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I'm going off the rails on a crazy train

rrrr

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Good news! In just three years (I'm already calling BS), a new high speed rail line running from Victorville to Las Vegas will be in operation. Apparently learning nothing from previous experience, California has issued $3.2 billion in bonds, which will pay for about 75% of the total projected cost.

As the article points out, the expectation that people will drive 90 miles through traffic and mountains from metropolitan Los Angeles to Victorville, then take a train from there to Las Vegas, is more hope than fact. It's easy to see why Virgin Trains USA won't build their route from LA to Victorville. The route over the mountains would easily be quadruple the cost of the level ground portion between Victorville and Las Vegas.

The train ride will be 90 minutes, and while cost for a ticket isn't given, it will almost certainly be more than airfare. This raises the obvious question. Who will be stupid enough to drive 2½ hours from central LA to Victorville, then pay for a 1½ hour train ride that dumps you at I-15 and Silverado Ranch Road, about ten miles from the center of the Strip?

Driving the 280 miles would take four hours at an average speed of 70 MPH, and the round trip cost for fuel would be around $100.

I also checked airfare on Southwest, and purchasing a roundtrip ticket to travel in the first week of January is $99.96, taxes and fees included. The flight takes one hour and twenty minutes.

The California Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank (IBank) has authorized a $3.2 billion tax-exempt, fixed-rate revenue bond issuance to help DesertXpress Enterprises LLC, an affiliate of Virgin Trains USA, build a high-speed train from Victorville, California, to Las Vegas.

The XpressWest between California and Las Vegas, according to the IBank staff report, will take about half the time of a car trip, but Randal O'Toole, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, isn't convinced that this is enough to draw potential passengers — at least enough to make the new bullet train a success.

"If you're driving from Los Angeles to Victorville, by the time you get there, you're pretty much halfway to Vegas," O'Toole said, "so why would you stop and leave your car somewhere and take a train and then have to walk to wherever your destination is — or take a cab or an Uber or Lyft — when you can just drive your car there?"

According to O'Toole, though, investment in rail infrastructure is an investment in outdated technology when compared to the cost and speed of airplanes. And then there is the passenger cost. The Amtrak fare from Washington to Boston, he said, averages about 90 cents a mile, while air travel averages approximately 13 cents per mile.


Using the 90¢ per mile figure makes a roundtrip train fare $342, and adding 15% for fees and taxes (the fees on the SWA fare are 32%), the round trip cost is $393.30.

Earlier this year, I developed a per mile cost for the Central Valley high speed rail project based on press reports and statements from officials. That project is consuming about $18,000 per foot.

Applying the same formula to the Victorville project, the total turnkey price will be $18.2 billion. That's over four times more than the budgeted amount, but there's no indication the budget amount is any more accurate than the $17 billion that turned into $70 billion on the Central Valley HSR segment.

The Virgin Trains USA project will implode at some point. There won't be enough riders to make it profitable. It'll never even be close.
 

Wizard29

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From Victimville. Eeesh, these stupid politicians. That will do nothing to alleviate the traffic through the Cajon Pass. As the article basically says, once you've driven up there, you may as well keep going.
 

Icky

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The traffic from state line to barstow would make the train ride worth it at times. I'd rather fly
 

HALLETT BOY

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I think Victorville is being set up as port of entry . There may be big plans in the future .
 

Riverfamlee

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From Victimville. Eeesh, these stupid politicians. That will do nothing to alleviate the traffic through the Cajon Pass. As the article basically says, once you've driven up there, you may as well keep going.
Exactly- The Cajon sucks balls. Once youre passed that its easy
 

Chili Palmer

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Why use a train? Why not a monorail? That would make getting over the mountains to Victorville much easier. Set up the station in Ontario and go from there.
 

Sleek-Jet

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If it is maglev monorail powered by solar, I'm all in!
 

HNL2LHC

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Yikes ! Can you imagine what will happen to your car leaving it in Victorville ?
[sarcasm]Why are you concerned? It is just another way for politicians to redistribute wealth. As they say in Hawaii it is just a property crime. What’s the big deal no one is hurt. [/sarcasm] SMH




By the way I was subpoenaed for court case this week for the 12 year old punk that broke into our home back in June. Turns out his business has boomed. 2 priors and 2 additional crimes since our home invasion.
 

Taboma

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Your infatuation with a place you dont live in is fascinating.
He and a few others like him here on RDP, seem to derive some rather sick sadistic gratification from pointing and mocking, even if we're on fire and people are fleeing for their lives. :(

Perhaps some professional help is worthy of consideration ?

Certainly without question, California politics makes us an easy target. Daily, I need not look far to find easy targets with individuals as well, yet I'm not inclined to stare, point and mock their misfortunes.
 

