WDYT: Bullet Train to Sin City?

Can you imagine a train that can take you from Anaheim to Las Vegas in under 90 minutes? Believe it or not, there’s a plan to make it happen. In fact, Nevada Governor Jim Gibbons (R) will soon come to Sacramento to discuss with Arnold the Governator on how to make it happen. Both Governors now support the project.

This proposed high speed rail line would cost $12-13 billion, create thousands of construction jobs in both California & Nevada, and closely follow the route of the 15 Freeway. And of course, Nevada politicians & casinos are excited by the prospect of tourists speeding their way on a high speed train to spend money in Las Vegas.

But is it a good idea? Or is it a boondoggle in the making? Should the federal government provide funding for this high-speed rail project in what will likely be President Obama’s economic stimulus bill? And if approved, should the train be maglev (magnetic levitation) or should another type of technology be used to build it?

The first leg of the high-speed rail project will likely be from Las Vegas to Primm, NV, (the state line) if approved. Are you looking forward to seeing it being built all the way down to OC? Or should Nevada transportation planners keep their crazy ideas in their own state? Go ahead & chat away.

  7 comments for “WDYT: Bullet Train to Sin City?

  1. just...asking?
    December 22, 2008 at 10:16 am

    Why should California tax dollars be used to speed money to Las Vegas? While clearly a convienence it would also hurt California businesses and cities along Highway 15. We would be creating modern day ghost towns.

    Why don’t we have bullet trains to California casino’s? Money would stay in the state and generate jobs here. Unless Nevada is going to pay this state for delivering customers I don’t see why we should be doing Las Vegas’s Sales and Marketing function for them.

  2. Steve Perez
    December 22, 2008 at 11:00 am

    You said “if approved” I’m assuming you meant in regards to funding… Because Prop 1A funded this next big dig. It was passed handily by the voters this last election cycle.

    Also, Arnie and Gibbons have been meeting frequently for the last year in regards to planning this project, so their latest meeting wasn’t their first in regards to this project.

    Lastly, the type of train being built is a western European magnet train with speeds of up to 200 miles, that has been confirmed as well.

  3. Adam
    December 22, 2008 at 1:19 pm

    “The first leg of the high-speed rail project will likely be from Las Vegas to Primm, NV, (the state line) if approved”

    What incentive does Las Vegas have to make it easier for gamblers to take their money elsewhere? Do Vegas casino owners also own the state line casinos?

  4. December 22, 2008 at 1:28 pm

    just asking-

    I guess our government’s hoping that as our people take the train to visit Vegas, their people will be taking the train to visit us.

    Steve-

    I’m not so sure. I’ll have to double-check the fine language in Prop 1A, but I think that only provided funds for a high-speed rail line from San Diego to Sacramento. I don’t remember any language in there regarding a rail line from here to Vegas, but I may be wrong.

    Still, you’re correct that Arnie & Gibbons have been discussing this line for quite a while now.

    Adam-

    Remember that as of now, the Vegas casinos have to provide shuttles to take people to the outlet mall & casinos in Primm. Meanwhile, people looking for cheap hotel rooms in Primm have to drive up the 15 to get to Vegas. I’m sure both sides have an interest in moving people back & forth more quickly, efficiently, & cheaply.

  5. Paul
    December 22, 2008 at 2:49 pm

    I believe that Prop 1A funds are to beused for the train to go to San Francisco. There was a joke going around the talk radio circuit about being able to take the train from LA to San Fran in order to take part in the legalized prostitution that was being voted on in san fran.

    The bullet rain to vegas has been in the planning stages for years. The County Yard at Katella across from the Arrowhead Pond will be the station.

    I think it would be a good time to buy some of the cheap houses in vegas right now o capitalize on the traffic from OC to Vegas.

  6. just...asking?
    December 22, 2008 at 10:13 pm

    Prop 1A money is for interstate infrastructure projects, primarily highway 99 and 5 for north to south routes. Other uses are within counties, not the train to Vegas stuff. Latest train bonds specificly for Anahiem to Sacramento and San Francisco High Speed Rail. They don’t belieive in Mag-Lev, they like steel on wheels approach. 10 Billion has been approved for study and prelim engineering, six time that will be needed to actually build anything of value. This will happen before any pipe dream to Vegas…

  7. December 23, 2008 at 2:48 pm

    (a) prop 1A money is available for the California HSR network only. If Nevada wants to connect up to that via a spur to Mojave, that’s fine but it would have to raise the funds itself.

    (b) maglev to Anaheim is incompatible and there’s no ROW for it in the Inland Empire nor in the median of hwy 57. They snoozed, they lost.

    (c) CA HSR would deliver passengers from Vegas to Anaheim in about 2 hours, slower than maglev but still plenty fast. Electrified steel wheels technology would connect Vegas to 85% of California’s population, eliminating the need for a new relief airport at Primm. Palmdale would be just 1:10 away, good enough to relieve McCurran during peak traffic (conventions etc.)

    (d) California could export fresh foods and cut flowers to Las Vegas via high speed cargo trainsets attached to the passenger trainsets, or else running autonomously at night. With a high voltage DC transmission line strung above or next to the rail line, Nevada could export renewable electricity to California.

    (e) no moralizing about Sin City please. People can spend their hard-earned cash any way they damn well please.

    More here:

    http://cahsr.blogspot.com/2008/12/arnold-schwarzenegger-jim-gibbons.html

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