Reid & Rogich Railroad the Maglev
By Kathy Flynn
Thursday, July 11, 2009
LAS VEGAS—Good News! Soon Las Vegas-bound citizens of Southern California may be able to ride a high-speed train all the way to Sin City at nearly 150 MPH from… FROOOOM… Victorville. What? That wasn’t the good news you were expecting? It turns out that Nevada Senator and Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid has sold out yet another government project to gain support for his re-election bid in the 2010 midterm elections.
How can such a bold statement be made?
Introducing Sig Rogich, a Republican leading a GOP group backing Harry Reid’s bid for re-election. Rogich is a political power broker in Nevada, and is backing an alternative to the original high-tech magnetic levitating train that could carry passengers at speeds up to 300 MPH from Disneyland to Las Vegas. The $12 billion project has been on the drawing board for over twenty years. The futuristic train would ease ever-thickening traffic along the I-15 corridor that spans from Las Vegas to Los Angeles. This would provide a safe and convenient conveyance for the roughly 10 million Southern Californians that make the 250-mile-plus drive to Vegas each year.
Senator Harry Reid, who’s prerogative it is to change his mind as necessary, was once in favor of a Los Angeles-Las Vegas Supertrain. Last year, he helped allocate $45 million in federal funding for the maglev project. Reid spokesman Jon Summers said Tuesday that the senator switched his support over to the Sig Rogich-supported diesel-electric train based on “which one is going to be done and which one is going to be done faster.” The fact that Angelinos (that already would have to make a trip to Anaheim) would now have to drive all the way to Victorville just to ride the DesertXpress to Las Vegas was apparently of no real concern.
The obvious question is whether Los Angeles-based travelers would drive to Victorville, 80 miles and an hour and twenty minutes (2 hours and 40 minutes in traffic) from L.A. proper just to leave their car and take the train.
The news is also bad for Anaheim. The Orange County city and home to Disneyland has long been anticipating the high-speed rail system. They’ve even recently approved a new design for a fancy transportation hub, called ARTIC (Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center). The city of Anaheim has spent an immense amount of money and resources on getting their ARTIC project off the ground as rapidly as possible. They have lobbied for the maglev project for years. You can read more about the ARTIC Project at the OC Register here: Design chosen for Anaheim’s long-awaited transportation hub.
Blogger “Gina” from Orange county Metblogs puts it this way: “Because whilst I have no grudge against the expanse of sand that is Victorville, I would like to point out that often the longest and hardest part of the commute to Vegas is from Los Angeles/Orange County to Victorville. Once you are up the Cajon, it usually gets much easier from there, depending on construction projects on the 15. Yeah, it may be cheaper to build from Victorville, but once you’re already made it to the high desert, it seems to me you might as well keep on going.”
Jon Summers said Sig Rogich’s support was unrelated to Harry Reid’s sudden abandonment of the maglev system.
It seems as though Harry Reid will do anything (including his many infamous flip-floping acts) to help a good buddy who wants to help him. This becomes more and more true as his support with Nevadans lowers more and more. Reid is starting to understand how George W. Bush felt. This cannot be a very comfortable feeling. This unpopularity must be what is forcing Reid into his various vendettas, such as his actions against Lt. Gov Brian Krolicki, which has pretty much pushed Mr. Krolicki out of the running (as Charlie touched on here: Brian Krolicki Requests Attorney General Disqualified).
Reid’s selling point of dumping the Maglev project and jumping aboard the DesertXpress is that he anticipates the Maglev project costing over $12 billion (much of which would be subsidized through government funding) and that it will take too long to build. America is already falling way behind in new technology. This is the perfect chance to follow through with a well planned project utilizing cutting edge technology to build a convenient and popular railway that will function for decades to come. Please do not let us down on this, Senator Reid. There is still a chance for you to make the choice to do the right thing for America, rather than yourself.
The 2010 election is still far enough off to rally the necessary support to get Harry Reid out of office for good. Please find and support a responsible candidate: Get behind the Beat Reid Movement!
Orange County Metblogs
Orange County Register