Reid wants to get high-speed rail project back on track

Courtesy XpressWest

An artist’s rendering of a train on the XpressWest high-speed rail line.

Harry Reid

Harry Reid

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid hasn’t given up on the proposed XpressWest high-speed rail project between Las Vegas and Southern California.

In an interview last week on “Nevada Newsmakers,” a political television program produced in Reno, Reid said he has spoken recently with White House officials about getting the project back on track.

“I’ve had conversations within the last week with the White House and with (XpressWest Chairman) Tony Marnell, who is the person who is putting up all the money on that,” Reid said. “(California Gov.) Jerry Brown loves it. I like it. It’s a pretty good start.”

XpressWest, a $7 billion proposal to build a high-speed rail line between Las Vegas and Victorville, Calif., with plans to extend the route to downtown Los Angeles, hit a road block in July when a review for a $5.5 billion federal loan disclosed that the project did not conform to Buy America standards of acquiring equipment from U.S. suppliers.

Most of XpressWest’s suppliers and consultants are with Montreal-based Bombardier, a multinational aerospace and transportation company.

Reid did not elaborate on how or when XpressWest could address the Buy America provision.

Republican budget leaders also have attempted to block XpressWest’s loan request, questioning whether the company would be able to repay the loan.