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August 23, 2014

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High-speed train option to Victorville advances

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COURTESY PHOTO

A rendering shows a DesertXpress train, which is expected to reach a top speed of about 150 miles per hour and travel between Victorville, Calif., and Las Vegas.

High-speed train press conference

A map of the proposed high-speed train that would go from Las Vegas to Southern California in downtown Las Vegas Thursday, July 2, 2009. Launch slideshow »

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  • Sen. Harry Reid speaks at a press conference on Thursday, July 2, 2009.
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  • U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood speaks at a press conference on Thursday, July 2, 2009.
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A high-speed train should be in place in 2012 that links Las Vegas and Southern California.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid today announced that plans are moving ahead for the DesertXpress train to Victorville, which is a private project. Reid had thrown his support behind the project, saying it had a better chance of getting built than an alternative maglev option that would have linked Las Vegas and Anaheim.

Officials hope to break ground in the first quarter of next year, with the project expected to be completed two years later.

As a private project, DesertXpress has insisted it has no interest in competing for $8 billion in federal recovery money — although more recently its backers said they may seek federal loans to help finance the $5 billion project.

Reid said today that plans are in place to link the project with California’s north-south trunk line "soon after" the Victorville project is complete, although no specific timeline is in place. The $45 billion trunk-line project links San Francisco and Southern California.

DesertXpress envisions a spur linking its Victorville stop to the California train’s Palmdale station, about 50 miles west. The Sun reported today that the U.S. Transportation secretary would announce the designation of a federal high-speed-rail corridor between Las Vegas and Southern California.

The one-way fare between Las Vegas and Southern California would be about $50.

DesertXpress is a private enterprise currently unaffiliated with a state agency.

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