By Supervisor Robert Lovingood
(Victor Valley)– Late last year, I met with Virgin Trains USA officials and received an in-depth briefing on their plan to build a high-speed train between Victorville and Las Vegas.This week, Virgin Trains USA won an important approval as the state’s Debt Limit Allocation Committee staff recommended that the company be allowed to sell tax-exempt debt to private investors to fund the project.
The beauty of this plan is that it is financed by the private sector. Investors, not taxpayers, will take on the financial risk. The public will get the benefit of having an alternative route to Las Vegas that will remove an estimated 4.5 million cars from the road each year. Virgin Trains plans to lay tracks in the center median along Interstate 15 between Victorville and Las Vegas. Construction is expected to begin in 2020, with train operations beginning in 2023.