China may be the savior of America's crumbling infrastructure. Last week brought word of China Railway's partnership with XpressWest to help invest in and build America's first high-speed rail line. The planned 230-mile line would run between Los Angeles to Las Vegas, and construction is set to begin as early as September 2016.
Plans to bring a rail line running from L.A. to Vegas have been told before by private companies and entrepreneurs, but lack of funds or other setbacks have always gotten in the way. Some were hopeful of improvements to the American rail system when, in his 2011 State of the Union address, President Barack Obama proclaimed, “Within 25 years, our goal is to give 80 percent of Americans access to high-speed rail.”
China Railway International seems to be up to the task.
Over the last few years, there's been a devaluing of the rail system by representatives in the United States government, declaring it an unworthy expense of tax dollars. Some, like Jeff Denham, chairman of the House of Representatives subcommittee in charge of railroads have said, “High-speed rail can be a good idea; I just think it should be left up to the private sector.”
China Railway International seems to be up to the task. The capital is there, in the form of $100 million and XpressWest has already secured the permits for the first 185 miles. The grand plan is to have stations in Las Vegas, Nevada; Victorville, California; and Palmdale, California; and service throughout Los Angeles.
“Even if they lose money, they could develop a market for Chinese technology and services by demonstrating that they can implement a project.”
“As China's first high-speed railway project in the United States, the project will be a landmark in overseas investment for the Chinese railway sector and serve as a model of international cooperation,” Yang Zhongmin, chairman of China Railway International, said in an interview with Xinhua News Agency.
This opportunity is an exciting one, although from the outside, it would seem the venture benefits the United States far more than it would China. However, Martin Wachs, professor emeritus of urban planning at UCLA told the L.A. Times, “Even if they lose money, they could develop a market for Chinese technology and services by demonstrating that they can implement a project.”
Who better to take on a high-speed rail project than the people responsible for a railway network of 10,000 miles?
Natalie has been writing professionally for about 6 years. After graduating from Ithaca College with a degree in Feature Writing, she snagged a job at PCMag.com where she had the opportunity to review all the latest consumer gadgets. Since then she has become a writer for hire, freelancing for various websites. In her spare time, you may find her riding her motorcycle, reading YA novels, hiking, or playing video games. Follow her on Twitter: @nat_schumaker
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