Before Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval’s newly formed Nevada High-Speed Rail Authority has had a chance to meet, XpressWest has announced a joint venture with newly formed company China Railway International U.S.A. to develop a 230 mile high speed rail line connecting southern California to Las Vegas. The project as currently imagined would have a single station in Las Vegas and two in California; Victorville and Palmdale.
The new joint venture has raised $100 million toward the project. No estimated time of completion nor total costs have been announced but construction could begin as soon as September 2016 – assuming the JV is a successful franchise applicant to a board who has yet to meet. XpressWest is widely expected to be awarded the license.
The last passenger rail service to Las Vegas was Amtrak’s Desert Wind (pictured) which stopped service in 1997 after 18 years of operation. Millions of travelers make the trek to Las Vegas yearly by plane and car and a new rail line is expected to have a good probability of success.
The line will eventually span about 230 miles. A station in Palmdale would connect the new rail system to an 800 mile system planned by the California High-Speed Rail Authority. That feeder section of line is planned to serve nearly 25 population centers from San Diego to San Francisco with multiple terminals in the Los Angeles basin.