Skip to comments.Company May Get $4.9B Federal Loan For High Speed Rail Linking Victorville And Vegas
Posted on 03/25/2012 7:16:55 PM PDT by BenLurkin
Privately held DesertXpress is on the verge of landing a $4.9 billion loan from the Obama administration to build the 150 mph train, which could be a lifeline for a region devastated by the housing crash or a crap shoot for taxpayers weary of Washington spending.
The vast park-and-ride project hinges on the untested idea that car-loving Californians will drive about 100 miles from the Los Angeles area, pull off busy Interstate 15 and board a train for the final leg to the famous Strip.
Planners imagine that millions of travelers a year will one day flock to a station outside down-on-its-luck Victorville, a small city where shuttered storefronts pock the historic downtown.
An alliance of business and political rainmakers from The Strip to Capitol Hill is backing the project that could become the first high-speed system to break ground under President Barack Obamas push to modernize the U.S. rail network and give the Democratic presidents re-election prospects a lift in battleground Nevada.
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has publicly blessed the train it means jobs, he says and its cleared several regulatory hurdles in Washington.
Yet even as the Federal Railroad Administration considers awarding what would be, by far, the largest loan of its type, its own research warns its difficult to predict how many people will ride the train, a critical measure of financial survival, an Associated Press review found.
There are other skeptics, as well.
Its insanity, says Thomas Finkbiner of the Intermodal Transportation Institute at the University of Denver. People wont drive to a train to go someplace. If you are going to drive, why not drive all the way and leave when you want?
(Excerpt) Read more at losangeles.cbslocal.com ...
It won’t make any money. It makes no economic sense. How much did these company officials and unions pump into Democrat pockets??
This project, and others past, and future are simply tactical manuevers intended to raid the taxpayer funds confiscated by the Fed.
A major project with lots of areas of expense to divert the taxpayer money too. Make it happen so fast eyes, and minds are spinning. The money in motion will disappear down the graft hole, and the end result will be reported as “cost overruns”, and then nothing more will be heard about where the money all went.
Lots of politicians historically come out of D.C. much wealthier than when they arrived, so the game isn’t a new one.
How many trains has Desert Xpress built before? What is their track record?
I’d bet on the crap shoot.
For those of us who used to travel I15 between Vegas and SoCal, the creation of this ‘train’ would take away a major form of entertainment: watching the idiots clocking 90MPH+ on a Friday afternoon going to Vegas to lose their money.
Not to mention the sensational highway wrecks.
The only contact is
This seems like an attempt to bilk the taxpayers. I bet this “company” is owned by the city of Las Vegas, state of Nevada, Harry Reid, some casinos and friends of Obama.
They won’t build ANYTHING without tax dollars.
Who or what owns this company?
How many trains and rail miles does it own and operate presently?
If this proposed route is profitable, why does it need public financing?
(I wonder if she will write me back?)
Heck, people don't even like having to walk to the back of the big Hotels to get to the Monorail Stations.
The Train to nowhere, or from nowhere. Six of one, half a dozen of the other.
These guys obviously have never made the Friday drive to Vegas and the "drive of shame" home on Sunday. The worst part of the trip is between Cucamonga or San Bernardino and Victorville. They cannot have enough rail cars to handle the potential peak rider count and the service would be dead the rest of the week. Hook up with Metrolink and we can talk.
At 115,000 people Victorville is not exactly a “small city” as portrayed in the article.
And yes, taxpayers should absolutely not pay for this.
It will be semi-interesting to find out which Obama bundlers are the organizers of this criminal conspiracy and how much of the “gift” from the people they pass along to Obama’s campaign. At this point, I trust zero of what Zero does - it’s all smoke, mirrors, duplicity and BS!
I was a teenager in NYS when the legislature passed the modern state lottery in 1967. In 1978, New Jersey became the second state to legalize casino gambling. I remember well all the predictions of regressive taxation and social ills...all of which have come true.
Now the feds are going to borrow even more money we don’t have to move more people at higher speeds to the LV gambling mecca. It was bad enough that states allowed lotteries, card rooms and casinos...it is many times worse when the feds subsidize transportation to gambling by borrowing money and wasting our hard earned tax money. This is an outrage.
I thought the mountains blocked Victorville's view of Lake 'El, Siñore. ;-)
Ridership and fares
DesertXpress estimates that it will carry around five million round trip passengers in the first full year of operation, with the company charging fares of around $50 for a one-way trip.
Cost and funding
The total cost of the line is expected to be around five billion US dollars.
In March 2010, project planners said they could obtain the full funding amount through exclusively private investors, but had also applied for a $4.9 billion loan through the federal Railroad Rehabilitation & Improvement Financing program.  As of October 2011, the start of the project was contingent on receiving a $6 billion loan from the federal government, the approval or denial of which is expected in mid-2012.
96,153 passengers per week, with the bulk one way on Friday afternoon/evening & returning Sunday afternoon/evening adds up to a LOT of seats/cars/trains that have to be running those two days...and almost zilch the rest of the week. Also, LOTS of empty seats headed back in the opposite direction to get the next loads. Too much dead-heading involved.
I doubt very many Vegasites would take the train to go shopping & sight seeing in Victorville!
Hard to tell from this for certain, but it appears that TWO loans are involved, from separate federal programs, totaling 10.9 BILLION, to build the "100% privately financed" 5 billion dollar project?
$50/head, one-way may be okay for a single traveler, but $200/couple round trip starts to eat into the slot machine & bar money, to only save 2 hours max each way...and that 2 hours on the train isn't long enough to sober up for the drive down Cajon Pass, either.
Need a mighty big parking lot, too.
AP Enterprise: Vegas rail: a gamble or good thing?
By MICHAEL R. BLOOD
On a dusty, rock-strewn expanse at the edge of the Mojave Desert, a company linked to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid wants to build a bullet train that would rocket tourists from the middle of nowhere to the gambling palaces of Las Vegas.
Privately held DesertXpress is on the verge of landing a $4.9 billion loan from the Obama administration to build the 150 mph train, which could be a lifeline for a region devastated by the housing crash or a crap shoot for taxpayers weary of Washington spending.[snip]
Construction cost projections have soared to as much as $6.5 billion, not including interest on the loan. Some fear taxpayer subsidies are inevitable.
Reid and other supporters point to research that shows 80,000 new jobs, but FRA documents show virtually all those would be temporary -- no more than 722 would be permanent.
“Reid and other supporters point to research that shows 80,000 new jobs, but FRA documents show virtually all those would be temporary — no more than 722 would be permanent.”
THIS is typical Pinky Reid misdirection!
Exactly the same as his other big jobs brags, the big numbers are only in the construction phase.
Once built they require far fewer permanent workers, weather they are big casino projects, solar plants, or this Boondoggle Express!.
Oh, and we can expect around 20%+ of the alleged “80,000 workers” to be illegals.
They just opened it up to 6 lanes to Barstow in the last few yeaqrs.