Harry Reid's train to nowhere
Senator's high-speed rail project could cost taxpayers nearly $5B
- Duration 7:27
- Date May 10, 2012
Senator's high-speed rail project could cost taxpayers nearly $5B
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It is called train to nowhere and our very own Ainsley Earhardt traveled out to California to find out why.
Our goal is to give it 80% of Americans access to high speed -- Bringing high speed rail to the United States has long been a priority of the Obama administration.
High speed rail is coming to America -- that this will fulfill the dreams of many many people.
Senator Harry Reid has tried for you here it's -- California's ambitious high speed rail plans into his State's biggest draw lost say yes.
The southern Nevada Southern California quarter will be a critical -- -- region's recovery.
Out of our entire country it's a dream that has never been closer to coming true.
We welcome California's decision to extend its high speed rail corridor.
To include Las Vegas.
Could not have happened.
Without senator Reid's leadership and his vision.
And a private company funded by Las Vegas developers called desert express enterprises -- to be the first to -- -- that vision.
Private investment made by the desert express enterprises.
Has positioned -- express project can be the first shovel ready high speed rail project in the entire country.
Which trains traveling at speeds of 150 miles an hour it will move people from Southern California to Las Vegas -- only about eighty minutes.
But there's one problem the closer you get the southern California's major population centers the harder it is to -- the train.
Just the cost prohibitive -- you get the right of way that they need to cut through so many cities and it's simply be too expensive.
So instead the train will start outside of Victorville California.
Desert city of about 120000.
More than ninety miles from the hoped for starting points.
A Los Angeles or Anaheim.
The quiet until Christian is a common -- and I think even people here have to understand that that's a little confusing to some people.
But it's pretty much a straight shot from here to Vegas there's not a lot in between.
And they'll be able to run pretty much alongside interstate fifteen right of way.
The widespread population dispersed throughout Southern California Victorville serves as the natural question point.
An estimated eleven million people that make that drive on -- it can't be here to Las Vegas.
This is literally the end of the -- were off the fifteen in the middle of the Mojave Desert in the proposed site for this -- he got ninety miles that way and you -- LA.
Miles that way in you -- Las Vegas the question -- would you drive from LA.
Park your car here Koppel on the train to get things.
I don't think the people of Los Angeles which is -- we're going to be drawing most of the writers are doing why am driving halfway to Vegas and then next thing you.
Then once you get here you've got to check in your bags check yourself and -- you know it's thirty minutes portraying then when you get to Vegas you're gonna sit there.
Gather your bags made another thirty minutes could have or -- -- Now you just won't -- -- safe.
And many of the millions you make the drive every year say that the biggest traffic headaches.
Come when trying to get out of the LA basin before you get -- Victorville.
This is ultimately as you look behind you here.
Now where in the desert express station would start.
Here Brian McEachern is -- -- mayor you know -- I did a good idea I think it's a good idea you know I think the reason that you're seeing this happen it is.
Vegas sees there's a reason for it they're the ones.
They're pushing for a lot of this money private equity is coming out of Vegas.
Not to allow people to get up there much quicker -- not they understand that they can't really get down into the LA basin.
So this is where they're gonna start.
So what's standing in the way of turning this desert pit stop the -- -- -- the answer is really simple.
It's money with private funds drying up the -- express is asking you to chip that.
They say they need at least five billion dollars in taxpayer money in the form of alone.
They're so quick to point out that that's alone that it'll be paid back to will be paid back with interest.
But I think there's a lot of people that are pretty nervous about that.
So when you're supposed to be about -- back also we know how that worked -- so it's just I just don't lie and I think it's -- wound up.
25 million dollars per mile.
They could just had an extra lanes of the freeway.
The low interest loan would come from the Federal Railroad Administration financing program which congress is appointed about 35 billion dollars for projects like that's.
-- -- tasked with -- that that was the mandate from congress.
You know congress one of that money back they should they should.
Basically take it back.
As long as that loan is paid back in -- down the road.
Maybe a lot of people out there watching her saying I'm fine with -- how can we guarantee vigilance can be paid back.
Well I -- -- you can't really guarantee.
But at the end of the day I think it is that it doesn't -- to market this properly.
It does give an option to people who do not want a sentence traffic or even.
Sit in their cars driving through the desert and it allows them to enjoyed a nice.
-- right in Vegas -- along right.
And joining us now are only as they are amazing aerial shots and I -- -- in the primary even if I can't have it so much fun getting to you so much for waking up at last we're having a blast -- -- -- it's terrific all right let this is amazing.
Because yeah it's actually that it did to train starts in the middle network in the middle of Victorville California which is like the Mojave Desert.
It's about ninety miles outside of LA so the question as who's going to drive ninety miles -- -- your car drive ninety miles out the Mojave Desert on the fifteen.
Which takes you to Vegas.
Stop park your car pay a hundred bucks get on the train can go to Vegas.
-- -- guess yeah you have other options you do you can -- meg -- for about the same price you can run and I just for about a hundred bucks there are lots of little planes that take you there from California Southern California about 1718 million people it's gonna reach in Southern California.
But the question is who's gonna drive to the middle of this desert it is only way to Vegas.
And the benefit says.
You're you're saving it could take -- three to four hours to drive from Victorville to Vegas in the middle of rush hour traffic -- So this does to only take eighty minutes and there is the adventure though lure you can get served drinks -- -- and that kind of thing on the train.
But it's a lot of money it's five billion dollar -- that's the point -- -- and who who who benefits the most I know senator in Nevada you know the name of Harry Reid up.
And he's -- this thing didn't mean it just doesn't it's not necessary we don't need to waste by a lot of you are saying that in this economy do we really need to spend money that we don't have however 35 billion dollars is allocated for railroads that the government is allocated so they're saying we are do you have the money it's going to be spent -- -- -- -- -- high speed -- so that we can be compared to China who has.
Yeah these types of strangled and put it -- train in the middle of desert to take you the other half of the way right when you could fly for the same amount of money and not have to drive ninety miles to get to distress call and that this is a government alone so if it's successful but again will be paid back satellite -- Solyndra yeah it's exactly what we're saying that.
Feel -- Ainsley is not going to pass that middle of -- middle of the summer it'll probably be passed on pot province in the south I'm watching you wait too often there's a lot of people.
I would go to bed late -- I'm up early and I want you all the time to shop all right thank you opinions -- your -- -- of finding him and.