Officials for the DesertXpress high-speed rail project from Victorville to Las Vegas expect construction on the project to begin this year.
Ground breaking is expected to take place this summer on the $4 billion, 185-mile project once DesertXpress Enterprises gets final environmental approvals, which should come near the end of first quarter, 2010, according to the Las Vegas Sun.
"It's all just process and working through the details," DesertXpress Enterprises President Tom Stone told the Sun. "No environmental showstoppers have been identified."
It will take about four years to complete the project and includes construction of two parallel tracks across the Mohave Desert along the I-15 corridor. The first phase will connect Victorville to Las Vegas utilizing public rights of way on property owned by the Bureau of Land Management.
Officials hope to extend service to downtown Los Angeles as soon as possible. Victorville was chosen as a starting point to serve the Southern California market yet be financeable without public tax dollars.
DesertXpress will operate at a top speed of 150 mph, making the 180-mile trip in about 84 minutes, according to its website. Officials estimated ticket price to be about $55.