HALLETT BOY

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Define “big”. :)
I read in my local paper , Ventura Co Star , that all the environmental reports were done , and 1 or 2 freeways from Victorville to Lancaster were planed . North of Victorville, a lot of huge concrete buildings have gone up , and the airport there has really expanded .
 

C-2

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I would take it. Victorville is 45 minutes away and if it saves the additional 3-5 hours of TRAFFIC in the middle of the desert on any given weekend...then yes, it makes sense.
 

Bigbore500r

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Imagine if they put an elevated monorail straight down the 405 corridor, one that didn't impede existing offramps or corridors of travel.
Nah...people would use the shit out of that....

Victorville train to sin city it is!
WTF
 

Ziggy

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A state funded project to encourage you to spend money out of the state.
Bnag!
Why would I as a native Californian spend my tax dollars to fill another states coffers with what I have left after taxes?
:rolleyes:
 

Ziggy

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[sarcasm]Why are you concerned? It is just another way for politicians to redistribute wealth. As they say in Hawaii it is just a property crime. What’s the big deal no one is hurt. [/sarcasm] SMH




By the way I was subpoenaed for court case this week for the 12 year old punk that broke into our home back in June. Turns out his business has boomed. 2 priors and 2 additional crimes since our home invasion.
Sounds like he needs to work on his stealthiness:p
 

Cdog

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Bnag!
Why would I as a native Californian spend my tax dollars to fill another states coffers with what I have left after taxes?
:rolleyes:

These are my thoughts if anything I would require that Nevada would pay for it. But California being ran by a bunch of fucking morons what do you expect?

none of my business though I have not had to contribute to that cluster fuck of a state since 2007.
 

QC22

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Eff all that, just take Rice Road to the Landing and be done with it.
 

HB2Havasu

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Looks like another Socialist Land Grab to me, just like the Bullet Train to nowhere.

Nobody is going to fight 2 hours in traffic getting up the Cajon Pass to then take a 2 Hour Train ride for hundreds, when you can just hop on a Southwest Flight in LA or Ontario for $99 bucks and be there in under an hour.

I thought Bond Measures needed to be voted on in a General Elections? SMH
 

HB2Havasu

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Imagine if they put an elevated monorail straight down the 405 corridor, one that didn't impede existing offramps or corridors of travel.
Nah...people would use the shit out of that....

Victorville train to sin city it is!
WTF
That would make too much sense. WTF are you thinking?:D Nope - Instead they’re adding Fastrack Lanes down the 405 and adding to the congestion.
 

DaveH

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What blows my mind by this is why would CA spend all this money to shuttle people to another state to party?

i can see the merits of a train given the traffic. Maybe this is a "test case" for a relatively small project to prove the feasibility of high speed rail going forward with larger projects. dunno. also, if its successful, can always be extended deeper into Socal.
 

RiverDave

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Isn’t this the exact same thing they just tried to do??

What is the infatuation with Victorville to Vegas? Victorville is in the middle of nowhere?
 

Carlson-jet

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Isn’t this the exact same thing they just tried to do??

What is the infatuation with Victorville to Vegas? Victorville is in the middle of nowhere?
It's just fun to say Victorville to Vegas. Even better 5X fast after a few cocktails. This all brought on by the train conductors union. I can hear it over the loud speaker as I type.:D
 

HNL2LHC

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Looks like another Socialist Land Grab to me, just like the Bullet Train to nowhere.

Nobody is going to fight 2 hours in traffic getting up the Cajon Pass to then take a 2 Hour Train ride for hundreds, when you can just hop on a Southwest Flight in LA or Ontario for $99 bucks and be there in under an hour.

I thought Bond Measures needed to be voted on in a General Elections? SMH
Don’t forget if done right you might be on the stripper plane to Vegas. LOL
 

Luvnlife

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I heard of this before but it ended in Palmdale. People could take metro link to there and then board the high speed rail for Vegas. It was also the Chinese that were footing the bill. This was a few years ago.


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DRYHEAT

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Exactly- The Cajon sucks balls. Once youre passed that its easy
They need to bite the bullet and build another highway over the mountains and quit worrying about these silly train ideas.
 

Chili Palmer

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If they do a monorail to Vegas or even to the state line and do a joint venture where Nevada picks it up from there and people take it, it will significantly cut down on the congestion on the 15.
 

Bigbore500r

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Isn’t this the exact same thing they just tried to do??

What is the infatuation with Victorville to Vegas? Victorville is in the middle of nowhere?
Just cutting the length in 1/2 and aiming it east lol
Yore tax dollars at work
 

Waterjunky

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You all are missing the bigger picture that the state uses all the time on projects like this. Finance and build the cheapest portion of a project. Then when it is not useful to the public, claim that we need the other parts. After all, now that we already spent this much we need to spent this bigger part to make it useful. People fall for this all the time. This is what I am expecting here. Build the cheap part and then when it is struggling with ridership, claim we need to build this other piece and if we don't we will lose the first investment.
 

