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.