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 ...
Why are the taxpyers getting gouged?
Why?? Didn’t that idiot Obama tell us we shouldn’t go to Vegas?
For you East Coasters, Victorville is a desert town in the middle of nowhere. That’s where the SoCal-to-Vegas turn-around buses stop to let you pee and stretch your legs.
So....Reid’s Great Plan is to scuttle something useful - something the country needs: Yucca Mountain.
And build something no one needs: a gambling train to nowhere.
I guess “We have to build it to see where it will run”
Under three hours form Victorville to Vegas. By the time you get to the station early to clear security, ride the train and take a shuttle or taxi to your hotel, you can drive....and you’d have a car when you get there.
Yes, nobama said that. With no one taking this loser train, he was right!
My sister in law just booked a flight from San Diego to las Vegas for $56. Why would anyone go to Victorville and take a train. By the time you get to Victorville you are already half way there. You can get a round trip air ticket for $99 from LA and get you the in 30 minutes. STUPID STUPID STUPID.
My sister in law just booked a flight today from om San Diego to Las Vegas for $56. Why would anyone go to Victorville and take a train. By the time you get to Victorville you are already half way there. You can get a round trip air ticket for $99 from LA and get you the in 30 minutes. STUPID STUPID STUPID.
Victorville is actually a rather sizable town. It's not really "in the middle of nowhere"--San Bernardino is only about a half hour away, as are Palmdale, Lancaster, and,for that matter, Barstow, and it's not all that far from Big Bear Lake.
Nonetheless, the idea is nutty. If I don't stop for breakfast at Peggy Sue's in Yermo or the Mad Greek in Baker, I can get from Victorville to Las Vegas in about two and a half hours by car, so why would I want to park and take a train the rest of the way? Especially when I will have to have a way to get around Las Vegas once I arrive. Unlike Manhattan or Washington, DC, Vegas is spread out across a wide valley and there's no municipal rail system.
At least someone is telling the truth out there.
Drive a hundred miles to park, pay $100 to get on a train and ride 200 miles more so you can get there without a car. Yeah that'll work.
It’s worse than THAT!
Lost Wages has a monorail that runs along the strip.
It sees too few riders to make profit.
This is AFTER the tourist have already arrived at the strip.
If they won’t ride a train once there, why would they take a train to GET there?
I live in Nevada, I really do not want the black-eye that will come about when this stupidity fails!
“At least someone is telling the truth out there.
Drive a hundred miles to park, pay $100 to get on a train and ride 200 miles more so you can get there without a car. Yeah that’ll work.”
This whole scenario harkens up to a “Solyndra on wheels”....
Spending billions instead of millions....
Victorville isn’t Hell, but you can see it from there.
Ya, why is the federal government having to give a loan to this company to build this bullet train?
To paraphrase President Obama, he’s going to borrow money from China to loan it to this company.
Another story said this company has some ties to Harry Reid. So this could even be a political payoff.
If the casinos, or other private investors, want to build a bullet train across the desert, fine. Build it with your own money, and see if you get business. But no way should the federal government be giving this loan to build this thing.
No lessons were learned from the Solyndra loan, were there?
Who the hell owns DesertXpress? Their website doesn’t mention the usual things like ownership and board members. My guess is that there a lot libs in this. Probably no real “investment”..just waiting get checks from Uncle Sugar.
Show me a balance sheet and some ownership facts.
Blow billions on this stupid train shit but the Keystone Pipeline which would produce real jobs and energy is killed by president JugEars.
Once they have the money, they can make a big donation to the democrat party. Then file for bankruptcy.
The hangup for LA-Vegas Amtrak Service has always been double-tracking in the desert to avoid huge delays, and speed the service to Vegas.
But, it has been hamstrung since the mid-90’s by some endangered frog, or hamster, or something, that lives in the stretch of desert that would be double-tracked.
He needs to throw a plum to keep harry Reid from bringing up a vote on a budget for the next ? years.
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.
For you East Coasters, Victorville is a desert town in the middle of nowhere. Thats where the SoCal-to-Vegas turn-around buses stop to let you pee and stretch your legs.””””
I lived in Calif from 1964 to 2004.
I would NEVER have considered driving from my home in the San Fernando Valley to Victorville & then PARK MY CAR anywhere in that vicinity and boarding a train to go another 145 miles or so to Las Vegas, where I would have had to pay high rates for cabs or WALK between casinos for my entertainment. My car would NOT have been safe!!!
This is a total waste of money. Once I have driven almost 1/2 way, I am going to drive the whole way & have some sort of transportation when I get there.
This is no better than the Bridge to Nowhere!!!!
Who wants to bet that Harry Reid owns all the land where the Stations are going to be?
This route follows the Interstate & will require the acquisition of thousands of acres of right of way plus building new rail lines.
STUPID-—just plain STUPID.
Next thing, Obama & Reid will ORDER you to ONLY travel to Las Vegas on their stupid train!!!!
It’s a 4 1/2 hour drive from La Mirada, CA to Las Vegas, NV. Unless you drive 100 MPH like my father used to. Then it’s quicker.
It’s $69 to fly one way (one hour) from Ontario or Burbank to Vegas.
A luxury bus ride from Anaheim or Los Angeles to Vegas is $89 round trip.
They don’t need a choo choo.