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Yet Another LA-based Train?

By MikeE on Monday, 17th May 2010 1:40pm
  » filed under Las Vegas  comments: 4

   

Let's face it - the DesertXpress kinda-high-speed-but-not-really train meant to connect "southern California" (because I hardly equate Victorville with miles of gorgeous coastline and palm trees like they hope you're thinking) to Vegas is still a bit of a dream. And if they do successfully start operations, their expectations of passengers abandoning their cars already a third of the drive into Vegas just wreaks of disaster. And of course, there's the proposed Maglev. Backed by billions of dollars in Chinese money and originating in Anaheim, it's got stronger potential for ridership hindered by an otherwise far-fetched prospect.

But now there's a new project that quietly introduced itself a few days ago and it's got the potential of seeing reality short of a couple years. It's called the "X" train. Originating from L.A.'s Union Station in downtown and stopping in Fullerton to serve the Orange County crowd, the "X" train runs at normal speeds on existing track and will take about five and a half hours between destinations.

Sure, it sound like a long time, but unlike driving or flying where the vacation starts the moment you arrive at the hotel, the train will offer two bars, comfortable seating, and even gaming. At only $99 round trip, it's a welcome option for a leisurely trip and strives to bring a tad bit of glamour back to travel.

The train is proposed to start operations in late 2011 and will dip its toes into the weekend crowd until further demand has them expanding their schedule. For those seeking a solo trip living even within a half an hour from either L.A.'s Union Station or Fullerton's Santa Fe Depot, this is definitely an appealing option.

Want to see pictures? They've got a pretty insulting website (even in HTML form), or you can see our main man, Alan F. Mendelson (miss you! *kiss* *kiss*) with all the goods.



Tagged: xtrain   desertxpress   maglev   alan f. mendelson   high speed train   





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Comments & Discussion:

By far the most practical train option being discussed. There are still numerous problems and I'm not sure they have the financing to get to the finish line. My biggest question is where are they going to drop you off in Vegas? (No station currently exists)

A few months ago, Mayor Goodgin was speaking (I think to the Latin Chamber of Commerce or something... I found it on Youtube) and was wondering why we don't get something like this cranking. I was beating the drum at the time myself and was thrilled to see that someone is running with it.

Called and spoke to an X Train rep last week. One of the things they discussed (and they had not built into their business plan but are now looking to do) is attract European tourists who want to go see L.A. European tourists come her for 10-14 days, are used to riding trains and mass transit (Metrolink, Amtrak), and would love the opportunity for a downtown-to-downtown train. From L.A. they can catch a Surfliner to San Diego or Santa Barbara (I told them all that they can crash on Hunter's couch).

But wait (you say)... they can still fly it for not much more cash and far less time. Keep in mind these are TOURISTS. They want to see the scenery from a train. In comfort.

We'll be supporting the hell out of this thing. Maglev is way too expensive and still too sci-fi.

And to build a dedicated train train line to Victorville is folly that way surpasses building a Las Vegas monorail that does not serve the airport.

If the field wasn't crowded enough, the LV Sun is reporting of yet another entrant into the race. Genesis High Speed Rail America LLC has proposed the Desert Lightning, which would be similar to DesertXpress, and would also have it's own dedicated rail lines. One interesting note to their proposal, the route. Their proposed route would link not only LA to Las Vegas, but also LA to Phoenix and Phoenix to Las Vegas. A possible stop could be Palm Springs.

http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2010/jun/06/another-train-enters-fray-l-lv-route/

AccessVegas - I would agree that the European Angle is definitely one to explore for the reasons you stated, in fact, I was thinking of doing a Vegas/LA combo trip in March 2011, although X-Train will not be ready, I would definitely have used it.

All these proposals, its only a matter of time before we see one for "Supertrain" (google ie)



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