'Rail Excursions' From L.A. to Las Vegas, $500 a Trip, Planned for Spring

The race to connect Southern California to Las Vegas by private passenger rail continues.

2 minute read

August 4, 2020, 9:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


canadastock / Shutterstock

The Las Vegas Xpress is now planning a Spring 2021 opening for its "rail excursion" trips connecting Los Angeles to Las Vegas after delaying first from November 2019 and again from this month, reports Mick Ackers. 

The Las Vegas Xpress, owned by X-Train, is still negotiating an operational agreement with Amtrak, according to Ackers.

The Last Vegas Xpress is not to be confused with XpressWest, a unit of Virgin Trains USA's parent company Florida East Coast Industries and operators of the Brightline passenger rail system from Miami to West Palm Beach, which has plans to launch high-speed rail service between Southern California and Las Vegas by 2023.

The differences between the two competing rail routes between Las Vegas and Southern California include issues of style and substance: 

A train ride [on the Las Vegas Xpress] would take about 5½ hours traveling 79 mph, considerably longer than Virgin Trains USA’s planned high-speed train, which is expected to run from Victorville, California, to Las Vegas in approximately 90 minutes. A typical all-inclusive round trip, including food and beverage service, would cost $500.

The Las Vegas Xpress website touts the travel time at 4.5 hours on the website that promotes the planned rail service

More distinctions between the two competing services are described by Ackers thusly:

Las Vegas Xpress considers itself to be a rail excursion business, so it doesn’t view the planned $4.8 billion Virgin Trains high-speed rail line as competition. Virgin’s project received the bonding authority from Nevada and California to be able to market bonds to raise money to construct the 170-mile miles of track in Interstate 15 right of way, with operations slated to begin in 2023.

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