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X-Train Chugging Along?


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#21 Anderson

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Posted 08 September 2012 - 02:16 AM

They definately look like Metra cars. I wonder what locomotive they will use. Renderings show the F59PHI.

Another reason for this train to run into LAX would be connections to Amtrak. Might not be much but could be something.


Actually, Fullerton also connects with the Surfliners, which I presume would be (by a wide margin) the main connection concern. Particularly if DX/XW has a stop in Palmdale, there's not a chance they'll get traffic traveling from further north.
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#22 afigg

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Posted 08 September 2012 - 09:38 AM


Another reason for this train to run into LAX would be connections to Amtrak. Might not be much but could be something.

Actually, Fullerton also connects with the Surfliners, which I presume would be (by a wide margin) the main connection concern. Particularly if DX/XW has a stop in Palmdale, there's not a chance they'll get traffic traveling from further north.

LA Union Station would provide direct connections to the LA subways and light rail transit system. I would think X-Train would much rather operate from LA Union Station, but either it costs too much or Metrolink won't let them because of capacity constraints at the station and the tracks to LAX.

Fullerton is part of the Metrolink commuter rail system, but a quick check of the schedules show few Metrolink trains on Sunday and none after either of proposed Sunday trains arrive at Fullerton. The second train on Sunday is nominally set to arrive at Fullerton at around 10 PM, which is before the last north and southbound Surfliners go through Fullerton, but there would be little margin for the X-Train to run late. The X-Train business plan is probably figuring on most people driving to or parking at Fullerton. On the other hand, they may be planing to run several charter buses to Fullerton from LAX and several other locations in the LA area as feeder connectors to the X-train.

#23 Rob_C

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Posted 08 September 2012 - 11:09 AM

I would think X-Train would much rather operate from LA Union Station, but either it costs too much or Metrolink won't let them because of capacity constraints at the station and the tracks to LAX.

Fullerton is part of the Metrolink commuter rail system, but a quick check of the schedules show few Metrolink trains on Sunday...


Which kind of contradicts the idea of LAUPT being too busy for an extra two trains on a Sunday. Maybe it's politics, or X-Train may be thinking if they can start with Fullerton it will be easier to get a shoe-in for a slot at LAUPT once people start complaining to Metrolink about problems with connections at Fullerton? Just some thoughts.

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#24 leemell

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Posted 08 September 2012 - 11:21 AM


I would think X-Train would much rather operate from LA Union Station, but either it costs too much or Metrolink won't let them because of capacity constraints at the station and the tracks to LAX.

Fullerton is part of the Metrolink commuter rail system, but a quick check of the schedules show few Metrolink trains on Sunday...


Which kind of contradicts the idea of LAUPT being too busy for an extra two trains on a Sunday. Maybe it's politics, or X-Train may be thinking if they can start with Fullerton it will be easier to get a shoe-in for a slot at LAUPT once people start complaining to Metrolink about problems with connections at Fullerton? Just some thoughts.

Rob


Or as the CEO of the XpressWest (nee Desertxpress) said, looking at their casino customers, about 75% come from the Inland Empire, making this a better bet. ;-)

#25 afigg

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Posted 08 September 2012 - 01:05 PM

Which kind of contradicts the idea of LAUPT being too busy for an extra two trains on a Sunday. Maybe it's politics, or X-Train may be thinking if they can start with Fullerton it will be easier to get a shoe-in for a slot at LAUPT once people start complaining to Metrolink about problems with connections at Fullerton? Just some thoughts.

Rob

The Thursday and Friday departures from southern Cal would run into busier Metrolink traffic. The 12 Noon departures for Thursday and Friday from Fullerton shown on their projected schedule are not ideal times. Especially the Friday one where a 3 or 4 PM departure would fit more people's schedules. if you get to Vegas by 9 PM, so what? The partying has just barely gotten started by then. But mid to late afternoon departures will run into more Metrolink traffic.

As for getting customers from the Inland Empire, the X-Train can stop at Fullerton, San Barnardino on a departure from LAUPT. Could stop at Victorville too.

#26 Swadian Hardcore

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 06:04 PM



Another reason for this train to run into LAX would be connections to Amtrak. Might not be much but could be something.

Actually, Fullerton also connects with the Surfliners, which I presume would be (by a wide margin) the main connection concern. Particularly if DX/XW has a stop in Palmdale, there's not a chance they'll get traffic traveling from further north.

LA Union Station would provide direct connections to the LA subways and light rail transit system. I would think X-Train would much rather operate from LA Union Station, but either it costs too much or Metrolink won't let them because of capacity constraints at the station and the tracks to LAX.

