A group of municipal associations combined forces last week to advocate for more high speed rail
in Western states, announcing the formation of a new high speed rail group called the Western High Speed Rail Alliance
At issue for them is less than enthusiastic vision of high speed rail in the West.
In an editorial, the Arizona Republic agrees
: "Major Western cities, including Phoenix, were left off the map in federal plans for high-speed rail. Now, five of them are refusing to be overlooked. How preposterous. Air-travel figures show the Phoenix-Los Angeles route, for instance, should be a prime candidate for rail: It’s the nation’s third-busiest short-haul connection (less than 500 miles)…."
In a press release, the group also notes that "McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas is one of the busiest short-haul airports in the country, shuttling 3.7 million passengers from Las Vegas to Los Angeles alone in the year ending March 2009.
The overall vision of the group is to build "a Denver to Los Angeles corridor via a high-speed rail network with regional “hubs” in Las Vegas, Salt Lake City, Denver and Phoenix as well as linkages from Denver to Salt Lake City to Reno and ultimately connection to San Francisco, CA,"