New Player Bets on LA to Vegas Train

train car

A new player in the race to launch train service from LA to Vegas is betting they can beat out rivals and have service running as early as next year.

Las Vegas Railway Express is proposing the X-Train, a new service that would take passengers from Union Station to Las Vegas in about 5 1/2 hours.

According to the Las Vegas Sun, the company has been studying the idea since early 2009, and is now in the planning stages to begin service by mid-2011. That would give them a three year lead over a competing plan by DesertXpress high-speed rail that would make its first trip between Victorville, Calif., and Las Vegas in four years.

Company officials say the X-Train experience would be a party-style atmosphere and could include a gambling car, sports bar and TV-equipped passenger cars.

Unlike the high-speed DessertXpress proposal, the X-train plan would use existing tracks and not require expensive dedicated tracks or construction, but it would travel much slower than DesertXpress' estimated 150-mph speed.

"It’s here now, existing technology that won’t take billions of dollars or even hundreds of millions of dollars to develop," company CEO Michael Barron told the Sun. "We’re acquiring standard train sets and bi-level commuter passenger cars, and then we’re getting some special cars that we’ll trick up to become a gaming car or a sports and entertainment car."

Plans call for the X-Train to operate round-trip service once a day, five days a week, Thursday through Monday with stops in Fullerton.

Barron told the Sun that a round-trip ticket would cost about $99. Within five years, executives hope to run 40 trains a week, the Sun reported.

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