XpressWest Brightline (DesertXpress), Vegas-Victorville

General discussion of passenger rail proposals and systems not otherwise covered in the specific forums in this category, including high speed rail.

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Re: DesertXpress - 150mph self powered trains

Postby Jeff Smith » Thu May 31, 2012 2:17 pm

I will deny ever being on Politico ( ;-) ): http://www.politico.com/morningtranspor ... um=twitter

Relevant portion:

BEEN THROUGH THE DESERT ON A TRAIN WITH A NAME: In California, there appears to be two trains heading in different directions. While the fast train network championed by Gov. Jerry Brown and the Obama administration fends off attacks from fiscal conservatives, a privately funded route connecting Southern California to Las Vegas is chugging along with vocal support from Harry Reid and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. If built, DesertXpress would be the first federally licensed private interstate passenger high-speed railroad.

The electric trains would hit speeds of 150 mph during the 185-mile trip from Victorville, Calif., to Las Vegas, but like almost everything infrastructure, there’s a financial asterisk. Because DesertXpress is a private operation intended to return an operating profit, it is not asking for government grants. But it is asking for a loan. DesertXpress and its allies are putting up $1.4 billion for the rail line, of which the estimated total cost is $6.9 billion. That means the railroad is asking for up to $5.5 billion. The largest RRIF loan in 2011, to Amtrak, was a tenth that size. Burgess has more for Pros: http://politico.pro/MXlk4m
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Re: DesertXpress - 150mph self powered trains

Postby Jeff Smith » Sun Jun 10, 2012 12:46 pm

Will post twice, including in the CA HSR System

Please limit comments on systems to their respective threads.

http://cerritos.patch.com/articles/high ... -the-works

If they ever build CA HSR. At least then this link to LA would be worth something.

While some Californians question the need for high-speed rail between L.A. and the Bay Area, a deal has been signed to plan for a connection to a proposed high-speed rail service to Las Vegas, it was reported today.

Representatives of a private company with plans for a 150-mile-per-hour rail link from Southern California to Las Vegas have signed an agreement with the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transit Authority to plan to tie in to the California High Speed rail system.

The high-speed tracks would run down the center of a proposed Route 138 freeway across the Antelope Valley, which would replace a road known as "blood alley" for its frequent deadly crashes.

"Vegas Inc." reported that the deal was signed by MTA Chairman Michael Antonovich, an L.A. County Supervisor who represents the Antelope Valley.
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Re: DesertXpress - 150mph self powered trains

Postby kaitoku » Mon Jun 11, 2012 9:38 am

DesertXpress renames itself:

LAS VEGAS, June 11, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- DesertXpress Enterprises has renamed its Las Vegas to Southern California high-speed rail service "XpressWest" to more accurately reflect its role as the first leg of a larger western high-speed passenger rail network.


http://www.marketwatch.com/story/only-c ... 2012-06-11
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Re: DesertXpress - 150mph self powered trains

Postby jstolberg » Mon Jun 11, 2012 9:50 am

Would a Palmdale to Victorville link change everything?
Building that missing link between Victorville and Palmdale could be a game-changer. With that track in place, it becomes feasible to think about being able to take a train between L.A. and Las Vegas on a trip that wouldn’t take seven hours to complete.

http://www.vegasinc.com/news/2012/jun/1 ... peed-rail/

This would change ridership projections and the business plan for both DesertXpress and Metro. It is also worth noting that CA HSR isn't a party to the deal. Michael Antonovich seems to be extending his political influence.
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Re: DesertXpress - 150mph self powered trains

Postby kaitoku » Mon Jun 11, 2012 10:25 am

Their new website, including a proposal for a "southwest network":
http://www.xpresswest.com/index.html

They seem to like Bombardier's Zefiro...
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Re: XpressWest (former DesertXpress), Vegas - Victorville

Postby lpetrich » Mon Jun 11, 2012 3:34 pm

They still expect everybody to drive to their LA-area station. Nothing about bus service to the station.

As to their plans, they propose a line from Las Vegas to Phoenix, and another one from Las Vegas to Salt Lake City and Denver.

LV - Phoenix: 301 mi
LV - Salt Lake City: 424 mi
SLC - Denver: 535 mi
(Google Maps highway distance)

Riverside - Phoenix: 323 mi
Phoenix - Tucson: 116 mi
(not listed, but plausible additions)

Populations: LA: 13m, LV: 2.0m, Phx: 4.2m, Tcs: 1.0m, SLC: 1.1m, Den: 2.6m

They'd be better off pushing for a Riverside - Phoenix line. The others are not populous enough for their distance, except, perhaps, LA - Phoenix.

Are they expecting some pork from some mountain-state politicians? Such pork might be a payoff for supporting HSR lines in more populous areas.
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Re: XpressWest (former DesertXpress), Vegas - Victorville

Postby Jeff Smith » Mon Jun 11, 2012 3:51 pm

At one point I was taking a language refresher course at BYU (Provo). We had a long weekend, and UT being UT (no offense intended to Mormons and their faith) we drove to some border town in NV; I want to say it was West Wendover? It wasn't bad; it just wasn't Vegas. SLC would certainly make sense.
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Re: XpressWest (former DesertXpress), Vegas - Victorville

Postby lpetrich » Tue Jun 12, 2012 3:02 pm

Oops, I meant LV - Phoenix, one of the lines that they'd listed.

Victorville - LV: 182 mi
Palmdale - Victorville: 52: mi
Sum: 234 mi
Less than the lines to Phoenix or SLC.

