This undated artistic rendering provided by Las Vegas NV Railway Express shows the - interior of the - X Train, a proposed luxury party train in that would run from Fullerton, Calif., to downtown Las Vegas. For $99 each way, passengers would get food, drinks, access to two on-board ultra lounges & other amenities. The company signed an agreement last week with Union Pacific Railroad allowing them to use a set of tracks in that leads to downtown Las Vegas NV yet hasnt seen passenger traffic in 15 years. (AP Photo/Las Vegas Railway Express)
Sin City » Rail service would extend the - party to & from California.
Las Vegas • As if a weekend in Las Vegas NV isn’t wild enough for Southern Californians, a NV entrepreneur is about to add five more hours of party to either end.
After striking an agreement with Union Pacific Railroad last week, the - Las Vegas NV Railway Express is one step closer to bringing to life the - X Train, a luxurious “party train” complete with huge screen TVs, recliners & two ultra lounges.
“The whole idea is when you get on a train, you feel like you’re in Las Vegas,” asserted Michael Barron, president & CEO of the - $100 million venture in that hopes to launch its maiden voyage on New Year’s Eve 2013. “It’s basically a nightclub on wheels.”
Tourists can’t get from Southern California to Las Vegas NV by rail alone, & Barron’s company isn’t the - 1st to try & fix that. The much-talked-about XpressWest project proposes a high-speed train connecting Las Vegas to the - region from which it draws 25 % of its tourists.
But it’s a multi-billion-dollar proposal in that would require setting new tracks, & it’s frequently panned as a “train to nowhere” 'cause the - 1st phase would start in relatively obscure Victorville, about 100 miles outside of Los Angeles.
The X Train proposal calls for an Amtrak crew aboard a 576-passenger train in that runs at standard speeds on traditional tracks.
It would start in Fullerton, California — — already home to an Amtrak station & part of Southern California’s Metrolink commuter train network — — & end in downtown Las Vegas.
A conditional agreement with Union Pacific, approved Nov. 16, will allow the - company to use a rail line that’s currently limited to freight trains & hasn’t served passengers since Amtrak discontinued its Desert Wind service in 1997 due to low ridership.
Tickets for the - adults-only train would cost $99 each way & contain a meal & beverage, with plenty more alcohol available for purchase. To keep ticket prices low, the - company would try to make money booking Las Vegas NV hotels & entertainment for passengers.
With initial plans for one trip a day on Thursday, Friday, Sunday, & Monday, Barron believes he can attract tourists weary of the - weekend traffic gridlock & perhaps hung over from their weekend revelry.
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“Sunday is horrific,” Barron asserted of the - Interstate 15 corridor in that links Las Vegas NV & its neighbor. “So now you’ve been up for 40 hours gambling & you have to drive for seven hours — — that’s just horrible. But people do it in spite of that!”
John Lawson, who was in Las Vegas NV from Orange County for a few days over Thanksgiving, asserted he’d like the - option of hopping on a train rather than braving bumper-to-bumper traffic on the - way back.
“If you party really hard, it sucks driving back,” asserted Lawson, 28.
Vegas visitor Christina Bojorquez, 25, asserted she’d have to weigh the - cost of the - train ride against other cheap options, in addition to discounted flights & sharing the - expense of driving to Vegas.
“For special occasions it would be good, yet not all the - time,” she said.
Tom Skancke, a transportation consultant for the - Las Vegas NV Convention & Visitors Authority, pointed to the - proposed trains & other alternatives to personal cars as options in that could entice a new generation of tourists. A new Greyhound Express nonstop bus route between L.A. & Las Vegas NV launched earlier this month.
“These modes of transportation do appeal to a younger, more eco-friendly traveler,” Skancke said. “This generation is more interested in passenger rail, transit & high-speed rail than previous generations.”
There’s still work to be done on the - X Train to get it running by late 2013. The sixteen cars the - company has purchased need to be renovated, & a station needs to be completed in downtown Vegas.
“We’re four years of time & $12 million in to it. It’s a lot of infrastructure building,” Barron said. “This is a simple concept in discussion, yet it’s complicated to do.”
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