Maglev train from Los Angeles to Las Vegas

Monday, June 09, 2008

There's a small article here about a possible maglev train between the two cities:

Plans for a levitating train from Las Vegas to Disneyland can move forward under a transportation bill signed by President Bush on Friday that frees up $45 million for the futuristic project.

Derided by critics as pie in the sky, the train would use magnetic levitation technology to carry passengers from Disneyland to Las Vegas in well under two hours, traveling at speeds of up to 300 mph. It would be the first MagLev system in the U.S.

The money is the largest cash infusion in the project's nearly 20-year history. It will pay for environmental studies for the first leg of the project.

The money had been delayed by a drafting error in Congress' 2005 highway bill, which was corrected along with some other changes by the legislation signed Friday by Bush. The delay had allowed a competing and cheaper diesel-electric plan to emerge as an alternative, but with the money now freed up supporters hope to move forward with the MagLev plan.

The train is meant to ease traffic on increasingly clogged Interstate 15, the main route for the millions of Southern Californians who make the 250-plus-mile drive to Las Vegas each year. There is no train on the route—Amtrak's Desert Wind between Los Angeles and Las Vegas was canceled in 1997 because of low ridership.

Well, I like pie in the sky, because it eventually becomes commonplace. It would be nice to eventually see some sort of high-speed rail between Calgary (where I'm from) and Edmonton as well. There's always some sort of economic benefit with a new train line, but with two cities like Calgary and Edmonton that already have a lot of business traffic between the two (because there are no other major cities to go to within 12 hours' drive) there's even more. I probably would have visited Edmonton more than once in my life (for an interview for a Japanese company that only interviewed in Edmonton for their Alberta hiring) if there was an easy way to hop on a train and get there an hour and a bit later.



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