Las Vegas Sun

October 24, 2014

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Letter to the editor:

Train shouldn’t get public money

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I was excited to read Richard N. Velotta’s column regarding the progress on the high-speed rail between Las Vegas and Victorville, Calif. (“High-speed rail not just for tourists.”)

This project could provide a wonderful boost for the Las Vegas economy. Then again, it could be just be another flop like Solyndra, A123 batteries and the Las Vegas Monorail.

I hope high-speed rail is successful beyond all dreams and that the investors who put their own money at risk become zillionaires as a result of their risk-taking, as did the founders of Google, Apple and Amgen. But putting public money — state or federal — at risk so that these entrepreneurs receive an overwhelming share of anticipated profits while taxpayers are on the hook for the overwhelming share of any losses is unfair and unconscionable.

So build the train. I will ride it. But please do it on someone else’s dime, not the taxpayers’.

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  1. Amen! Private investment is always better than government bailouts and subsidies. If you need proof, look at Government Motors. The government is planning to sell its stake this year and the public [read taxpayers] are likely on the hook for a loss of $25 BILLION, not counting interest that it would have cost GM if private funding were borrowed.

    CarmineD

  2. The train to Victorville is only one leg of the Southwest high speed system.

    Traveling from LV to Phoenix, LA, and San Francisco, plus destinations on the way will be viable and will take time to build.

    High speed rail is popular in many countries, and it will gain popularity here as younger people grow with it and use it for business and pleasure.

    My experience of Amtrak from LA to LV, SF, and across country was wonderful, and high speed would be even better in some instances.

  3. Puleeeze! Trains are just another mode of transportation and must be made to compete in the same fashion as any other. Enough already with tax dollars skewing the results. Amtrak is a costly failure, having no route except along the northeastern seaboard showing anything near breaking even, let alone making a profit. Let Amtrak sink or swim on its own. I'm with Henry, if the thing is to be built, let it be with private funds and, if it does happen to be successful, I'm quite sure it will give all you lefties another corporation to denigrate and to label its investors as having been "greedy."

  4. I agree no Govt.money should be used for the train to no where (Victorville).The Govt.lost 249 million while funding A123batteries,and 527 million funding Solyndra.

    It needs to be known that the Las Vegas Monorail Company which filed and completed a 650 million bankruptcy re-organized plan.Has not lost one red cent of taxpayer money.The private investors of the Monorail bonds took it on the chin,with 13 million ( in new bonds) to be divided up amongst investors after the re-organized plan was completed.

  5. We'd save a bundle if we'd build a train between Carson City / Reno and Las Vegas. Instead of flying hundreds and thousands of state employees back and forth, many of them every week, we could put them on a train (even a direct-route bus) and suggest they do some WORK while enroute.

  6. I think Europe funds trains via high gas taxes..and the rail systems are great. Ledgend has it Detroit and big oil got together in the late 50s to squash rail travel..looks like they won in all but the dense population markets. Vegas is a market that should have rail from CA at least, midwest at best. I have traveled on rail in Europe and China many times. I take rail over
    air at par or less, sometimes more. Long trips, a sleeper bunk, relax and watch the country go by.