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April 16, 2014

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Letter to the editor:

Common sense on high-speed rail

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In reading Tuesday’s article concerning the XpressWest high-speed rail project, “Politics could derail XpressWest project,” I have to respond to Sen. Harry Reid’s comments; it’s not Tea Party sentiments that are against this project, it’s common sense.

The numbers cited by supporters for both ridership and jobs created are wildly inflated. Does it really take 200 people per mile to build a rail line? Maybe in the 1870s, but not today. Additionally, supporters seem to be of the mindset that if you build it, they (riders) will come. Have they done any realistic surveys of Southern California residents asking how many would actually use this service? At the proposed fare of $67 per passenger, how many passengers would it take to make this project viable? I frankly haven’t seen that number, but my guess is the train isn’t capable of carrying that many people and taxpayers will be stuck subsidizing it forever.

I have a better idea. Let’s take 10 percent of the money requested for this loan and use it to widen Interstate 15 between the Nevada-California state line and the Mountain Pass climb. Anyone who has ever tried to leave Southern Nevada on a Sunday for California knows that I-15 backs up several miles every Sunday afternoon because of the bottleneck at the state line. Widening I-15 would cost a fraction of what the rail advocates are proposing and be far more beneficial to many more taxpayers.

Sadly, our elected representatives seem to hell-bent on pouring taxpayers dollars down this rat hole. One last question I have for the high-speed rail supporters, when was the last time Amtrak made a profit?

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  1. This is the kind of "wow" project that is "like to do." Not "have to do." If we had a few billion extra to splurge, then consider it. But, we don't. There are too many "have to do" alternatives.

    Carmine D

  2. Gee, I wonder if the "backers" of the destined to be "White Elephant" pulled their statistics and figures from the same barrel the "backers" of the LV Monorail did. They make about as much financial sense and are as about as reliable. That is to say, they are a pipe-dream. No way will the actual ridership ever come close to meeting projections. The "bullet-train" is just another example of the excesses bureaucrats will go to in order to fund their pet projects. An investigation into the relationship of the train's "backers" and politicans such as Reid the Red is needed to ferret out the truth here.

  3. I wouldn't mind a high speed train from Vegas to California as long as it went all the way to orange county,where the real majority of riders are.

  4. William W. Moreland, of Henderson,

    The numbers provided by the opposition are widely inflated as well.

    What is clear this country needs to expand our transportation needs. Especially into High Speed Rail. California is making a full commitment to HSR. This will only "help" Las Vegas. Having passengers coming from LA to Las Vegas will improve our visitor count overnight. That is the end game. To bring passengers from California to Las Vegas.

    In addition, "we" Las Vegans, will be the first to have HSR in America. California will have HSR, we will be connected to populations in California that will have easy access to Las Vegas.

    This is progress, the opposition will not, and cannot stop this project from going forward.

  5. Future,

    If you live in Las Vegas, you benefit from all that Las Vegas has to offer. I always say, if you don't like where your at, or what your doing, make changes. Leave, or do something else. You have choices.

    What is clear, your benefiting from living in Las Vegas, (if your living in Las Vegas), so stop hating. Stop biting the hands that feeds you.

    This project will be proceed. You and others are like the characters in the story of the Little Red Hen. After all is completed, you will have your hand out wanting something, when you have not contribute.

    This project will help you and yours, in spite of your objections and the opposition.

  6. Chuck333,
    Hopefully things change.Victorville is not where the bulk of riders would be coming from.Orange county would be the spot to draw a sizable amount of riders.

  7. The only person I ever met from Victorville was a convicted car thief. I'm sure he loves the idea of a parking lot at the rail station. And the writer who stated that "California is making a full commitment to HSR" is delusional. Yes, they may start rail from Bakersfield to Fresno, those lovely garden cities, but the connections to LA and SFO will take a generation to build. Every tree hugging, Coastal Commission, left wing weirdo will put up a fight to the death. Maybe in 2032, but even that date seems optimistic..

  8. Short sightedness did not move America to become the most powerful Nation in the World. And short sightedness will not stop progress to improve the Nation's transportation needs.

    Progress has always been like a hot knife cutting through butter. Not delusional, fact!

    Delusional is refusing to believe facts. Refusing to believe facts, is living in the Bubble. In the Bubble, one create their own reality. Furthering a delusional state.

  9. Kevin,

    Do your homework. Your assessment is inaccurate. Nothing wrong with having objections. You want to be accurate, not ignorant. Being ignorant does not mean one is stupid or cannot learn. It means you do not have all the information to make an informed decision.

    You have a computer and access to the internet. Be an informed debater.

  10. Future,

    Control your emotions. Progress benefits everyone. Either be a contributor, or get out of the way.

  11. Chuck333,

    With you deferring to Future, shows you have no real information to offer. That's ok. By doing a little research on any subject you can find the truth. Or at least be satisfied you have accurate information.

    Don't be afraid of progress. As you to will benefit whether you are in support or not. What is certain, you like many others will not refuse the fruits of progress.

  12. Kevin,

    You open one door in a house full of doors. Please, don't be a bubble person. You have choices. Choice to be informed.

    How can you hate something only knowing limited information on a subject? Some people choice to remain uninformed. Don't be defiant in the face of information that will balance and excess over your current assessment.

  13. I agree the I 15 will be better served as a 4 lane hyway, but it may not happen..

  14. After driving I-15 back to Las Vegas in the evening, I would take a steam train if it were available. There about three standard rail tracks that move trains up and down El Cajon pass.

    If the rail can get to Victorville, there are tracks in place at this time to complete the journey into Los Angeles and Orange County. Common Sense chooses the XpressWest project in all cases.

  15. My common sense tells me that nearly all arguments based on "common sense" rather than evidence tend to be wrong.

  16. What does common sense have to say about Harry Reid, Sig Rogich, Maglev, and DesertXpress after reading this story from three years ago in 2010?

    http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2010/mar...

  17. Anchorbine,

    What Longtimevegan is not, shortsighted.

    All the information available contradicts your statement. Your comments are not accurate nor supported by current data.

  18. Along the lines of transportation, I see peppering the Las Vegas streets brand spanking new double decker busses. They're gorgeous. Absolutely beautiful. These busses must have had to cost hundreds of thousands of dollars EACH. I never see more than a handful of riders onboard, if that, and never ever on the second level. NEVER. Is this progress or an utter waste of taxpayers' money and/or both? Progress at the galactic waste of taxpayers' money. Better spent on "have to dos" rather than "nice to dos."

    Carmine D

  19. ByLongtimevegan,

    I agree with you that we need to move into the 21st.century with a high speed rail system.

    The first railroad in california made travel faster and more economical than the covered wagons that were being used back in the 1800's.

    A high speed rail system is faster,more efficient mobility,less environmental damage. It is a major step toward solving global warming by reducing our oil consumtion and emissions,freedom from oil.Powered by clean electricity from renewable energy sources.Souch as wind,solar,geothermal and ocean/tidal energy. .Affordable green transportation for everyone,plus a faster way to travel.

  20. Bychuck333,

    I would rather see some progress in moving ahead with a high speed rail system and pay a little more money for it to happen.

    If we sit and do nothing the oil co's will keep raising prrces at the pump with newer and better excuses, as to why they have to keep rising gas prices.

  21. LTV, the fact that someone is against a specific project doesn't mean that they are against progress. And progress is not an automatic justification for any investment. The monorail was sold as "progress," but clearly is a service that can't support itself. A $5+ billion investment in a train to Victorville needs to be evaluated compared to other uses of that money - other projects, education, health care, etc. I personally find it hard to imagine a less worthwhile investment than a train to/from Victorville.

  22. Dave,

    The HSR project in California and to Las Vegas is huge. This is a game changers for America into HSR. Its going to happen. It will be cost a lot, but it will happen. We spend money on many things. What about all the money for the war in the middle east?

    What is certain, having a project built in America, by Americans, with America made materials is something new America. How about that, Americans actually building something new in America!

    This project is a door way into a new industry. This will help the country do something we don't do anymore. That is, make things big. Make things that are new(new to us).

    However, in this case, HSR is up and running in other countries.

    America is not keeping pace with our transportation needs. High Speed Rail will help. Especially help Las Vegas.

  23. Here's a link to an Anderson Coooper story on HSR. $12 billion spent so far and little to show for it. http://freebeacon.com/twelve-billion-dol...

  24. David,

    I watched the report on CNN. The report focused on why was the majority of the money spent on improving and repairing the existing rails and not on high speed rail. Much of the existing rails throughout the Southwest must be upgraded or improved to allow trains to run at high speed. The reporter did mention that no trains are currently running at high speed.

    What the reporter pointed out is, why label the funds for high speed rail when the funds are used to improve existing rails and service? In other words, if the fund are for high speed rail, where is the high speed train?

    What is certain, train ridership is up, and continuing to go up throughout the nation where rail service is provided. Meaning, there is an increasing demand. Plus, many younger people are not buying cars, they are choosing other means of transportation. Which tells us a lot of things. For one, younger people are living in the city and using the transit systems and car pooling.

    Look, I'm all for improving our transportation needs. We need a better way to move the masses from point A to point B. And more them fast. High Speed Rail, with it's huge price tag, will improve and provide the transportation needs of this Nation.