Planned DesertXpress high-speed train to be rebranded as XpressWest

Representatives of DesertXpress Enterprises on Monday announced plans to rebrand the proposed high-speed rail service as XpressWest, more accurately reflecting the line’s role as the first leg of a larger passenger rail network.

There was speculation of a name change last week when DesertXpress and the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority signed letters committing to work together to develop the High Desert Corridor between Victorville and Palmdale, Calif., and to use Metrolink tracks to move trains between Palmdale and downtown Los Angeles.

That plan eventually would enable two- to three-hour train service between Las Vegas and Los Angeles. The company has estimated that the 185-mile Las Vegas-Victorville portion of the project would cost $6.9 billion and the 50-mile Victorville-Palmdale section $1.5 billion. The company has applied for a federal government loan through a Federal Railroad Administration program already approved by lawmakers.

DesertXpress Enterprises LLC would continue to be the corporate parent company, but the train would be referred to as XpressWest, a piece of the vision outlined by the Las Vegas-centered Western High Speed Rail Alliance.

The alliance, comprised of representatives from Nevada, Utah, Arizona and Colorado, has a long-term plan to link Las Vegas with Salt Lake City, Denver and Phoenix with high-speed rail.

“XpressWest will be the first and primary high-speed rail line into California, opening up the rest of the west for high-speed rail service,” Tom Skancke, executive director of the Western High Speed Rail Alliance, said in a statement. “The new name captures the vision of connectivity and mobility throughout the West.”

Andrew Mack, chief operating officer of XpressWest, added that the new name illustrates how the project has evolved.

“As potential for high-speed passenger rail in the Southwest has evolved, service between Las Vegas and Victorville has become a critical segment of an interconnected Southwest rail network extending to Los Angeles, Anaheim and all the cities currently served by Metrolink,” Mack said.

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  1. Regarding passenger service in the US - There is no reason to believe the proposed rail development, regardless of what it is called will:

    1. Ever generate enough revenue to pay for its development.
    2. Ever generate enough revenue to pay for its operation.
    3. Ever generate enough revenue to make a profit.
    4. Ever be completed.
    5. Ever be anything but an ever deepening hole for taxpayers money and another cost overrun plagued, high cost maintenance nightmare.

    No reason, no proof, no studies, no evidence aside from progressive utopian wishful thinking that any of that will happen.

    As such, why are we even talking about worsening our financial future and that of future generations that will be saddled with this impending abject failure.

    What might be supported? Maybe, rail from Vegas to San Diego, Salt Lake, Phoenix and the national network without changing trains several times, without having to drive hours to the start point; at a competitive cost to develop and maintain and at competitive prices.

    Compare rail, air, bus and car for cost, convenience and time to travel and in most cases rail comes in last in all three. Rail only works when it has high daily ridership by a wide variety of people. We don't and never will have that in this country with a couple possible local exceptions. Even in the NorthEast corridor AMTRACK doesn't pay for itself and the citizens of all 50 states have to subsidize the huge losses, year after year after year. AMTACK is no better than the Post Office and offers far worse service.

    Go to the websites of any bus line, any airline and AMTRACK (a government monopoly) and compare cost, time and convenience among the three. Since the 80s we have tried several times to take a train from East Coast (Raleigh, you can't get to the coast) to San Diego or LA. rather than fly or drive hoping it would be an enjoyable alternative that only involved a little more time and a reasonable increase in cost. It can't be done. Only if you're willing to sit in an economy class coach seat for 4 days and nights can you even get in the neighborhood price wise. No matter how much you pay for your tickets it takes four days, you have to switch trains in Chicago or New Orleans and stay overnight at your own expense on your own arrangements.

  2. I Love our town and wish that something like this would work but as Mr. Swanson has posted, it is all in the numbers.

    How much is it REALLY going to cost to build?
    How much is it REALLY going to cost to operate?
    How much are the debt payments REALLY going to be?

    Take the total and divide it by the number of people they are dreaming will use it and figure out what the trip will cost.

    I am betting that if they really did that you could charter a Limo cheaper from L.A. to Vegas.

    It really is to bad that the facts are not going to back up this project because the idea of it is great. In todays world it will just cost way to much to do and operate.

  3. It's going to take a lot more than a name change...

  4. A Harry Reid backed scam will always be a Harry Reid backed scam, no matter what you want to call it.