End of the line for L.A. to Las Vegas X Train? CEO says no

Michael Barron, president and CEO of Las Vegas Railway Express, developer of the X Train party train that will operate between Los Angeles and Las Vegas next year, discusses the cars being built for his company at his office June 26, 2013.

The top executive of a company planning to run a casino party train between Southern California and Las Vegas is denying a published report that the project is dead.

Michael Barron, CEO of Las Vegas Railway Express, admitted that the company’s announcement of an alternative capital plan would set the project back another 18 months, but he said private investments from off-balance-sheet financing would eliminate the dilution of shareholders by $100 million.

“As a result of this alternative financing plan, we no longer needed to retain the Union Pacific agreement, which required the company to make prepaid capital improvement payments of $66 million,” Barron said in a statement accompanying a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. “The alternative financing plan would still finance the LA-to-Las Vegas route as planned.”

Las Vegas Railway Express has proposed operating day trips between Fullerton, Calif., and Las Vegas on refurbished conventional rail train sets on a system called the X Train. Under the company’s plan, the trains would operate on existing Union Pacific and Burlington Northern tracks.

Earlier this year, Barron said the first train would run from Southern California on New Year’s Eve. He also said the Las Vegas terminus would be at a train station to be built in North Las Vegas near Interstate 15 and Craig Road. Barron said his company is still in negotiations with the city of North Las Vegas to lease the property.

“We’re still moving forward with this,” Barron said late Wednesday. “It was a material event, so we were required to report it (to the SEC).”

Las Vegas Railway Express, a penny stock, reported earnings of $1.4 million, 1 cent a share, for the quarter ended Sept. 30, compared with a loss of $1.2 million, 3 cents a share, for the same period a year earlier.