Virgin (fka XpressWest/DesertXpress) Las Vegas - Victorville Service

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gokeefe
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Re: Virgin (fka XpressWest/DesertXpress) Las Vegas - Victorville Service

Post by gokeefe » Mon Aug 19, 2019 6:29 am

I looked at that ... It's a good collection point. If they were further west the train would have to make multiple stops prior to making the high speed run for L/V. This could work really well.
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Re: Virgin (fka XpressWest/DesertXpress) Las Vegas - Victorville Service

Post by mtuandrew » Mon Aug 19, 2019 6:56 am

It is a good collection point - but so is LAX, and it’s within the Basin where most people live. Passengers are locked into either driving their own cars over Cajon (Uber and Lyft would charge a fortune from San Bernardino let alone Los Angeles, taxis doubly so) or riding a bus. That trip out of the Basin is the longest and most frustrating part of the journey LAX-LAS, so why would one stop partway to take a train over the easier part?

I think a stop in Los Angeles and one in (appx) Pomona would entice many more people out of their cars.
Last edited by CRail on Mon Sep 09, 2019 9:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Unnecessary quote removed.

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Re: Virgin (fka XpressWest/DesertXpress) Las Vegas - Victorville Service

Post by gokeefe » Mon Aug 19, 2019 8:23 pm

Part of the angle here is probably just getting the service running. Proof of concept and then extend further into L/A.
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Arlington
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Re: Virgin (fka XpressWest/DesertXpress) Las Vegas - Victorville Service

Post by Arlington » Mon Aug 19, 2019 9:34 pm

LAX-LAS is the sixth busiest airline citypair in the USA, with 2.8m passengers per year on 25k annual flights on six airlines.

Other LA airports to LAS, O&D annually
BUR 0.6m
SNA 0.6m
LGB 0.6m
ONT 0.2m

The demand is there for an alternative to driving.

Source: https://www.transtats.bts.gov/airports. ... irport=LAX (and similar) with destination numbers doubled to estimate total O&D

At about 4.8m/yr Greater LA ends up about 10% of all traffic at LAS airport.
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electricron
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Re: Virgin (fka XpressWest/DesertXpress) Las Vegas - Victorville Service

Post by electricron » Mon Aug 19, 2019 11:55 pm

But this train is not going to LA, it will be starting in Victorville.
Victorville population is 121,096 per Wiki.
Las Vegas population is 2,227,053 per Wiki.
Victorville is 84.5 highway miles away from downtown Los Angeles per Google, you can drive it in 1 hours and 18 minutes.
Victorville is 187.0 highway miles away from downtown Las Vegas per Google, you can drive it in 2 hours and 49 minutes.
Total drive time between downtown LA and LV is 4 hours and 7 minutes via Victorville.
If they could reduce this total time to less than 2 hours, they would have great potential.
But, they are not planning to build this HSR line to Los Angeles initially.
Some math follows:
2 hours - 1 hour 18 minutes = 42 minutes.
187 miles / 42 minutes x 60 minutes/ hour = 267.14 miles/hour.
Yes, as long as they are using buses to get from Los Angeles to Victorville, they would have to average 267.14 mph to get that passenger to Las Vegas within 2 hours. No train in the world averages speeds that fast, or maximum speeds that fast.

If you lower expectations to less than 3 hours total, here is some more math:
187 miles / 102 minutes x 60 minutes/ hour = 110 miles/hour.
That's an average speed a train on dedicated tracks can do.

But how many passengers will get off I-15, pay a train fare, just to save 1 hour and 7 minutes over driving the rest of the way there?

I do not think this train will earn a profit until its trains can reach downtown LA at speed.
The failure of CHSR to reach downtown LA will most likely doom this HSR train as well.

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Re: Virgin (fka XpressWest/DesertXpress) Las Vegas - Victorville Service

Post by Arlington » Tue Aug 20, 2019 6:10 am

Ron, stop treating this like a DC, NY, Chicago or Boston business trip where there is a downtown courthouse or financial district (on the LA end) that is important for the trip, or where the airlines have a conveniently located airport.

This is Angelenos leaving their home to go have fun or go to a convention, not Vegans going to visit their tall building lawyer in downtown or Century City.

The LA origin is at home, and homes are spread uniformly across the sprawl.

Today 4.8m Angelenos per year are driving to non-dowtown airports, paying expense account prices for parking, and enduring airport security to make a 1h10m flight--and made the 6th busiest air market doing so.

It is not about access to downtown on the LA metro end

it is also not about the population of Victorville any more than it is about the population of Long Beach or Burbank or the Port of Los Angeles. Angelenos are going to drive for the first leg of any trip from "home" to Las Vegas, and the population of any specific municipality is irrelevant.

And while the total number of flights is enough to say there is a flight every 15 minutes, the fact that they are spread across 6 airlines at LAX (or 7 across 5 airports) means that any one airline would struggle to offer departure every 20 minutes as Virgin proposes.
Last edited by Arlington on Tue Aug 20, 2019 8:38 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Virgin (fka XpressWest/DesertXpress) Las Vegas - Victorville Service

Post by gokeefe » Tue Aug 20, 2019 8:22 am

All of the above and ... the drive time to Victorville is nearly the same as to LAX from many locations in the Basin. Add in time for security etc. and as long as the train is running on time you're doing just fine. On a traffic free day and with perfectly smooth security at LAX the plane would almost certainly be faster. Odds of that happening often enough that one can plan on it? Close to 0.
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Re: Virgin (fka XpressWest/DesertXpress) Las Vegas - Victorville Service

Post by Arlington » Tue Aug 20, 2019 8:44 am

Playing with app.traveltimeplatform.com
1:30 from Victorville.
1:30 from LAX

LAX wins on raw drive time. LAX Probably loses on park-to-security-to-gate-to-boarding-process, and would also lose on flight frequency / consequences of missing a flight due to traffic.
Last edited by Arlington on Tue Aug 20, 2019 8:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
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electricron
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Re: Virgin (fka XpressWest/DesertXpress) Las Vegas - Victorville Service

Post by electricron » Tue Aug 20, 2019 8:44 am

Arlington wrote:
Tue Aug 20, 2019 6:10 am
Ron, stop treating this like a DC, NY, Chicago or Boston business trip where there is a downtown courthouse or financial district (on the LA end) that is important for the trip, or where the airlines have a conveniently located airport.

