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Company Abandons Las Vegas Train Project

August 24, 1990

LAS VEGAS (AP) _ A company that started building a $60 million, magnetically levitated passenger rail system in Las Vegas has abandoned the project, leaving behind concrete track pillars and an unfinished station.

Magnetic Transit of America Inc. cited financial difficulties and ″reasons beyond our control″ for pulling out of the elevated rail project Thursday.

″It has become increasingly evident that termination is the only responsible business decision to be made,″ said MTA President John Kapala.

MTA had built a dozen track pillars and a station at the Children’s Museum in the new downtown library as part of its plan to run a 1.1-mile magnetically levitated system through the downtown area.

The company was rebuffed in its efforts to link the proposed system with the Las Vegas Strip, the glitzy heart of the casino district. Kapala said that was ″a very important element″ in the decision to scrap the project.

City Councilman Arnie Adamsen said the West German company pulled out purely for business reasons.

Adamsen said the company intended the system to be a demonstration of the new technology and hoped to eventually link it to the Strip, McCarran International Airport and other parts of the Las Vegas Valley.

″It wasn’t going to be a revenue producer,″ Adamsen said. ″It was presented to me as the first leg of a transportation system in the valley.″

Adamsen said city officials, who obtained a $1.6 million grant from the federal government to build the Children’s Museum station, made it clear to MTA officials in meetings this week that it is the company’s responsibility for paying an estimated $4 million to remove what has already been built.

The company had constructed 12 concrete columns and some 7,000 square feet of platform at the museum station. It said it invested $10 million in the project.

Construction on the system began in 1988 but was halted in June as the company began reassessing the project.

Skeptics had said from the project’s inception that it would carry few riders between the Cashman Field convention center and ballpark complex and downtown and would have to be part of a bigger system linked with the airport and Strip to succeed.

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