Brightline (fka XpressWest/DesertXpress) Las Vegas Service

This is a forum for all operations, both current and planned, of Virgin Rail USA formerly known as Brightline, and Virgin Worldwide Rail operations, past and present. Official Sites:
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njt/mnrrbuff
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Re: Brightline (fka XpressWest/DesertXpress) Las Vegas Servi

Post by njt/mnrrbuff » Sun Mar 17, 2019 7:22 pm

The Mojave Desert is not an area where you want your car to break down. Once you get past Victorville when you are heading east on the 15 or Historic Rt. 66, you are in no mans land. Barstow probably has services but make sure that they are honest as Barstow isn't the best city for anything bad to happen. Once you leave Barstow heading northeast, there are probably no services for a very long distance.

Back to the proposed train service to Vegas-it would be better if the train started out in Downtown LA since it is more of a hub for other train routes and Amcal Bus routes. Of course, a whole new right of way would have to be built through Cajon Pass. There is no way that the train will be time competitive with the automobile or even the bus if it runs on the existing transcon over Cajon Pass. Hours of time will be added to the trip. Virgin trains is supposed to be an intercity operation, not a commuter operation. Many people using the train would probably be coming from the Greater LA area. Having Virgin(US) start out in Victorville would be like saying let's have Amtrak heading to Boston start out in New Haven, making Amtrak passengers who live in NYC to drive to New Haven.

gokeefe
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Re: Brightline (fka XpressWest/DesertXpress) Las Vegas Servi

Post by gokeefe » Sun Mar 17, 2019 8:01 pm

I took a look at the map and recalling mg own trip on this route gave it some thought ...

Victorville is really not a bad idea at all. The station would funnel all of the demand Greater Los Angeles into a single stop and would greatly reduce the infrastructure investment necessary for multiple stations in LA and also the operational challenges of the Cajon Pass.

Additionally a single stop in Las Vegas somewhere behind the strip would probably work just fine. Even as far out west as the Rio is likely "close enough". It wouldn't be "great" or "perfect" but I'm not entirely sure the market would care as long as there's plenty of space for limo parking.

As rail startup proposals go this is a pretty strong proposition that would allow the service to get off the ground.
gokeefe

Ridgefielder
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Re: Brightline (fka XpressWest/DesertXpress) Las Vegas Servi

Post by Ridgefielder » Tue Mar 19, 2019 11:33 am

njt/mnrrbuff wrote: Of course, a whole new right of way would have to be built through Cajon Pass. There is no way that the train will be time competitive with the automobile or even the bus if it runs on the existing transcon over Cajon Pass. Hours of time will be added to the trip.
In the 1996 timetable the Desert Wind was scheduled at 1hr5mins westbound and 1hr3mins eastbound between San Bernardino and Victorville on the Transcon. The Southwest Chief today schedules 1hr13mins westbound and 1hr8mins eastbound. We're not talking about adding that much time to the trip. Particularly since after Victorville you're going to be on a new ROW through the high desert and can presumably run like a bat out of hell.

electricron
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Re: Brightline (fka XpressWest/DesertXpress) Las Vegas Servi

Post by electricron » Sun Mar 24, 2019 11:34 pm

By bus or car on I-15, it is 41miles and at 60 mph it can be completed in 41 minutes.
At 70 mph, it can be done in 35 minutes. You should be able to drive between Victorville and San Bernadino in half the time a train will take over the existing rail corridor. Half!

Ridgefielder
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Re: Brightline (fka XpressWest/DesertXpress) Las Vegas Servi

Post by Ridgefielder » Thu Mar 28, 2019 12:07 pm

Well, sure. And it's 14 miles from my office to my home. At 60mph I could drive it in 14 minutes. Problem is my office is on 42nd St. in Manhattan, I live in Westchester, and the chances of my being able to do 60mph across 42nd, up the FDR, over the Willis Ave. bridge and up the Major Deegan are... low. Now it's been a long time since I've been in Southern California and driven over the Cajon but seeing as I-15 is the only major road crossing of the San Gabriels for 60 miles in either direction I'm willing to bet it can get crowded.

Besides, the point of running the train over the Cajon wouldn't be to get to San Bernardino; it would be to go through San Berdoo to LA proper.

Jeff Smith
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Re: Brightline (fka XpressWest/DesertXpress) Las Vegas Servi

Post by Jeff Smith » Wed Jun 05, 2019 9:38 am

Failure to secure tax-exempt bonding: https://www.newcivilengineer.com/latest ... 24.article" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
A $4bn (£3.6bn) high-speed rail line between Las Vegas and Southern California has been delayed after the project backers failed to secure tax exemptions.

The project, which is being undertaken by the American wing of Virgin Trains, could suffer a two-year delay to the start of construction as a result of the financial blow.

The Las Vegas Review Journal reported that discussions lasting a month between the US government and Virgin Trains failed to secure a deal.

Representatives of Virgin Trains had been seeking to strike a similar deal on exemptions from sales and property taxes that were granted for the construction of its Orlando to Miami high speed line.
...
Next stop, Willoughby
~Jeff Smith (fka "Sarge") :: RAILROAD.NET Site Administrator/Co-Owner

Jeff Smith
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Re: Brightline (fka XpressWest/DesertXpress) Las Vegas Servi

Post by Jeff Smith » Wed Jun 05, 2019 9:41 am

More: https://www.reviewjournal.com/business/ ... s-1676106/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

It appears it had more to do with local and state exemptions?
Virgin Trains USA was ready to break ground on a $4 billion high-speed rail project between Las Vegas and Southern California as early as next year, but those plans were docked after it failed to secure tax abatements this legislative session.

Bob O’Malley, Virgin Trains’ vice president of government affairs, said Thursday that after being in Carson City for over a month, the abatements the company was seeking didn’t come to fruition.

Not getting those abatements will likely push the start of planned construction back at least two years, he added.

“If we had been able to do something this session, we were ready to start construction in 2020,” O’Malley said.
...
O’Malley reiterated that Virgin Trains was not seeking tax credits or state grants for the planned 185-mile dual-track project, which would run along the Interstate 15 corridor, as it would be financed entirely by private investment.
...
Next stop, Willoughby
~Jeff Smith (fka "Sarge") :: RAILROAD.NET Site Administrator/Co-Owner

gokeefe
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Re: Brightline (fka XpressWest/DesertXpress) Las Vegas Servi

Post by gokeefe » Wed Jun 05, 2019 6:59 pm

"Abatements" ... They probably wanted the right of way or the stations to be exempt from property taxes. That is the case in most places but apparently not Nevada.
gokeefe

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