• Brightline West / XpressWest / DesertXpress) Las Vegas - Victorville - Rancho Cucamanga - Los Angele

  • This is a forum for all operations, both current and planned, of Brightline, formerly All Aboard Florida and Virgin Trains USA:
    Websites: Current Brightline
    Virgin USA
    Virgin UK
This is a forum for all operations, both current and planned, of Brightline, formerly All Aboard Florida and Virgin Trains USA:
Websites: Current Brightline
Virgin USA
Virgin UK

Moderator: CRail

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  by eolesen
 
lensovet wrote: Mon Jul 27, 2020 1:50 am gotta wonder who's going to be going to vegas now given the spike in cases…but i guess might as well build it now in case they come eventually.
You really think the same people who will chain smoke in a casino for days on end are really that concerned about a respiratory virus?...
  by Pensyfan19
 
If this theory is true, then I can't help but feel that Elon Musk is trying to undermine this project with his BORING company.

https://futurism.com/the-byte/theory-el ... gas-tunnel
Photos have emerged online of large tents and heavy tunneling machinery belonging to Elon Musk’s Boring Company in the California desert north east of Los Angeles, as Teslarati reports.

The machinery could suggest that the Boring Company is setting up to dig a tunnel connecting Los Angeles and Las Vegas, but neither the company nor Elon Musk have made an announcement about any such plans.

Teslarati argues the photos suggest a possible tunnel between the two cities, mainly due to the geographical location where the machinery was spotted — Adelanto, California, about an hour and a half in the direction to Las Vegas from LA.
  by Pensyfan19
 
Three things:

1. XpressWest was rebranded to Brightline West
2. A paywalled Trains.com article says Brightline is readying a Vegas line bond sale, touting a Los Angeles entry.
3. the article also says Siemens was tapped to supply these trainsets. (Anyone have any guesses? Keep in mind Virgi- ur, Brightline wants electric trainsets for this route [gonna take me a while to remember Brightline as Brightline again])
  by scratchyX1
 
Pensyfan19 wrote: Tue Aug 04, 2020 10:45 pm If this theory is true, then I can't help but feel that Elon Musk is trying to undermine this project with his BORING company.

https://futurism.com/the-byte/theory-el ... gas-tunnel
Photos have emerged online of large tents and heavy tunneling machinery belonging to Elon Musk’s Boring Company in the California desert north east of Los Angeles, as Teslarati reports.

The machinery could suggest that the Boring Company is setting up to dig a tunnel connecting Los Angeles and Las Vegas, but neither the company nor Elon Musk have made an announcement about any such plans.

Teslarati argues the photos suggest a possible tunnel between the two cities, mainly due to the geographical location where the machinery was spotted — Adelanto, California, about an hour and a half in the direction to Las Vegas from LA.
If I was Elon, I'm be thinking more about tunnel for under water aquaduct to Las Vegas, Iirc, it's long term water supply situation is precarious.
  by Jeff Smith
 
https://www.gobrightline.com/xpresswest
Pensyfan19 wrote: Mon Sep 28, 2020 10:55 am 1. XpressWest was rebranded to Brightline West
Yes, we know that. However to enhance your point, let me add the following (Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brightline_West):
DesertXpress Enterprises, LLC was founded in 2005 to develop, construct, own and operate the high-speed rail project.
...
In June 2012, the developer announced the new plan to build a network of high-speed rail for the region by expanding to Arizona, Utah and Colorado. The initial phase was to include high-speed tracks, Las Vegas to Apple Valley and Apple Valley to Palmdale.

The 185-mile (298 km) link between Las Vegas and Victorville was designed to be double-tracked which is dedicated for the high-speed trains. The costs of this section was estimated at $6.9 billion. The developer would put up $1.4 billion in private investment and the rest of funding would borrowed under the Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing program provided by the Federal Railroad Administration.

