Western High Speed Rail Alliance Announces $1 Million Grant to Study Intermountain West

Las Vegas Oct. 27, 2010The Western High Speed Rail Alliance will receive $1 million from the Federal Rail Administration to study high speed rail in the Intermountain West.  The grant, announced October 26 by the office of Sen. Harry Reid, comes after the Alliance’s first western high speed rail conference in Las Vegas October 13-15 at Vdara Hotel.


“This is a great way to end our conference and start our new year,” said Jacob Snow, chairman of the Alliance.  “We are ready to get started with the work we set out to do, which was studying western connectivity for high speed rail.”


“Our Alliance is just a year old and in that time we’ve hosted a successful conference and now have received $1 million from USDOT to study the vision we created a year ago.  We’re very excited,” said Tom Skancke, the executive director for the Alliance.


The Western High Speed Rail Alliance was created in August 2009.  The purpose of the Alliance is to study the high speed rail connectivity from Denver to Salt Lake City, to Reno, to Las Vegas to Phoenix and southern California. 


The Alliance members include the Denver Regional Council of Governments, Maricopa Association of Governemnts in Phoenix, AZ, the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada in Las Vegas, the Regional Transportation Commission of Washoe County, in Reno, NV and the Utah Transit Authority in Salt Lake City, UT.


“This has been an exciting year for us and we’re looking forward to working with our State DOT partners in our effort to move high speed rail forward in the Intermountain West,” concluded Snow, who also heads the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada.


The Alliance’s recent conference drew more than 150 public officials, industry experts and advocates for high speed rail. Conference speakers included Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, Utah Senator Robert Bennett, Nevada Congresswoman Dina Titus and Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman.


Secretary LaHood told the conferees that they were “an inspiration to those of us in Washington who have  been promoting the President’s vision of high speed intercity rail. This is the starting point for America.”


The Western High-Speed Rail Alliance exists for the purpose of developing and promoting a high-speed rail (HSR) network to serve commuters and transport goods throughout the intermountain West region. Establishing critical corridors between the Pacific Coast and other regions of the United States will invigorate local economies, assist job creation and retention, improve our environment and enable a better quality of life. Members of the Alliance agree to work jointly for the acquisition of funding, planning and construction of high-speed rail corridors across a five-state region. www.whsra.com