Las Vegas Railway Express
|Traded as||OTCQB: XTRN|
|Area served||Southwestern United States|
|Key people||Michael Barron, President and CEO|
Las Vegas Railway Express, branded as "X Train," is an American rail transport company that plans to operate passenger rail service between Southern California and Las Vegas, Nevada, beginning in early 2014.
Led by Micheal Barron, an entrepreneur largely involved in real estate, the company was formed in January 2010 from a combination of two previous ventures, one working in promotional merchandising and one involved in buying defaulted mortgages, though involved executives had begun to publicly promote the idea as eary as March 2009. The company originally planned for service to begin in mid-2011; however, at the time, the company was not close to establishing operating agreements with Amtrak, BNSF Railway and Union Pacific Railroad, all of which operate trackage along the planned route from Los Angeles Union Station to Las Vegas, and the planned start date has been pushed back to late 2014.
In March 2012, the state of Nevada issued final approval for the service to operate, and in May, the company began issuing stock; by September, $2.3 million out of an estimated $35 million in start-up costs had been raised by stock sales. In November, LVRE signed an agreement with Union Pacific allowing trains to operate over UP trackage from Daggett, California, to Las Vegas. According to the terms of the agreement, LVRE will pay UP $56 million for track improvements, including additional capicity and relocating UP facilities in Las Vegas. As of the end of November, LVRE had yet to sign its operating agreement with Amtrak, which also includes LVRE's rights to travel on BNSF trackage, though the company said the text has been drafted and it expected the agreement to be signed in the near future.
By the end of November 2012, the company had spent about $12 million, with a further public offering of stock planned to raise the $100 million more necessary to begin operations.
Originally, the service was planned to operate five days a week between downtown Los Angeles and Las Vegas, making a daily round trip Thursday through Monday, with an increase to 40 trips weekly planned for five years after the start of operations. As of late 2012, service had been planned to begin in late 2013, operating on Thursdays, Fridays, Sundays and Mondays, with a one-way trip time of about five and a half hours and a passenger capacity of 576. On 28 November, the company announced that regular service will begin on 4 January 2014, following a single 31 December 2013 inaugural special trip. Amtrak will provide operating crews.
Trains will originate in Fullerton, California at the Fullerton Transportation Center (in order to utilize the existing Metrolink network as a feeder service), while the initial Las Vegas terminus will be at the Plaza Hotel. A dedicated Las Vegas station is planned to be constructed at an undetermined point after the start of operations. The service is intended to have a more upscale atmosphere than conventional Amtrak or airline service, and fares are planned to start at $99 one way.
By November 2012, the company had purchased twelve passenger cars from unidentified sellers, with refurbishment expected to begin by the end of the year, though this was later pushed back to an undetermined date in early 2013. Rebuilding work will take place in Las Vegas at a cost of about $1 million per car. By the time operations begin, the railroad's trainset will consist of sixteen passenger cars, pulled by three EMD F59PH locomotives. Twelve cars will be first-class passenger cars, with amenities including assigned seating, televisions and a bar area. There will also be several dedicated lounge cars and a service car with crew quarters and additional supplies.
- Desert Wind is the name of an Amtrak train that once operated between Los Angeles and Las Vegas, and on to Utah.
- Z-Train, another proposed private rail service between Los Angeles and Las Vegas.
- XpressWest, a proposed high-speed rail service between Victorville, California and Las Vegas.
- California-Nevada Interstate Maglev, a proposed maglev train between Anaheim, California and Las Vegas.
- "Company plans rail service from Las Vegas to Southern California in '13". Las Vegas Review-Journal. 14 October 2012. Archived from the original on 19 November 2012. Retrieved 20 November 2012.
- "It’s not as fast, but this train could hit the rails sooner". Las Vegas Sun. 14 April 2010. Archived from the original on 19 November 2012. Retrieved 20 November 2012.
- "Las Vegas “X Train” Gets Approval". CBS Las Vegas. 9 March 2012. Archived from the original on 19 November 2012. Retrieved 20 November 2012.
- "Party train from Calif. to Las Vegas could be on tracks next year". Vegas Inc. 19 November 2012. Archived from the original on 19 November 2012. Retrieved 20 November 2012.
- "X Train plans January 2014 start-up". Trains Magazine. 28 November 2012. Retrieved 1 December 2012.
- "X Train acquires more rail cars for L.A.-Las Vegas service". Progressive Railroading. 15 October 2012. Archived from the original on 19 November 2012. Retrieved 20 November 2012.