Nevada Legislature Approves High-Speed Rail from SoCal to Vegas

Train to Vegas (Nick Bastian / Flickr / CC / Cropped)
Nick Bastian / Flickr / CC / Cropped

Unlike the bullet train from San Francisco to Los Angeles championed by California Governor Jerry Brown, a proposed bullet train from Southern California to Las Vegas approved by the Nevada legislature last week would not rely on state funds.

According to the Sacramento Business Journal (via California Political Review), the Nevada Legislature sent Senate Bill 457 to Gov. Brian Sandoval to establish the Nevada High-Speed Rail Authority, which would choose a firm to construct and operate the high-speed train. The bill passed both houses of the Nevada legislature with only one nay vote.

The private rail company XpressWest is willing to build the $6.9 billion, 150 mph train from Victorville to Vegas using a combination of funds derived from private investment and federal grants, but without relying on state funds drained from citizens. The financing is almost completed.

Xpress West noted that Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties have already approved the project, with support from the California High-Speed Rail Authority, whose spokeswoman Lisa Alley stated, “We are still exploring opportunities to connect the two systems.”

California High-Speed Rail Authority CEO Jeff Morales wrote a letter in June 2014 that a connection to Las Vegas “would provide tremendous benefits for the (Los Angeles) region, both in terms of travel and (greenhouse gas) reductions.”

The Las Vegas Sun reported that fares for the bullet train between Victorville and Las Vegas would run $100 or less for a round trip.

XpressWest’s website noted, “In December, 2011 XpressWest executed a lease agreement with the Bureau of Land Management for all federal land required for the project comprising a majority of the 180 miles of railroad right-of-way varying from 60 to over 100 feet in width.”


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