Travelers wanting to get from Los Angeles to Las Vegas – and vice versa – could see a drastic reduction in the amount of time needed for that trip, thanks to a high-speed train set to break ground next year. A partnership between a private US company and China Railway Group will bring a 150 mph rail that will carry passengers along the 230-mile journey in around 80 minutes. That’s a mega improvement over the four hours it takes to drive the same distance.
It’s no Hyperloop, obviously, but the high-speed rail called XpressWest slated to travel between the City of Angels and Sin City will be the first of its kind in the States. The project comes at the end of four years of negotiations and planning, and is currently scheduled to break ground next September. Bloomberg reported that $100 million in initial funding will launch the project, but the overall construction is expected to cost around $7 billion. Project leaders are hoping that loans from the Federal Railroad Administration will supplement private investments to get the ultra-fast railway funded.
In addition to unsure financial backing, the exact route of the mega-fast train is also a little fuzzy. The Los Angeles Times reports that Chinese officials related to the project have said the train will travel between Las Vegas and Los Angeles, but the XpressWest website actually describes the route as Las Vegas-Victorville, California, which is 85 miles northeast of LA.
That paints a slightly different picture of the practical benefit of such a mass transit option, leaving a pretty big gap between where the rail ends and where most people would probably like to get to. There are other mass transit options from Victorville into LA, but it’s unclear how easy it would be to make those sorts of connections. Perhaps car-sharing companies like ZipCar or Car2Go will have something to say about how to close that gap.
Images via XpressWest