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Rail News: High-Speed Rail

STB continues to back Nevada's DesertXpress high-speed proposal


Today, the Surface Transportation Board announced it is “reaffirming its jurisdiction” over DesertXpress, a planned high-speed rail line linking Las Vegas and Victorville, Calif.

The California-Nevada Super Speed Train Commission and American Magline Group, which want to build a magnetic levitation system along the same corridor, had asked the board to reopen and reverse its 2007 decision. Officials at the commission contend that DesertXpress’s project is not within the board’s jurisdiction over interstate commerce and the national rail system because it would not connect directly to any other rail line, according to STB.

However, the board said the commission had not identified any new evidence or changed circumstances that would justify revisiting the 2007 decision.

“Moreover, federal regulation of rail transportation in interstate commerce is intended to avoid a patchwork of conflicting and parochial regulatory actions that impede the flow of people and goods throughout the nation,” according to the STB’s decision.

DesertXpress, a privately financed group of companies, plans to construct and operate a 200-mile high-speed line along Interstate 15. In March 2009, the Federal Railroad Administration issued a draft environmental impact statement on the project. DesertXpress plans to apply for permission to construct and operate the line once the environmental review process is complete.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 5/7/2010