The high-speed rail proposal between Las Vegas and Victorville just had a small wrench thrown in its plans. The DesertXpress, a train which would go from Vegas to Victorville (184 miles in 84 minutes) and maybe someday to Palmdale, was supposed to start construction this year or early next. (And so you can keep track of all these Vegas trains: Competing trains include another high-speed rail proposal, the Desert Lightning; the maglev; and two party trains, the X Train and the Z Train. Whew!) But the Federal Railroad Administration, responding to numerous comments/concerns regarding the Desert XPress's environmental impact statement, released a supplemental EIS earlier this month, a move which ultimately delays movement forward, reports the Las Vegas Sun.
The Sun says the supplemental document isn't all that much different from the original. Issues that remain unsettled include whether Barstow gets a stop (the California city wants one, unsurprisingly). Another issue is possibly changing the rail alignment near the Mojave National Preserve--the original route would skirt the preserve, but a new alternative would go underground and cost more money. Finally, there's the issue of how the train will enter Vegas. According to the Sun, the supplemental report suggests an alignment in the city that's a bit removed from the right-of-way that runs adjacent to the 15, and one that closer to Industrial Road and Dean Martin Drive (though that's right next to the 15, too).
· DesertXpress Likely Further Delayed By a Federal Agency [Las Vegas Sun]
· Construction on Calif. to Vegas Train Starts This Year [Curbed LA]