Saturday, November 24, 2012

California to Las Vegas party train could hit tracks in 2013

Now this is an idea whose time has come.

After striking an agreement with Union Pacific Railroad last week, the Las Vegas Railway Express is one step closer to bringing to life the X Train, a luxurious "party train" complete with big screen TVs, recliners and two ultra lounges.

"The whole idea is when you get on a train, you feel like you're in Las Vegas," said Michael Barron, president and CEO of the $100 million venture that hopes to launch its maiden voyage on New Year's Eve 2013. "It's essentially a nightclub on wheels." Tourists can't get from Southern California to Las Vegas by rail alone, and Barron's company isn't the first to try and fix that. The much talked about XpressWest project proposes a high-speed train connecting Sin City to the region from which it draws 25 percent of its tourists.

But it's a multibillion-dollar proposal that would require setting new tracks, and it's often panned as a "train to nowhere" because the first phase would start in relatively obscure Victorville, about 100 miles outside of Los Angeles.

The X Train proposal calls for an Amtrak crew aboard a 576-passenger train that runs at standard speeds on traditional tracks.

It would start in Fullerton -- already home to an Amtrak station and part of Southern California's Metrolink commuter train network -- and end in downtown Las Vegas.
Here's the link to XpressWest's website.

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