HALLETT BOY

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You all are missing the bigger picture that the state uses all the time on projects like this. Finance and build the cheapest portion of a project. Then when it is not useful to the public, claim that we need the other parts. After all, now that we already spent this much we need to spent this bigger part to make it useful. People fall for this all the time. This is what I am expecting here. Build the cheap part and then when it is struggling with ridership, claim we need to build this other piece and if we don't we will lose the first investment.
Always a Debbie Downer in the group... JK , the state WILL F it up
 

playdeep

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He and a few others like him here on RDP, seem to derive some rather sick sadistic gratification from pointing and mocking, even if we're on fire and people are fleeing for their lives. :(

Perhaps some professional help is worthy of consideration ?

Certainly without question, California politics makes us an easy target. Daily, I need not look far to find easy targets with individuals as well, yet I'm not inclined to stare, point and mock their misfortunes.
...triggered much?
 

DaveH

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You all are missing the bigger picture that the state uses all the time on projects like this. Finance and build the cheapest portion of a project. Then when it is not useful to the public, claim that we need the other parts. After all, now that we already spent this much we need to spent this bigger part to make it useful. People fall for this all the time. This is what I am expecting here. Build the cheap part and then when it is struggling with ridership, claim we need to build this other piece and if we don't we will lose the first investment.
this is exactly right.

my guess is the infatuation with victorville is the fact that getting a train through the mountains and Cajon Pass would be the most expensive part of the construction process.....think about it...its a fairly straight shot from victorville all the way to vegas, keeping that end cheaper to build.

then, when ridership doesnt meet expectation, they can say its because it doesnt go all the way to the LA/OC basin....and pour more money into it.

i still marvel how CA has the money for this and can't help but wonder if NV or some other entity is footing the bill but allowing CA to take credit for it and gloat about how green the new train is.
 

rrrr

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You all are missing the bigger picture that the state uses all the time on projects like this. Finance and build the cheapest portion of a project. Then when it is not useful to the public, claim that we need the other parts. After all, now that we already spent this much we need to spent this bigger part to make it useful. People fall for this all the time. This is what I am expecting here. Build the cheap part and then when it is struggling with ridership, claim we need to build this other piece and if we don't we will lose the first investment.
"We can't just walk away from our investment."

Has anyone noticed the change in wording by politicians from "spending" to "investment"? This occurred between 2008 and 2016. I can't figure out what was different in those years.

:rolleyes:
 

Headless hula

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"We can't just walk away from our investment."

Has anyone noticed the change in wording by politicians from "spending" to "investment"? This occurred between 2008 and 2016. I can't figure out what was different in those years.

:rolleyes:
Not to change the subject, or derail your thread, but how are you healing from your knee/hip replacement surgery?
I apologize if I dont recall which you had done?
You getting around ok? Pain subside?
How did that whole deal turn out?
 

Headless hula

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You posted some of the coolest stories when I did that thread about the Henry Ford museum.
The history you were around through your life was some of the most interesting things I've read here.

Since that surgery deal, (just seems to me as if theres a sour tone in your postings)

Tell me to fuck off, and I dont know what I'm talking about....
No skin off my ass either way.


Certainly wouldn't want to come off as obtuse. :D
 

SBMech

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"We can't just walk away from our investment."

Has anyone noticed the change in wording by politicians from "spending" to "investment"? This occurred between 2008 and 2016. I can't figure out what was different in those years.

:rolleyes:
Nothing is different, you know. They just paid someone to figure out what is most acceptable and say that instead.

CA is so fucked, voting to allow the state to spend money without a vote was the absolute stupidest thing voters in this state have ever done....

Sealing their own fate. You reap what you sow, and this state is sowing an apocalypse.
 

yz450mm

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I recall that the high desert Corridor project has been talked about for quite some time, which would link Palmdale/Lancaster and the high desert with a freeway. I have no idea about the current details.

The high desert has about half a million people, but many of those have no ability to go to Vegas and do any gambling, or even rent a room.

After thinking about it for a minute, it would seem that the developer is trying to link the Las Vegas area to the Greater Los Angeles area and Valley via the existing I-15 and the future High Desert corridor.







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Boozer

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I can do Denver to Vegas in about 3 hours including drive time to the airport and TSA check time for $39. The trip home in about 2 hours for $49.

People are selling the idea of doing it in the same time span with 1/4 of the distance for $200 as a bargain.

This thing is a bust that will require a government bailout and the guys who got rich selling the concept will get billion dollar golden parachutes when it goes belly up.


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Rvrluvr

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Why is CA paying....because 80% of the road used to get to Vegas from LA/OC is in CA. They can not expand the road fast enough for the amount of growing traffic. Add the new football team and all the “deep south californians” are going to cause raider nation convoys to vegas 4 months a year.
 
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