Future plans include a link between Las Vegas and Phoenix, Arizona, and another from Las Vegas to Salt Lake City, Utah and Denver, Colorado.[36] The project was subsequently rebranded to XpressWest to reflect the expanded mission.
...
On September 18, 2018, Fortress Investment Group, which owns an inter-city rail route in Florida called Brightline, announced that it would acquire the XpressWest project from Marnell, indicating that it would begin construction of the rail line in the second half of 2020 with expected completion in the second half of 2024.
...
I wasn't aware of the plans for Arizona, Colorado and Utah. Wouldn't that be interesting!
2. A paywalled Trains.com article says Brightline is readying a Vegas line bond sale, touting a Los Angeles entry.
Yeah, we've been sprinkling news throughout here about approval for the bond issue.
3. the article also says Siemens was tapped to supply these trainsets. (Anyone have any guesses? Keep in mind Virgi- ur, Brightline wants electric trainsets for this route [gonna take me a while to remember Brightline as Brightline again])
I would expect them to use Siemens, as they are the supplier of the Florida trains, a variant of the SC-44 Charger, the SCB-40. Per Wiki, they have options for more.

Electrification I suspect will be very expensive. Their fact sheet (attached) does indicate electrification. The ACS-64 Sprinter only goes 125, and they're promising 200+mph. Alstom's Avelia can do 220 tilt disabled; 186 tilt enabled. I don't know the geological profile of I-15, but one has to assume serious grades. Now, on dedicated HSR tracks, which this would be (at least to Victorville), if they stick with Siemens, they could probably use a variant of the European Velaro. In any case, whatever they get, it's going to be faster than I-15.
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  by nctrains
 
There have been a few additional interesting updates in a couple articles as it looks like Wes Edens is doing a media blitz regarding the start of the bond sales for this segment.

  • Per a Forbes article , Edens mentioned that 'the real goal is to have a single seat from Union Station to Las Vegas.' The route would use I-15 right of way from Victorville through the Cajon Pass to Rancho Cucamonga and then take the Metrolink tracks into Union Station.
  • A Las Vegas Review Journal article mentions that Brightline is committed to opening all segments of a connection between Union Station and Las Vegas at the same time in late 2023 / 2024.
Reading between the lines, I'm guessing Brightline is having trouble selling the bonds given the worry about the future of mass travel demand and given the poor early financials from the South Florida line; the connection to Union Station may greatly enhance the selling point to investors.

That being said, I have to imagine it would be prohibitively expensive and complex to electrify all the way to Union Station though (particularly by late 2023...albeit Brightline likes to exaggerate its expectations)-- might they be entertaining an option where a diesel engine pulls an electrified Siemens trainset from Rancho Cucamonga into Union Station? If they do that, they technically don't need to stop there; they could also have off-peak trips straight from Anaheim (i.e., Disneyland) or even originate at other points in the Inland Empire. That could really help them capture more markets than solely through Victorville.
  by daybeers
 
nctrains wrote: Mon Sep 28, 2020 10:27 pm There have been a few additional interesting updates in a couple articles as it looks like Wes Edens is doing a media blitz regarding the start of the bond sales for this segment.

  • Per a Forbes article , Edens mentioned that 'the real goal is to have a single seat from Union Station to Las Vegas.' The route would use I-15 right of way from Victorville through the Cajon Pass to Rancho Cucamonga and then take the Metrolink tracks into Union Station.
  • A Las Vegas Review Journal article mentions that Brightline is committed to opening all segments of a connection between Union Station and Las Vegas at the same time in late 2023 / 2024.
Reading between the lines, I'm guessing Brightline is having trouble selling the bonds given the worry about the future of mass travel demand and given the poor early financials from the South Florida line; the connection to Union Station may greatly enhance the selling point to investors.