Fullerton is part of the Metrolink commuter rail system, but a quick check of the schedules show few Metrolink trains on Sunday and none after either of proposed Sunday trains arrive at Fullerton. The second train on Sunday is nominally set to arrive at Fullerton at around 10 PM, which is before the last north and southbound Surfliners go through Fullerton, but there would be little margin for the X-Train to run late. The X-Train business plan is probably figuring on most people driving to or parking at Fullerton. On the other hand, they may be planing to run several charter buses to Fullerton from LAX and several other locations in the LA area as feeder connectors to the X-train.


I don't think running connecting buses will be very successful. Too much hassles possible.

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#27 afigg

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 05:45 PM

Another step in the saga of the X-Train. I don't think we will know if this is a completely aboveboard venture with a realistic and viable business plan or a shady plan using the OPM financing approach (Other People's Money) until the train service actually starts and then runs for a year. It will be interesting to see what happens.

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LAS VEGAS, NV--(Marketwire - Sep 18, 2012) - Las Vegas Railway Express, Inc. ("X" Train) (OTCQB: XTRN)

The X Train announced that including sales previously disclosed in filings made by the Company with the Securities and Exchange Commission from May 3 2012 until September 13, 2012, the Company has sold an aggregate of 45,640,000 shares of its common stock for an aggregate purchase price (before deducting expenses of the private placements ) of $2,282,000 to accredited investors. The offering is officially closed to investors. The Company intends to use the net proceeds from the private placements in the amount of 2,186,880 to acquire the company's first railset, station site development costs and engineering, as well as general operating expenses.

"We are pleased with the interest on the part of investors in the private placement," stated Michael Barron, President and CEO of the Company. "We think we are prepared for the next phase of development of our project now," he remarked. The X Train was represented in the private placement by Sichenzia Ross Friedman Ference LLP.



#28 cirdan

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Posted 04 October 2012 - 09:46 AM

The X-Train plans are to run an excursion level service: one train departing Fullerton on Thursday, one on Friday; then both back from Vegas to Fullerton on Sunday. The cars would not get the daily pounding that Amtrak's equipment receives, so they would have multiple down days to maintain the old equipment.


that would require either the provison of two consists, or one consist that shuttles back (empty?) in between the Thursday and Friday run.

#29 cirdan

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Posted 04 October 2012 - 09:53 AM

Given the interview with the head guy behind XpressWest (formerly DesertXpress) which sounds as if XW is very close to getting approval for its $5.5 billion FRA RRIF loan, what would the loan do to the prospects for the X-Train? There would be a 5 year window before the XW is running and after that they could be competing with HSR service from Victorville. The 10 Pullman Standard bi-levels could go back into mothballs.


I guess those 5 years are a bit optimistic. It's assuming all approvals and financing work out on the first attempt. But even if construction does start on time, projects like that almost always slip a bit. If it slips more towards the 10 year margin, that could leave X-train enough time to do good business before pulling out. It's second hand cars they're going to use, and those are not going to last forever anyway.

#30 PPorro

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 05:41 PM

Sounds like an entertaining project to be watching.

Cars like these?

Posted Image
They look like two level?

#31 Anderson

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 08:52 PM


Given the interview with the head guy behind XpressWest (formerly DesertXpress) which sounds as if XW is very close to getting approval for its $5.5 billion FRA RRIF loan, what would the loan do to the prospects for the X-Train? There would be a 5 year window before the XW is running and after that they could be competing with HSR service from Victorville. The 10 Pullman Standard bi-levels could go back into mothballs.


I guess those 5 years are a bit optimistic. It's assuming all approvals and financing work out on the first attempt. But even if construction does start on time, projects like that almost always slip a bit. If it slips more towards the 10 year margin, that could leave X-train enough time to do good business before pulling out. It's second hand cars they're going to use, and those are not going to last forever anyway.

True. It's ironic, but if DX/XW either melts down or gets hopelessly tied up in red tape, there's a risk that X-Train might need to look at dumping the service to Amtrak to avoid getting stuck with equipment replacement (or rounding up some sort of supplemental order) in the mid-20s. Of course, if the operating margin turns out to be decent, the company might be able to afford such an overhaul at that point. Of course, like I've noted, the addition of a third set of equipment to the mix (from what they've said, they intend to get at least another 10-car set before all is said and done, at least if their passenger capacity plans are to be believed) could facilitate something slightly larger/allow for slightly longer vacations (or a "reverse schedule" option).

Amusing question: For LVRE, what exactly would qualify as a "discontinued operation" for this company?

