Desert Xpress rail line one step closer to getting built

Desert Xpress rail line one step closer to getting built

By Marco Villarreal. CREATED Nov 18, 2011

 Las Vegas, NV (KTNV)- The dream of a multi-billion dollar Desert Xpress rail line connecting Las Vegas to southern California took a small step closer to realityt. A government agency gave the greenlight for construction over federal lands between here and Victorville, CA.

One local community however is still fighting to stop it from ending up only feet from their back door. Many residents near Dean Martin and Wigwam have lived in this mostly rural area for years.

"We moved out here to kind of get away and it was out in the country at the time. There wasn't any Southern Highlands, so it was kind of out by itself," says Clay Lee.

Over time Las Vegas has grown. The urban sprawl encroaching on these folks who moved here for a little peace and quiet, in the shadow of the Strip. Now, in addition to the urbanization Desert Xpress Enterprises is moving forward with plans to build a high speed rail line linking Las Vegas with Victorville, CA, the doorstep of southern California. Not surprisingly, some residents don't want this passenger train rumbling through their backyards.

"It concerns me. I don't know what is going to happen to the property value. No one will want to move in or if we want to sell the house someone will say, 'there's a train in your backyard, I don't want to buy your house,'" says Lee.

The Dean Martin Rural Neighborhood Preserve Association has voiced its opposition the loudest, saying not only will property values drop, but that the jobs the project promises to create are grossly exaggerated.

"I did move out here for peace and quiet, and now apperantly we're not going to have much of it, but like I said if it brings jobs, I'll be happy," says Dave Diaz, another local resident.

Now with the Bureau of Land Management authorizing the use of more than 900 acres for construction of a high speed railroad, the project is one step closer to becoming a reality. Desert Xpress Enterprises is hoping to get a $4.9 billion federal loan to build the $6.5 billion project.