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Construction on California to Vegas Train Starts This Year

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That 150 mph train from Vegas to LA Victorville is really happening, according to a recent story in the Las Vegas Sun. Environmental clearances are running a bit late, but construction is set to begin this year, with trains running between California and Vegas by 2014. Officials are pushing for an extension into Palmdale, the proposed sight of a future high-speed rail station that would connect to Union Station: "Because the California [high-speed rail] system and DesertXpress would be compatible... it would be possible for riders to board in Los Angeles and travel without changing trains all the way to Las Vegas. The trip would take between two and 2 1/2 hours." But that's a way's off; for now planners are working on the first phase, narrowing down the three station site options for Victorville (see model) and four site options in Vegas. The Victorville station will come equipped with a "5,000-space parking area, some of it surface parking and some of it within a parking garage. It's 1 1/2 times larger than Disneyland's parking lot." And like in Vegas, all the parking is free and riders should be able to check their bags in Victorville and have them placed in their Vegas hotels at no extra cost. Regular tickets will run a little over $50 for the 84-minute trip, and there's plans for upper class service. Tea Party members should be pleased to know that private money has financed the line up to this point, though there's talk of federal loans and the use of stimulus funds. [Image via Las Vegas Sun]

· Work on High-Speed Rail to Begin This Year [Las Vegas Sun]
· DesertXpress: March Groundbreaking? [Curbed LA]