The LA origin is at home, and homes are spread uniformly across the sprawl.

It is not about access to downtown on the LA metro end

it is also not about the population of Victorville anymore than it is about the population of Long Beach or Burbank or the Port of Los Angeles. Angelenos are going to drive for the first leg of any trip from "home" to Las Vegas, and the population of any specific municipality is irrelevant.
I agree and disagree with you. Getting the train to downtown LA is important for several reasons.
(1) It is the center of a huge metro area, (2) All road lead there, (3) All Amtrak trains go there, (4) Most Metrolink trains go there, and (5) All Metro light and heavy rail trains go there. Short of flying, just about every mode of transit with just about very line goes there.

Let us prepose you live in Santa Barbara, west of downtown LA, live in San Diego south of LA, or live in Sacramento north of LA, if you are riding rail transit as far as possible to get to Las Vegas, what is the common point all of them will travel through? The only answer is Union Station in downtown LA. That's why it is the ideal place for a train station - not because of the immediate population nearby.

The only way to get to Victorville safely is on rubber wheels - by automobile, bus, bike, or small plane.

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Re: Virgin (fka XpressWest/DesertXpress) Las Vegas - Victorville Service

Post by Arlington » Tue Aug 20, 2019 8:48 am

^ Victorville is about as accessible as LAX by car. That's the key comparison, not how accessible downtown LA is (on any mode), nor how accessible by transit LAX is. Virgin does not have to be perfect. It just has to be better than the competition.

The competition is "pure car" or "car to plane"...from home.

For "pure car" competition, the sign at Victorville will read: Park Here Cheap. Next Train 20 minutes. Top Speed 1xx+ mph.

All "transit network" and "downtown hub" focus is 100% applicable to CAHSR, but only about 10% applicable for trips to Las Vegas.
"Trying to solve congestion by making roadways wider is like trying to solve obesity by buying bigger pants."--Charles Marohn

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Re: Virgin (fka XpressWest/DesertXpress) Las Vegas - Victorville Service

Post by Jeff Smith » Tue Aug 20, 2019 3:23 pm

Next stop, Willoughby
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Re: Virgin (fka XpressWest/DesertXpress) Las Vegas - Victorville Service

Post by Arlington » Tue Aug 20, 2019 4:08 pm

Annual LA-LV trips by mode:
45m trips by car
5m trips by air
[need a good Virgin number. Total guess: 30 daily trains x 700 x 365 = 7.6m]
0.3m seats by X-Train*

I'd say that X-Train is (1) not in any danger of exhausting the market (2) definitely NOT trying to compete with anybody on trip duration or convenience (3) has already retreated from Fullerton to San Bernardino.

Almost no matter how "off" my guess of Virgin's frequencies & train size, Virgin is proposing to compete on convenience with car and plane, and will offer a pattern of service somewhere between 10x and 20x what X-train is offering. There's really no comparison (each will win its fans, and there'll be very little direct comparison-shopping)

X-train will have a fine little market. If you're a [LA Basin] company sending 10 or 100 staff to LV for a convention, you're going to book them on Virgin.

*Swagged at 8 trains per week x 700 per train = 5600 seats per week. 5600/wk x 52 weeks = 291,000 seats per year.
And I'd note that X-Train says they're terminating at San Bernadino, which is about the same far-flungedness as Victorville.
Last edited by CRail on Mon Sep 09, 2019 9:18 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Reason: Unnecessary quote removed.
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Re: Virgin (fka XpressWest/DesertXpress) Las Vegas - Victorville Service

Post by Rockingham Racer » Wed Aug 21, 2019 5:20 am

If I'm going to send 10 or 100 staff to LV fo a convention and am not based in the LA area, I'm going to fly them. Even if I'm based in San Fran.

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Re: Virgin (fka XpressWest/DesertXpress) Las Vegas - Victorville Service

Post by Arlington » Wed Aug 21, 2019 10:40 am

^ ?
I was proposing that LA basin employers sending staff on convention/event host/attend trips would send them by Virgin. They'll also be a natural bachelor(ette) party mode.

Any group starting from dispersed homes will find Victorville a natural rally point and the train an optimal mode.
"Trying to solve congestion by making roadways wider is like trying to solve obesity by buying bigger pants."--Charles Marohn

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Re: Virgin (fka XpressWest/DesertXpress) Las Vegas - Victorville Service

Post by HenryAlan » Tue Aug 27, 2019 12:28 pm

mtuandrew wrote:
Mon Aug 19, 2019 4:03 am
gokeefe wrote:
Fri Aug 16, 2019 7:09 pm
At those speeds it will be very viable. This market is ripe for service.
It’s not the speed, it’s the originating station that worries me. Lots of miles between Victorville and the Basin for a luxury coach to cover.
Exactly this. To drive from Anaheim to Las Vegas, it takes 4 hours. To drive to Victorville, then hop on a train, the total trip time becomes 3 hours. I don't think many will take that option. An hour is not enough time saved to lose the flexibility of a car based trip, especially when you still have the higher annoyance section of the drive to be made regardless of what you do when reaching Victorville. This service needs to get people to Victorville more easily.

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