims to build a stations in Las Vegas; Victoriville, California; and Palmdale, California, with service throughout Los Angeles. The project has a price tag of about $7 billion, the Associated Press reports. XPressWest, a private company in Nevada, has hoped to build a high-speed passenger railroad along the route since 2005. ... the company is obtaining additional r
equired regulatory approvals before commenting further.

The project will have a double track over about 185 miles within or adjacent to the I-15 freeway, with trains as fast as 150 miles per hour. The entire proposal encompasses 230 miles. The trains will have non-stop service every 20 minutes during peak times and up to every 12 minutes as demand requires, XpressWest's description of the project states.  The California High-Speed Rail Authority said it has not yet allowed XpressWest to use its right-of-way, but it has ongoing discussions with XpressWest to explore combining both systems, the Los Angeles Times reported."  Read more.

Related background articles.  Inside Bay Area/Christina Villacorte, Staff Writer, 8/11/12. "Sin City Express:  Loan might take dream of high-speed train to Las Vegas a reality."A group of private investors is making a pitch for a $6.9 billion high-speed rail line called XpressWest from Victorville to Las Vegas, and hopes to get a massive federal loan before the end of this summer. .... It could be the first high-speed rail project developed in the country. The idea is ambitious enough, but Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael Antonovich literally wants to take it farther. He is envisioning a 50-mile connection from Palmdale to Victorville via a high-speed train, that could be run by Metrolink, XpressWest or other providers, that would link up with existing rail lines throughout Southern California."It would have to be a public-private partnership," he said. "The goal is to have a seamless operation." It would also connect at Palmdale with the state's massive $68 billion California High-Speed Rail network, still in the planning stages, that would link Los Angeles and San Francisco, and eventually include Sacramento and San Diego.  Las Vegas Review Journal/Richard N. Velotta, 9/2/14. ".... Amtrak trains once stopped at a platform at downtown’s Union Plaza, today known as the Plaza, when the Desert Wind made its round trips from Los Angeles’ Union Station to Salt Lake City. When Amtrak discontinued the route on May 12, 1997, tourism leaders were confident that it wouldn’t be long before some form of rail service was restored. It never happened. But not for lack of trying. At the time, momentum was growing to adapt the new magnetic levitation technology and a two-state commission was formed to get maglev on track. Others contemplated traditional rail systems along the same route Amtrak had used. And some looked to high-speed rail as a solution. Even Amtrak weighed in with a proposal to use Spanish-built conventional rail trains from Los Angeles to Las Vegas, just as the company had with a successful project in the Pacific Northwest. But as funding dwindled for Amtrak, the L.A.-Las Vegas proposal was dropped."

Note graphic by Paul Penzella, Staff Artist, from the related Inside Bay Area article above.

Posted by Kathy Meeh

No comments: