The idea of a high-speed train from Los Angeles to Las Vegas has been discussed for years, but the Central Valley Business Times has recently reported that the proposal has gained an important stamp of approval. The federal Surface Transportation Board (STB) has recently approved the 190-mile bullet train proposal, which is very important because construction of every new railroad in the country needs STB approval. The line is to be built by DesertXpress Enterprises LLC, who plans on using all-electric trains to reach 150 mph speeds with room for higher top speeds in the future. Approval for the line comes with some conditions however and DesertXpress must implement 146 environmental mitigation measures recommended approved by the Federal Railroad Administration. Apart from the starting and ending destinations, the route is also planned to have stops in Victorville, California and central Las Vegas. DesertXpress plans to finalize the project designs and begin construction in 2012 with completion projected for the end of 2016.
The L.A.-Las Vegas bullet train would provide a viable transportation alternative to flying and driving. The train would also greatly benefit congestion on the I-15, which is currently the only freeway connecting the two major cities. Environmental benefits are also projected for the reduction of cars on the I-15.
Approval for a high-speed link between Los Angeles and Las Vegas is great news. Thousands of people drive and fly from Los Angeles to Las Vegas every weekend and a bullet train will offer a great alternative for those who would like to avoid the hassle of air travel or the frustration of time consuming car rides. While the future of California’s other high-speed rail project is highly uncertain, this project seems much more likely to see construction and completion. It’s exciting to imagine that in less than five years, it may be possible for Southern California residents to hop on a train in L.A. and relax as they are effortlessly shuttled to Las Vegas at speeds of 150 miles per hour.Posted in High-Speed Rail