Vegas-L.A. maglev project fails to get federal funding

WASHINGTON — Nevada lost out on another multimillion-dollar stimulus program when the government doled out $8 billion for high-speed rail projects today and a route being planned for a magnetic levitation train between Las Vegas and Southern California was deemed ineligible.

The denial of $83 million in coveted federal funds that might have been used to create work and advance a futuristic mode of travel for casino-bound tourists set off a round of finger pointing.

Republican Gov. Jim Gibbons blamed President Barack Obama and Democratic Sen. Harry Reid, saying it was an example of the state's senior U.S. senator not using his clout to help Nevada.

A Reid spokesman said Gibbons has no place to look but "in the mirror," releasing a letter from the U.S. Department of Transportation that said the project had misapplied for funding, and was not considered.

No matter, the episode was the second one in a month where Nevada found itself at a loss when it comes to scoring federal cash to help itself through the recession.

In mid-January, Las Vegas Valley governments received no funding from the Department of Housing and Urban Development that would have been spent to keep homeowners from foreclosure. The agency said there were weaknesses in the application.

Contact Stephens Washington Bureau Chief Steve Tetreault at or 202-783-1760.