Virgin (XpressWest/DesertXpress) Las Vegas - Victorville - Los Angeles

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george matthews
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Re: DesertXpress - 150mph self powered trains

Post by george matthews » Sat May 09, 2009 6:12 am

decisivemoment wrote:Perhaps they're looking at using Bombardier's JetTrain, or similar. Several different turbo trains have been able to exceed 150mph on a sustained basis in test. Indeed, both the French and the British were looking at turbo technology, rather than electric, until the early 1970s oil crisis changed their direction. Initial TGV and APT prototypes were both turbo. The turbo APT-E was the first British train to 150mph, using none other than British Leyland gas turbines. If a train can achieve 150mph on an experimental British Leyland powerplant 35 years ago, it can surely do better with modern technology from a non-dysfunctional manufacturer. Indeed, United Technologies still holds the US record for rail speed with close to 171mph for the UAC TurboTrain on the Northeast Corridor. So it's certainly possible to have a non-electric train over 150mph in revenue service, IF it uses turbine technology. What's questionable is whether they can get fuel consumption under control.
Thirty years have passed. Every other branch of technology has developed. Why should people want to use 30 year old technology when better is now available?

Chafford1
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Re: DesertXpress - 150mph self powered trains

Post by Chafford1 » Sat May 09, 2009 12:28 pm

David Benton wrote:i would think they would be better off persuing high rpm diesel engines , rather than turbines . coupled to a high frequency or dc alternator , then through an inverter . thats the way gensets are going and would provide a lightweight setup .
They should be using electric traction - high speed diesel trains won't run above 125mph in commercial service. The Regina type electric trains DesertXpress are proposing are a proven design and are used in China - which opens the door to a very competitive commercial deal.

David Benton
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Re: DesertXpress - 150mph self powered trains

Post by David Benton » Sat May 09, 2009 5:24 pm

Chafford1 wrote:
David Benton wrote:i would think they would be better off persuing high rpm diesel engines , rather than turbines . coupled to a high frequency or dc alternator , then through an inverter . thats the way gensets are going and would provide a lightweight setup .
They should be using electric traction - high speed diesel trains won't run above 125mph in commercial service. The Regina type electric trains DesertXpress are proposing are a proven design and are used in China - which opens the door to a very competitive commercial deal.
i know , but some of here seem determined not too .
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Nasadowsk
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Re: DesertXpress - 150mph self powered trains

Post by Nasadowsk » Sat May 23, 2009 6:26 pm

David Benton wrote:i know , but some of here seem determined not too .
Given that the promoters of the system have gone off and hired firms to design the catenary / substations / etc, I'd suspect that they sure are determined to. And Hoover Dam is a great feeder for a commercial frequency traction system.

Chafford1
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Re: DesertXpress - 150mph self powered trains

Post by Chafford1 » Tue May 26, 2009 1:46 pm

It's beginning to look like a serious project - what's the betting this will be up and running before CHSR

http://www.contracostatimes.com/califor ... ck_check=1

lpetrich
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Re: DesertXpress - 150mph self powered trains

Post by lpetrich » Fri Jun 12, 2009 3:15 pm

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-NV, has thrown in the towel: Senate majority leader no longer aboard plan for maglev train to Vegas

He now supports DesertXPress, because it's much farther along and much more feasible.
“I”ve been working on this for 30 years," Reid said. "We’ve gotten nowhere. Maglev projects have been abandoned around the world. It’s time to stop talking and start doing something.”
It makes me happy to see a politician decide on something sensible. With his position, he'll have a lot of political pull.

lpetrich
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Re: DesertXpress - 150mph self powered trains

Post by lpetrich » Tue Nov 10, 2009 9:07 am

This just in from the Las Vegas Sun:

DesertXpress train aiming for March construction start

March next year(!)
The company already has had positive feedback from California transportation officials about linking the DesertXpress with a California Department of Transportation bus feeder system to bring passengers from throughout Southern California to Victorville. Similar arrangements are being made to coordinate with Los Angeles’ Metrolink commuter rail system and, in Las Vegas, with the Las Vegas Monorail system.
That's a relief. It's been one of my gripes about that project, that its Victorville station has no non-automotive access.
Stone said he expects it would take at least three years from when the system begins running to maximize the marketing potential of the line. But he said in the future, he could envision a high-speed train similar to DesertXpress linking to Phoenix.
That's a rather obvious next step; I'm a bit surprised at the lack of mention of LA - Phoenix so far.
Although schedules haven’t been developed, Stone said he envisioned the train to operate between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m., every day.
Plausible, though it means that anyone who gets too sloshed in Las Vegas will have to stay in a hotel there.
Asked what would happen if the proposal fails, Stone said he is confident that the line would be profitable even under the most pessimistic economic forecast but that if it did run into trouble, taxpayers would not be on the hook for construction bonds that are being financed privately. And, in a worst-case scenario, he said, the system could be sold to another operator.
So are DXP's backers claiming that they've raised all the necessary money for construction?

Nasadowsk
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Re: DesertXpress - 150mph self powered trains

Post by Nasadowsk » Tue Nov 10, 2009 6:22 pm

I'm curious too, if the consortium building this is considering it to, at least for the foreseeable future, be a 'loss leader'.

i.e., they pretty much expect the line to be a flop, at least for the next 10 years or so.

