Obama’s “Gambling Train to Nowhere” Moves Forward – Company May Get $4.9 Billion for the Project

It’s an Obama world.
Privately held DesertXpress is on the verge of landing a $4.9 billion loan from the Obama Administration to build a bullet train from Las Vegas to Victorville, a small town in the middle of nowhere.

The company is linked to Senate Leader Harry Reid.
CBS Local reported, via Free Republic:

On a dusty, rock-strewn expanse at the edge of the Mojave Desert, a company linked to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid wants to build a bullet train that would rocket tourists from the middle of nowhere to the gambling palaces of Las Vegas.

Privately held DesertXpress is on the verge of landing a $4.9 billion loan from the Obama administration to build the 150 mph train, which could be a lifeline for a region devastated by the housing crash or a crap shoot for taxpayers weary of Washington spending.

The vast park-and-ride project hinges on the untested idea that car-loving Californians will drive about 100 miles from the Los Angeles area, pull off busy Interstate 15 and board a train for the final leg to the famous Strip.

Planners imagine that millions of travelers a year will one day flock to a station outside down-on-its-luck Victorville, a small city where shuttered storefronts pock the historic downtown.

An alliance of business and political rainmakers from The Strip to Capitol Hill is backing the project that could become the first high-speed system to break ground under President Barack Obama’s push to modernize the U.S. rail network — and give the Democratic president’s re-election prospects a lift in battleground Nevada.

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has publicly blessed the train — it means jobs, he says — and it’s cleared several regulatory hurdles in Washington.

Yet even as the Federal Railroad Administration considers awarding what would be, by far, the largest loan of its type, its own research warns it’s difficult to predict how many people will ride the train, a critical measure of financial survival, an Associated Press review found.

There are other skeptics, as well.

“It’s insanity,” says Thomas Finkbiner of the Intermodal Transportation Institute at the University of Denver. “People won’t drive to a train to go someplace. If you are going to drive, why not drive all the way and leave when you want?”

Construction cost projections have soared to as much as $6.5 billion, not including interest on the loan. Some fear taxpayer subsidies are inevitable.

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  • MrGoodWench

    Oh yeah, that’s what we need,
    a superfast

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  • Related.

    ‘Want to be creeped out?

    Type in communists.com in your browser.’

    via Sickofobama

  • smmtheory

    “Some fear taxpayer subsidies are inevitable.” And some, I.E., me, guarantee taxpayer subsidies are inevitable… ain’t no fear to it. It’s a given that any boondoggle the fed engages in requires subsidy after subsidy after subsidy in perpetuum.

  • Buffalobob

    Hum obama and Harry Ried connected to a gov. giveaway to croocked friends

  • Why not? It’s not like Obama is gambling with his own money.


    The one time I stopped for gas in Victorville on my way to Vegas, I had two separate people come up to me asking for money – and more beggars were in sight. This was at 11 am in the morning. I’ve since vowed to never stop in that city ever again.

    Stop, park your car, walk to a train platform, wait for a train, and count the beggars that harass you for money. Sounds like a great way to start a vacation; I can use the experience to teach my kids to meet new people.

    What fools do they expect to get to leave their cars in that hole?

    If they build that boondoggle, I’m never going to Vegas again.

  • NorthernX

    It’s not an “Obama World.”

    It’s an “Obama-Retarded-Land” which is thankfully confined to the United States…

  • Blacque Jacques Shellacque

    With the advent of Indian casinos in CA, there’s not a lot of reason to go to Vegas if gambling is some Californian’s thing.

  • Rev. Wright ain’t right upstairs

    Solyndra Times Seven
    Why California’s high-speed rail project is an even greater waste of federal tax dollars.
    21 March 2012

    The national media have devoted plenty of skeptical attention to California’s bullet-train boondoggle—from the ballooning cost of the California High-Speed Rail Authority project to its shoddy management to the baffling decision to build the first segment in the lightly populated Central Valley. But the press has yet to focus on a crucial fact: the bullet train isn’t just some quirky Left Coast fiasco; it’s also a grotesque waste of federal money. The project serves as a powerful reminder of the Obama administration’s mishandling of the $787 billion stimulus that Congress passed in February 2009 with solemn assurances of prudence and accountability. The bullet-train project, in fact, can be thought of as “Solyndra times seven”—that’s how far its costs outstrip those of the much-touted Bay Area solar panel manufacturer that burned through $528 million in federal loans before declaring bankruptcy and folding last September.


  • Tim in Cali

    Barry is back on the crack pipe,in fact everyone inside the beltway needs a drug test…I’ve driven thru Victorville several times…you know what’s in Victorville..a couple of stoplights..INSANITY

  • Tim in Cali

    Let’s see if I got this right..San Diego to Vegas(5 1/2 hr) and 2 1/2 hrs to Victorville,park my car in paid parking in V’ ville, get on train after aprox. 30 min. wait. Take aprox 1hr (180 miles) to Vegas on Barrys Bullett Barge.Train St. to hotel,another 45min…after checking into hotel…with no transportation,i should go RENT A CAR !!!

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  • Brandon

    Well, yeah, they shouldn’t build it, but Victorville isn’t exactly “in the middle of nowhere.” It’s part of the LA megalopolis, and has a population of over 100,000. From my understanding Victorville to Vegas is not the whole route. It will eventually go south from Victorville, through the Cajon Pass to San Bernardino; but that part is probably the most ambitious, going through a 2,000 ft. Mountain pass that is very narrow, and right on the San Andraes Fault. Nobody in these parts is too excited about it. People in this area generally don’t use the trains that already exist. We should tell Obama “not with my tax dollars, you don’t.” This is another example of government getting ready to tell us how to travel. The argument will be that it saves fuel; well not when nobody uses it.

  • burt

    If you work for the state of Californnia, will the casinos take state IOUs instead of money?

  • KatB

    No, no, no. Having grown up in the “LA megalopolis,” I can say unhesitatingly that Victorville is NOT part of the LA Megalopolis. It is on the other side of a high mountain range/Angeles National Forest. It’s only a gas and potty stop on the way to Vegas. If I wanted to get to Vegas in a hurry, I’d fly there from LAX, Burbank, John Wayne in Orange County, or even Ontario! I’m sure it would be cheaper, too!

    A high-speed train from Victorville to Vegas is as stupid as the controversial high-speed train from Tampa to Orlando. Even if the route is eventually connected from Victorville across the mountains and into Los Angeles Union Station, it will still be faster and cheaper to fly, and more convenient to drive, or even take a “gambler’s bus.” If such a train/train route were really such a fantastic idea and had any potential for profit, investors would be beating a path to the door of DsertXpress, and the company woldn’t need government money. Which says this is alraedy a big money-loser of an idea.

  • Sasja

    This is the first time I have ever heard of Victorville, but, hey, I live in fly-over country so what do I know? Anyway, I prefer Reno.

  • havok

    Follow the Money.. rest assured Harry Reid is set have land he owns in this route gain 10X it’s value… it is how a man with average or lower IQ can go to Washington with a nickle and a piece of lint in his pocket…yet a few years later have multi-millions in the bank.

  • Joe

    Pork & ride.

  • KatB

    Joe…pork & ride! LMAO! That’s hysterical!

  • lonestar

    My friends and I used to make this drive from LA to Las Vegas. No one is going to drive to Victorville, park their car, and take a train the rest of the way. They’d have better luck running the train to the river instead.

  • just-saying

    So, once again, where’s the House of Rep, approving/disapproving all appropriations?

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