Anaheim "High Speed" Mayor Pringle vs. Cerritos "Maglev" Mayor Barrows

Categories: Politics
Bruce Barrows

This post about Curt Pringle being elected chairman of the California High Speed Rail Authority board mentions how a commenter on the California High Speed Rail Blog suggested Anaheim's mayor will now be in a position to formally kill the competing magnetic-levitation (Maglev) line that's also envisioned to pass through town.

Well, not if Cerritos Mayor Bruce Barrows has anything to say about that. Barrows, who heads the Orangeline Development Authority that aims to develop a Maglev system for Southern California, just appointed USC transportation planning professor Michael Kodama executive director of the project.

Michael Kodama
Kodama is "the perfect choice for this position" due to his extensive knowledge of Los Angeles and Orange County transportation issues, said Barrows. Kodama's 20 years of urban planning experience includes the development of freeways, and bus and rail lines.

Orangeline planners envision an elevated, 110-mile-long train line between Irvine and Palmdale with cars traveling up to 240 mph and a passenger capacity equal to that of an eight-lane highway. Total estimated cost of the project: $12 billion (give or take a few billion).

Thumbnail image for german-maglev.jpg
Maglev train in Germany
However, the proposed system recently lost the support of U.S. Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nevada), who now favors a high-speed, diesel-electric DesertXpress line from Las Vegas to Victorville, which would cost only $5 billion (give or take a few billion) but would also feature slower-moving trains than the Maglev. Reid's earlier champion of the Maglev had been mocked by Republicans in Congress as the "Sin Express," but it was likely another Republican who brought the senator around on his DesertXpress support: GOP power player and DesertXpress backer Sig Rogich, who recently was named a leader of a group of Republicans backing Reid's bid for re-election in 2010.

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