The money? They've got a HUGE leg up on anyone else building HSR lines in the US - because they've already built one and have the know-how.

In other words, I'm wondering if the folks doing this are doing it more to get experience, which they'll be able to sell for building and operating lines built with government funding, in a few years when/if the feds and Cali get off their fat behinds...

lpetrich
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Re: DesertXpress - 150mph self powered trains

Post by lpetrich » Fri Nov 13, 2009 11:53 pm

I've recently had a thought about what the DesertXPress company might put on its trains.

Gambling machines.

Slot machines, video-poker machines, etc.

However, these machines would only be allowed to be active when in Nevada; that could be enforced with the help of a built-in GPS device.

I don't know how it would sit with Nevada gambling regulators and the like, however.

ETA: There's the further problem that the machines would only be active for about 15 - 20 minutes on the trip, which would make them a less-than-worthwhile investment. The trip's total length would be 1h 15 m - 1h 30m.

kaitoku
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Re: DesertXpress - 150mph self powered trains

Post by kaitoku » Sun Nov 15, 2009 9:48 pm

lpetrich wrote:I've recently had a thought about what the DesertXPress company might put on its trains.

Gambling machines.

Slot machines, video-poker machines, etc.

However, these machines would only be allowed to be active when in Nevada; that could be enforced with the help of a built-in GPS device.

I don't know how it would sit with Nevada gambling regulators and the like, however.

ETA: There's the further problem that the machines would only be active for about 15 - 20 minutes on the trip, which would make them a less-than-worthwhile investment. The trip's total length would be 1h 15 m - 1h 30m.
I don't know what kind of headways and dwell times at the Vegas terminal are envisioned, but perhaps an "early bird special" of a free play on a machine for those who get aboard early could be used. Would boost drink sales too. :-)

Chafford1
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Re: DesertXpress - 150mph self powered trains

Post by Chafford1 » Sat Jan 02, 2010 11:49 am

lpetrich wrote:This just in from the Las Vegas Sun:

DesertXpress train aiming for March construction start

March next year(!)
The company already has had positive feedback from California transportation officials about linking the DesertXpress with a California Department of Transportation bus feeder system to bring passengers from throughout Southern California to Victorville. Similar arrangements are being made to coordinate with Los Angeles’ Metrolink commuter rail system and, in Las Vegas, with the Las Vegas Monorail system.
That's a relief. It's been one of my gripes about that project, that its Victorville station has no non-automotive access.
Stone said he expects it would take at least three years from when the system begins running to maximize the marketing potential of the line. But he said in the future, he could envision a high-speed train similar to DesertXpress linking to Phoenix.
That's a rather obvious next step; I'm a bit surprised at the lack of mention of LA - Phoenix so far.
Although schedules haven’t been developed, Stone said he envisioned the train to operate between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m., every day.
Plausible, though it means that anyone who gets too sloshed in Las Vegas will have to stay in a hotel there.
Asked what would happen if the proposal fails, Stone said he is confident that the line would be profitable even under the most pessimistic economic forecast but that if it did run into trouble, taxpayers would not be on the hook for construction bonds that are being financed privately. And, in a worst-case scenario, he said, the system could be sold to another operator.
So are DXP's backers claiming that they've raised all the necessary money for construction?
Is the March 2010 construction date still on?

Sylvain727
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Re: DesertXpress - 150mph self powered trains

Post by Sylvain727 » Thu Jan 14, 2010 11:11 pm

:-) When this DesertXpress high speed trains will be on service ?
Raily Yours

Sylvain727

leemell
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Re: DesertXpress - 150mph self powered trains

Post by leemell » Wed Feb 17, 2010 6:48 pm

It appears that construction will actually start in March or the first week of April. The company is currently in negotiation with the construction unions and has signed agreement with CA HSR and Metrolink and the MTA.

Chafford1
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Re: DesertXpress - 150mph self powered trains

Post by Chafford1 » Fri Feb 19, 2010 4:54 pm


jamesinclair
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Re: DesertXpress - 150mph self powered trains

Post by jamesinclair » Sun Mar 07, 2010 10:27 pm

Any updates?

I was a big fan of this project, but last month I went to las vegas from Fresno. Allegiant air was offering $19 tickets so we went by air instead of driving (its a 6-7 hour drive) (taxes were actually higher than the fare!)

Being in Las Vegas without a car made it painfully obvious how badly the city is designed for the pedestrian. It seems like everything was done on las vegas blvd to hinder pedestrian movement. Even the brand new city center development, supposedly a LEED project went out of its way to screw over pedestrian access. They even built an aerial tram, which we rode....but it's useless for transportation, it seems to be designed to give the complex a cool factor, something to look at but never use.

On our 3rd day, we rented a car to visit hoover dam, and in the evening made a few stops along the strip.... the experience was completely different. Ample free parking, wide streets and direct access points for those in vehicles.


The point is this: Even with cheap, amazing train service, I dont think people will ride more than once. They might be thrilled with the quality of service provided on the train, but will hate their time as a pedestrian in the city. Considering every parking spot in las vegas is free, they will say screw it and drive next time. Even worse, who wants to drive to the desert to chain travel modes? Might as well stay in the car a little longer.

Unfortunately, I think this will be a failure. (But am still excited to see construction pictures)

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