High-Speed Rail

Transportation Officials Outline ‘Bullet Train’ Plans, Promised to Include Victor Valley

According to the Victorville Daily Press, December 12, 2017, the Victor Valley is promised to be included in the $64 billion high-speed rail plan connecting the southern and northern sections of the state. A private endeavor, XpressWest, would be rolled in and connect Victorville and Las Vegas; the Victor and Antelope valleys would be bridged by the High Desert Corridor project; and the region would be linked to the Inland Empire by an express bus/urban rail transit network, according to documents. While none of these proposed connections are new, state transportation officials recently held a webinar that showcased the maps of this region’s inclusion and outlined the ultimate vision for Gov. Jerry Brown’s bullet train by 2040. A public review draft for the plan is expected to be submitted to legislators in spring 2018. Some of the key projections from the webinar included:

•Eighty-eight million daily passenger miles diverted to rail from highways
•Increase of 92 million daily passenger miles
•Seven percent rail mode share by 2040 compared to half-percent share if network not built
•Forty-five percent decrease in cost per-train-mile by 2040
•Sixty-five percent decrease in cost per-seat-mile by 2040

State transportation officials said in presentation that the phased plan would reduce traffic on highways, improve safety and the environment via less greenhouse gas emissions, and increase the flow of goods and services by freight rail. Shannon Simonds, a transportation planner for Caltrans, pointed to Senate Bill 1 as a key source of money over the next 10 years.

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