Brightline (fka XpressWest/DesertXpress) Las Vegas Service

This is a forum for all operations, both current and planned, of Virgin Rail USA formerly known as Brightline, and Virgin Worldwide Rail operations, past and present. Official Sites:
Current Brightline: https://gobrightline.com/
Virgin USA: https://www.virgin.com/richard-branson/ ... trains-usa
Virgin UK: https://www.virgintrains.co.uk/

Moderator: CRail

Re: Virgin Rail née Brightline/AAF Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Postby Backshophoss » Fri Mar 08, 2019 5:55 pm

CaHSR is getting castrated by the current CA governor and a possible "clawback" of funding by the feds to boot.
So Virgin has to deal with Amtrak(LAUS,SCAX),BNSF,and UP for trackage rights.
UP might play nice with Virgin untill the the first payment of the trackage right agreement is missed. :(
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Re: Virgin Rail née Brightline/AAF Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Postby Ridgefielder » Mon Mar 11, 2019 12:20 pm

Why would they deal with UP? I'd assume they'd be using the BNSF Transcon over the pass, not the Palmdale Cutoff.
Last edited by CRail on Tue May 07, 2019 12:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Unnecessary quote removed.
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Re: Virgin Rail née Brightline/AAF Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Mon Mar 11, 2019 1:01 pm

Messrs. Backshop and Ridgefield, while I will gladly defer to anyone with more on-the-ground knowledge than I have on the matter. I was live, well, and in college when the SP built the Palmdale Cutoff.

As was detailed in TRAINS, the purpose of such was to allow traffic to move between the San Joaquin and Sunset routes without having to go near LA. The saving in transit time could be measured in days. The SP then was a viable railroad - and not the broken down bankrupt be any measure other than legal that was dumped on the UP during the '90's. The SP and the ATSF (owner of the rails over Cajon) were rivals. In fact Timetable East on the two roads had trains operating in opposite physical directions.

I'm not certain what physical connections, if any, exist between the two lines. I'd be happy to learn on that matter.

But meantime, back on any VT proposals to operate into LA over existing rails, I have to agree with Mr. Ridgefield that they would have to negotiate with the BNSF.

Good luck.
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Re: Virgin Rail née Brightline/AAF Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Postby ExCon90 » Mon Mar 11, 2019 3:24 pm

The only need to negotiate with UP would be if they wanted to use that r/w between Las Vegas and Daggett, or perhaps between Riverside Jct. and LAUS. I can't see any possibility of a "greenfield" route west of San Bernardino. As to a physical connection between the two lines over Cajon, I'm sure there isn't one, and I don't think either railroad would have wanted one.
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Re: Brightline (fka XpressWest/DesertXpress) Las Vegas Servi

Postby dgvrengineer » Tue Mar 12, 2019 7:20 pm

There is a connection between the BNSF and UP in the Cajon Pass area between Devore and San Bernardino put in when SF was planning to merge with SP. It only allows traffic between BNSF(west) & UP(east) and UP(west) to BNSF(east) not the other way. Not sure if it is still in service or was ever used since the merger was rejected. It's visible on Google Earth.
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Re: Brightline (fka XpressWest/DesertXpress) Las Vegas Servi

Postby Rockingham Racer » Tue Mar 12, 2019 8:00 pm

I believe there are two connection tracks between the UP and BNSF. One is at Silverwood, but I cannot recall the other.
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Re: Brightline (fka XpressWest/DesertXpress) Las Vegas Servi

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Wed Mar 13, 2019 7:11 am

This Googlemobile screen shows how the the ATSF and SP lines parallel one another in the San Bernardino area. I think it safe assumption that the the physical connection in the area of that shot is used only during emergencies. I'm sure that the conflicting timetable directions could be a safety issue. For example, suppose the Googlemobile captured a train on both lines moving in the same compass direction. If the train on the ATSF was moving East, then that same SP train is moving West.

Not the best environment for safe handling of trains - let alone if either or both were passenger trains.
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Re: Brightline (fka XpressWest/DesertXpress) Las Vegas Servi

Postby ExCon90 » Wed Mar 13, 2019 3:20 pm

Just imagine Extra 9876 West becoming Extra 9876 East and then changing back again ...
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Re: Brightline (fka XpressWest/DesertXpress) Las Vegas Servi

Postby justalurker66 » Wed Mar 13, 2019 5:21 pm

Metra SWS changes direction every day in Chicago. Southbound on Amtrak leaving CUS, Eastbound on NS, then westbound on their own track. There is a dedicated track between the two CPs where they are running the "wrong" direction, but trains also run on the NS mains. Physically the tracks are southbound and after the Metra/NS split they run parallel before Metra turns West and NS turns east. But there is a connector from westbound Metra that connects to another eastbound NS line by following a mostly "southbound" connection.
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Re: Brightline (fka XpressWest/DesertXpress) Las Vegas Servi

Postby Backshophoss » Fri Mar 15, 2019 5:52 pm

For the Virgin(US)to reach lost wages(Las Vegas)Nv ,they would run out of LAUS on SCAX/BNSF track to San Berdoo,then up Cajon Pass on BNSF
to Barstow toward Daggett,then enter UP's Cima sub to Las Vegas.
UP has rights to use BNSF to Riverside to enter their LA sub(shared with SCAX) to reach the Alameda Corridor to Long Beach and
their East LA yard.
CP Silverwood allows UP to get to Colton yard from the Palmdale Cutoff/UP's Mojave Sub at the Summit of Cajon Pass.
There is a connection at Keenbrook,just west of Blue Cut on BNSF at the bottom of Cajon.
The Foldout map of Cajon Pass Trains made in 2018 shows both connections. :wink:
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Re: Brightline (fka XpressWest/DesertXpress) Las Vegas Servi

Postby Rockingham Racer » Sat Mar 16, 2019 9:56 am

I would imagine this routing for Virgin US to Barstow will cause BNSF to want triple track from Martinez to Barstow.
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Re: Brightline (fka XpressWest/DesertXpress) Las Vegas Servi

Postby riffian » Sat Mar 16, 2019 12:54 pm

I thought the end points were announced as Victorville and Las Vegas, completely avoiding Cajon.
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Re: Brightline (fka XpressWest/DesertXpress) Las Vegas Servi

Postby Backshophoss » Sat Mar 16, 2019 8:02 pm

Victorville was to be the connection point to CaHSR trackage,and MP 0.00 for X-train's pvt ROW to Lost Wages. :P :P :P
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Re: Brightline (fka XpressWest/DesertXpress) Las Vegas Servi

Postby ExCon90 » Sun Mar 17, 2019 2:14 pm

riffian wrote:I thought the end points were announced as Victorville and Las Vegas, completely avoiding Cajon.

But the customers from LA can't avoid Cajon--if they can't traverse it by rail it will have to be the Interstate, and many may simply decide to drive the whole way. Never having driven it I can't say, but I'd think LA-Victorville would be by far the worst part of the drive.
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Re: Brightline (fka XpressWest/DesertXpress) Las Vegas Servi

Postby Backshophoss » Sun Mar 17, 2019 4:35 pm

IF your car is not in good shape,,from Baker northward to the state line there's few and very $$$$ gas stations,and a very $$$$ tow back to Barstow
for good mech repairs,or stop at the borderline Casinos and spend the weekend there.
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