LA population: Metropolitan Area: 13 m (what I'll use), Combined Statistical Area: 17 m
San Francisco Bay Area population: 7.15m
I'll also include Tucson with Phoenix

I found a paper with a trip-prediction model in it: http://www.uctc.net/papers/182.pdf
It's a rather simple model, (number of trips) ~ (population of city 1) * (population of city 2) * (several other factors)
This is from each city's number of destinations scaling with its population.

Using only population I'll now compare all the possibilities to LA-LV:
LA - Bay Area: 3.58
LA - LV: 1
LA - Phoenix: 2.60
LV - Phoenix: 0.40
LV - SLC: 0.08
SLC - Denver: 0.11

So (LA - Phoenix) > (LV - Phoenix) > (LV - SLC) > (SLC - Denver)
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Re: XpressWest (former DesertXpress), Vegas - Victorville

Postby Jeff Smith » Tue Jun 12, 2012 4:11 pm

I would think as a private operator, without intermediate stops, they'd make pretty good time.
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Re: XpressWest (former DesertXpress), Vegas - Victorville

Postby Paulus Magnus » Tue Jun 12, 2012 8:05 pm

lpetrich wrote:They still expect everybody to drive to their LA-area station. Nothing about bus service to the station.


Why would they have their own dedicated bus service to LA Union or Palmdale? Integrated ticketing with Metrolink's fairly easy.

Are they expecting some pork from some mountain-state politicians? Such pork might be a payoff for supporting HSR lines in more populous areas.


They must be, since they won't ever have the money to extend it (and they'll go completely bankrupt even with LV-Victorville).
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Re: XpressWest (former DesertXpress), Vegas - Victorville

Postby lpetrich » Wed Jun 13, 2012 1:46 am

Jeff Smith wrote:I would think as a private operator, without intermediate stops, they'd make pretty good time.

I agree, at least if they built the lines to be comparable with high-speed lines elsewhere in the world. Paris-Lyon has an average speed of about 150 mph.

So Riverside or LV to Phoenix should be about 2 to 3 hours (100 to 150 mph).
LV to Salt Lake City is about 3 to 4 hours
SLC to Denver is about 4 to 5 hours

High-speed trains can easily compete with airplanes to Phoenix, but not nearly as well to SLC or Denver.

If Google Maps terrain-mode maps are a good guide, then viaducts and tunnels may be unnecessary for all but SLC - Denver. However, that one must cross the Wasatch Range, and even if it goes through Wyoming to get to Denver, it's still a lot of mountain. Tunnels needed?
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Re: XpressWest (former DesertXpress), Vegas - Victorville

Postby lpetrich » Wed Jun 13, 2012 6:43 am

Paulus Magnus wrote:
lpetrich wrote:They still expect everybody to drive to their LA-area station. Nothing about bus service to the station.


Why would they have their own dedicated bus service to LA Union or Palmdale? Integrated ticketing with Metrolink's fairly easy.

Because it would be like Amtrak's "Ambuses". Buses that connect to the trains, and that are scheduled around the trains' schedules. When the passengers have boarded and their luggage has been loaded, the bus is all ready to go.
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Re: DesertXpress - 150mph self powered trains

Postby Hawaiitiki » Wed Jun 13, 2012 1:15 pm

kaitoku wrote:Their new website, including a proposal for a "southwest network":
http://www.xpresswest.com/index.html

They seem to like Bombardier's Zefiro...


You're right which is bizarre because like three months ago, all the graphics were based on the Siemens Velaro(ICE). I wonder if this is based on who they're really in talks with or did a graphic artist simply pick whichever train looked better in his/her eyes.
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Re: DesertXpress - 150mph self powered trains

Postby electricron » Wed Jun 13, 2012 7:55 pm

Hawaiitiki wrote:
kaitoku wrote:Their new website, including a proposal for a "southwest network":
http://www.xpresswest.com/index.html

They seem to like Bombardier's Zefiro...


You're right which is bizarre because like three months ago, all the graphics were based on the Siemens Velaro(ICE). I wonder if this is based on who they're really in talks with or did a graphic artist simply pick whichever train looked better in his/her eyes.


I believe the graphic was picked by the graphic artist, now and in the recent past. From whatever text I've read in the past, they been suggesting buying equivalent CRH1B train sets used in China , capable of 155 mph max speeds. Bombardier, the manufacturer, also calls them Regina models. They've been suggesting using Bombardier built trains for some time, but that doesn't guarantee that's what they will eventually buy.

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Re: XpressWest (former DesertXpress), Vegas - Victorville

Postby RocketJet » Mon Jun 18, 2012 3:21 pm

Hey everyone, i'm new here but the recent news about the change from DesertXpress to XpressWest has got me thinking and I wanted to give my thoughts on the subject. I had a really negative opinion of the way both California High Speed Rail and DesertXpress were being designed and implemented but this change may be changing my mind.

With their talk of expanding westward to Palmdale and eastward to Phoenix, Salt Lake City, and Denver from Las Vegas, I wonder if this new branding could be a game changer. The money from Las Vegas may be the key for a high speed rail corridor in the west as it is such a huge tourist destination, with all the politics that comes with that, I feel like it could attract private investors whether it be the casino's or whatever, there seems to be a lot to be gained if this is done properly.

For me, I feel like California HSR is going to make or break this. XpressWest from california will look a lot more viable if people can take a high speed train from San Diego, Orange County, LA, or whatever to Palmdale and then switch trains only once to go wherever they are going. This will make the XpressWest brand look much more legitimate as you do not have to leave your car in victorville or hop Metrolink trains to get there.

My question is how exactly they plan to build from Las Vegas to Salt Lake City and then on to Denver, those mountains are pretty crazy
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