Re: Brian Peoples at CTC Meeting / Virgin XpressWest
Author: deja vudu xpresswest
Date: 03-14-2019 - 08:22
Thanks for the report! I would tend to agree that Virgin/Brightline might be a little optimistic about when they could throw dirt, but it's good to have a going company behind it now.
Desert Xpress (the original Xpresswest incarnation) could have thrown dirt years ago and we would have service now, had not the Republicans in Congress forced FRA to shut down the all-but-approved loan that was needed to start construction. They had, at the time, not only the NEPA work done and FRA approval, but also all their permits for construction on federal lands (i.e. most of the route), including use of long portions of I-15 right of way. But they were going to use actual high-speed electric trains (some kind of Siemens EMU vaguely rings a bell) running at 150-180mph, and were going to use a tunnel a couple of miles long at Mountain Pass. With Virgin planning to use conventional diesel equipment, they'll probably have to adjust the alignment a bit in spots to reduce grades the electrics would have had no problem with, and do something about that tunnel. We'll see how it develops, and with the changes I wonder if a simple NEPA revalidation will work.