Skip to comments.Itís not as fast, but this train could hit the rails sooner
Posted on 04/14/2010 7:52:00 AM PDT by Willie Green
As two companies compete to be the first to provide high-speed rail service between Las Vegas and Southern California in the not too distant future, a third is saying it will have a train click-clacking along next year. Las Vegas Railway Express will provide conventional passenger rail service to and from Los Angeles on existing tracks, its executives say.
Theyve been studying the prospect since early 2009 and are now in the strategic planning stage for an inaugural run by mid-2011, more than three years ahead of when the planned DesertXpress high-speed rail system would make its first trip between Victorville, Calif., and Las Vegas.
Michael Barron, chairman and CEO of the company, which is calling its project the X Train, envisions having a party atmosphere on wheels when the train takes passengers from Los Angeles Union Station to an as-yet-undetermined station location in Las Vegas in about 5 1/2 hours.
Its here now, existing technology that wont take billions of dollars or even hundreds of millions of dollars to develop, Barron says. Were acquiring standard train sets and bi-level commuter passenger cars, and then were getting some special cars that well trick up to become a gaming car or a sports and entertainment car.
While the rival DesertXpress operators have emphasized that they want their customers to begin the Las Vegas experience when they climb aboard their 150 mph train by offering luggage check-in straight to the hotel, the developers of the X Train say the Las Vegas party will start as the train rolls out of the station, with a sports bar lounge in one of the cars and rooms and show tickets available for purchase onboard.
(Excerpt) Read more at lasvegassun.com ...
5 1/2 hours. ?
We make it in less than 4 by car no thanks
We make it in less than 4 by car no thanks
Even a relatively "short" 3-hour trip by car on a congested interstate can be a miserable trip that leaves you feeling all worn-out when you finally arrive at your destination.
Even if it takes a couple hours longer, I'd much rather relax and have a good time on the train. Let somebody else worry about the highway traffic. It makes for a much more pleasurable visit to Vegas!
I’m surprised that CA hasn’t legalized gambling. Let their people stay home to spend their money. Then collect taxes on it.
I’d rather get there at the time of my choosing, able to make any side trips I want, and have my car with me at my destination.
They should get a license from California to permit gaming as soon as the train leaves the station. If the LOLs can start dropping coins into the slots as soon as the wheels start rolling, they’ll fight each other to get aboard.
They could probably make more money on the slots than they do on the tickets!
I live better than 15 miles from the nearest train station and that’s a hell of a walk.
This is great!
We don’t need high speed rail ... not yet anyway.
We need a nice network of regular speed rail FIRST.
This is a good start.
You won't be able to start gambling until you enter Nevada.
I wonder what California will make of a gambling den rolling into their state every day.
On the old red eye bus trips my grandmother used to make to Vegas they started playing cards the minute the bus left. Probably wasn’t legal, but when you lock 50 gamblers together for a prolonged period good luck stopping them from gambling.
Because there is a pressing need for people from LA to get into Las Vegas?
Our President, your's, mine, and Chrissy Matthews', has said that we can't just go off to Vegas to throw money away.
Not necessarily. Some gambling, like poker, is legal in California, but controlled by local ordinances. There are casinos all around LA. There could feasibly be gambling on the trains, but probably not slots, which are limited to Indian casinos here I believe.
Maybe they could install video slots that just keep score, and are then paid off once the train is in Nevada.
Does that include the "house" having a stake? Or just "poker night" at someone's home and "charity poker" (both of which are also legal but somewhat open to review in Texas).
Attorney Generals will come down on you even if you are gambling on a website landed in some other country.
Or they pay off in stuff, like drink tickets or free tickets to shows. That’s how charities get away with having “casino nights”, as long as nobody is winning money it’s not gambling.
“Because there is a pressing need for people from LA to get into Las Vegas?”
No. The Casino Express is pure political backroom dealing (Reid) and whole-country taxpayer funded ... which is wrong, wrong, wrong.
However, if it is successful it will be a good example for other cities to follow, except for the taxpayer funding.
The tracks and rights of way should be State funded (like our State highways) and private companies can bid on running the trains. Interstate State long-range tracks and rights should be Fed funded (like our Interstate highways).
Not a thing. Cruise ships with onboard gambling visit the port of Los Angeles every day.
What this train will do is kill the daily bus service from L.A. to Vegas.
You know the old joke? "I arrived in Las Vegas in a $20,000 Cadillac, and left in a $250,000 Greyhound Bus."
What's to complain about here?
If investors want to try and exploit what they see as a profitable market, then I'm all in favor. If this were a government-subsidised excursion train -- I wouldn't be.
I'd love to see rail travel improve in the US. I just want it to be done with private money. I hope they do well. It's a concept (party train) that might work in other places.
I had the pleasure several years ago of trying to get back to the coast by traveling the interstate between vegas and LA on a Sunday. It was worse than your standard rush hour traffic! Stop and go from Vegas to Barstow (where I got off to head towards Bakersfield). If there is that much traffic between the two locations - a train would be my way of travel -less stress and ready for action.
...and, as happened on a friend's bachelor night trip to Vegas, the bus can stop in Barstow for an extra keg of beer when the first one runs out...:^)
Yeah but you would be stuned by the time you get there
Willie, cam you tell us what the gamblers special was, and why it no longer runs? Hmmmm?
Google tells me that Gamblers Special was a cheap, DC-3 charter flight carrying passengers from Burbank to casinos in Hawthorne NV and back. It crashed and burned on February 18, 1969 with no survivors.
I never heard of it before, but it sounds like another good reason to stay on the ground and take the train instead. Train travel is much safer than airline travel, that's for sure...
Thanks for the info!
To bad you don't know much about Southern California and its history.
There's not much to know...
A bunch of burned-out surfers and migrant stoop laborers looking for free handouts from Hollyweird...
Definitely not my kind of place.
That wasn't the gambler's special I was talking about, but obviously you don't know much about trains, either.Hey... don't blame ME for your obscure references...
Reid’s Gambling Train
True, but Reid is planning his own Casino Train at taxpayer expense. Fortunately, he’ll be out of office and the USA will be out of money before that can happen.
This is a good start—How about using Steam Engines? We can get some ceap from China or restore what we have. The Monorail conects to the Vegas Downtown so the whole strip would be open—put in some discounts and this could help bring business to Las Vegas. Then, lets do the same from San Francisco to Reno.
I prefer to “drive” than take a train..
Yea but you’re not drnking and gambling as you drive, right?