That being said, I have to imagine it would be prohibitively expensive and complex to electrify all the way to Union Station though (particularly by late 2023...albeit Brightline likes to exaggerate its expectations)-- might they be entertaining an option where a diesel engine pulls an electrified Siemens trainset from Rancho Cucamonga into Union Station? If they do that, they technically don't need to stop there; they could also have off-peak trips straight from Anaheim (i.e., Disneyland) or even originate at other points in the Inland Empire. That could really help them capture more markets than solely through Victorville.
I predict they'll open in phases: first in Victorville with a station there and then add Union Station sometime 2-3Q 2024.
  by David Benton
 
Seems pretty clear to me that Brightline based there original proposal on been able to connect to , or use , California's HSR line in the Victorville-Pamdale area . since that has been so delayed , they have had to come up with thier own proposals into the LA basin .
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
daybeers wrote: Mon Sep 28, 2020 11:29 pmI predict they'll open in phases: first in Victorville with a station there and then add Union Station sometime 2-3Q 2024.
Mr. Daybeers, I hold the impact of COVID has been the most "earth shattering" event to have occurred affecting commercial passenger transportation worldwide - ever. The 1918-19 "Spanish Flu" pandemic I think did "not hold a candle" simply because society was hardly as mobile as it is today. Commercial air transport back then? what's that. The idea of a "gathering" was going to church with those who had developed "herd immunity" with one another. The thought of bring 50K or more people together from all over the world for a public event, unheard of.

I'm not sure if Amtrak picked the best of timings to introduce the Acela 2, but then that "die was cast" well before COVID was in the dictionary. While Brightline (FL) continues to build out to MCO, the underwhelming public acceptance it received during its Miami W Palm "break in" must not be overlooked. While ostensibly "it's private enterprise", if it continues to underwhelm even after it commences full operations, I think, during '22, the State will assume operation. Well, so much for private sector passenger trains.

All told, it is time to accept that COVID will be with us into 4Q21. With WFH (work from home) becoming much more the "new normal", I must wonder if commuter rail will ever recover to '19 levels and air transport will have permanently lost much of their full-fare-paying business travel segment now that Corporate America has learned much business travel was simply "superfluous" .

To what extent discretionary travel, which I think includes most any trip to The Meadows, will recover is where much of commercial passenger transportation hangs - and it is into this environment that a private sector "built from scratch" rail passenger line faces.
  by GojiMet86
 
I do not know how appropriate this is for the thread, considering presidential politics, but this is very interesting. If the mods have any problem or want to edit this post for brevity or anything else, go ahead and do your thing:

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/202 ... vegas.html

TRUMP ENGINEERED A SUDDEN WINDFALL IN 2016 AS CAMPAIGN FUNDS DWINDLED
By Susanne Craig, Mike McIntire and Russ Buettner
Oct. 9, 2020

Relevant fair use excerpt:
And after the inauguration, Mr. Ruffin would ask for a favor. Would the president help revive a dormant project of great importance to a lot of powerful people in Las Vegas — a bullet train that would whisk gamblers from Southern California to The Strip in less than 90 minutes?

Four years earlier, Barack Obama’s administration had considered, but ultimately decided against, a $5.5 billion loan for the train. Mr. Trump loved the idea, Mr. Ruffin told Forbes in a 2017 interview.

“Obama wouldn’t approve it, but maybe Donald will,” Mr. Ruffin said.

What Mr. Trump did after that is not clear. But around Las Vegas, word of the president’s interest was gratefully received. “Anybody having the president’s ear genuinely — not just to have a meeting and have it fall into an empty basket that is 12 miles deep — I am all in favor of it,” the Las Vegas mayor, Carolyn Goodman, said in an interview.

This past March, a panel composed largely of Trump appointees gave the train company permission to sell $1 billion in tax-free bonds to private investors. Authorities in California and Nevada fell in line, approving additional bonds. Trains could begin running as soon as 2024.

Among the train’s chief beneficiaries will be Mr. Ruffin and the other grandees of gambling who became a vital font of political money for Mr. Trump when he needed it most.

And, of course, Donald Trump himself.
Last edited by CRail on Sat Oct 10, 2020 11:18 pm, edited 1 time in total. Reason: Trimmed quotes to comply with fair use rules and keep political connotations relevant.
  by west point
 
Of course you canbuild a diesel train that can go 150. It just will take a lot of dieselengines to make it go.
1. I like the idea basically.
2. However we might have to take a look at gyroscopic percistence of several rotating diesel engines wating to maintain a straight line when going around a curve.
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