The Federal Bureau of Land Management on November 17 issued a record of decision that approves the right-of-way for the Desert Express, a proposed high-speed rail line linking Las Vegas and Victorville.
Much of the route for the high speed train parallels Interstate I-15, with one significant deviation in the Mountain Pass area, where the grade is too steep to accommodate the track over which the train will pass at roughly 145 miles per hour.
According to DesertXpress Enterprises LLC corporate officers, the 185 mile rail corridor will cover 3,621 acres, of which 2,800 acres are privately held property ad 821 acres are public land. The project proponent will also need to use another 95 acres during the construction phase of the project.
DesertXpress Enterprises LLC, which has already assembled $1.7 billion in financing, is in the process of qualifying for a $4.9 billion federal loan to complete the $6.5 billion project.
The Federal Rail Administration, which approved the project in concept 11 months ago, is the lead agency overseeing the loan application.
If DesertXpress Enterprises LLC lines up that financing, corporate officers have indicated that construction on the project will start by late next year and DesertXpress will begin transporting passengers in 2016.