PPorro: What's that a shot of? One of the Chicago yards some time ago?
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#32 PPorro

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 10:21 PM

Google Maps view of Gateway Rail Services Inc, 1980 3rd Street, Madison, IL 38°40'44.07" N 90°08'34.93" W . It was just a shot in the dark. If you go to the view, they have a big yard full of pretty cars of all sorts. I see the Mark Twain Train (had to do that) with one extra car? Or one similar design? Arrived between Aug 2007 and April 2008.

I'm still learning and figured people here might know the cars from the photo, but I'm guessing they are Budd Cars. None seem to look exactly like the artists rendering? But the string in the middle, seems similar?

Found this, station design video. http://la.curbed.com...gas_station.php

Las Vegas Railway Express - http://www.lasvegass...t-rails-sooner/

With that, a screen grab of the artists concept in the video. If he worked from a real car design, some of you can tell what it is. I can't.

Posted Image
photo upload

Edited by PPorro, 11 October 2012 - 10:25 PM.


#33 Blackwolf

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 11:13 PM

Posted Image
photo upload


Looks like the 'artist' simply took either a Chicago Metra or SF Bay Area CalTrain car and slapped on some not so fancy graphics.

That would be a "Gallery" car, built for high passenger-load commuter service and currently being manufactured by the Nippon-Sharyo corporation (just so happens to be the same company who won the contract to build the next-gen 'California' cars for Amtrak's State services.)

The cars you were referencing to in the Gateway Rail Services photo are indeed Budd-built bi-levels. They were built in the 1950's for the Santa-Fe railway on their 'El Capitan' service as so-called 'Hi-Level' cars. They have been hard-ran, pretty much worn out and as such fully disposed of by Amtrak in the 1990's when the Superliner II's showed up. They don't have retention toilets, instead dumping the waste to the tracks, and this makes them illegal to run unless retrofitted. There are also no more parts available for them if/when things break. As such, you'll also need a shop capable of making custom parts from simple faucet handles to full-on truck and A/C assemblies. As such, the only real economical place that fleet can go is a scrap yard... Anyone looking to buy them outright and place them back into full-scale revenue service is either a rich idiot, or have their heads in the clouds.

They helped spawn the double-decker design and prove it to be a good one. But they have done their duty and need to be relegated to a museum or individual PV owners. Or the cutter's torch.

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#34 PPorro

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Posted 12 October 2012 - 06:05 PM

Oh darn, artists concept. So they won't be running these nifty vintage E9 engines either? :rolleyes:

Posted Image

#35 NAVYBLUE

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Posted 14 October 2012 - 07:05 PM

http://www.lvrj.com/...-174081901.html


Although I am cautiously optimistic, I have some doubts he can get AMTRAK and the (3) host tracks on his side, but I'll wait and see. It would be a boon to Las Vegas' economy as the train ends right on the Strip at the Plaza Casino. It could bring in the gamblers and 'outdoor recreation" enthusiasts and facilitate railfans (ME-ME-ME) to LAX and EMY for LD trains and the west coast trains.

From the article he has already bought rolling stock from a private company in Wisconsin. My concern is the company's lack of experience in the transportation field and the aforementioned AMTRAK/host railroad cooperation.

Comments ?

NAVYBLUE

#36 johnny.menhennet

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Posted 14 October 2012 - 07:44 PM

http://www.lvrj.com/...-174081901.html


Although I am cautiously optimistic, I have some doubts he can get AMTRAK and the (3) host tracks on his side, but I'll wait and see. It would be a boon to Las Vegas' economy as the train ends right on the Strip at the Plaza Casino. It could bring in the gamblers and 'outdoor recreation" enthusiasts and facilitate railfans (ME-ME-ME) to LAX and EMY for LD trains and the west coast trains.

From the article he has already bought rolling stock from a private company in Wisconsin. My concern is the company's lack of experience in the transportation field and the aforementioned AMTRAK/host railroad cooperation.

Comments ?

NAVYBLUE


Okay, while I have only been to Vegas once, and it was 5 and a half years ago, I clearly remember the Plaza being DOWNTOWN and not on the Strip. For those of you who haven't been to Vegas, they are actually two very different neighborhoods, with the Plaza likely being a good 2-4 miles north of the Strip, depending on where you are staying. The strip hosts the majority of Vegas' hotels/casinos popular with tourists. While someone booking a ticket wouldn't know that they would need a $20 cab ride once they got there, especially if it was their first trip, I am surprised that X-Train would not want an entirely new, purpose-built station that is 1) better able to suit the needs of the service , being NEW and all, 2) being closer to almost every major hotel by multiple miles, and 3) while not as important, it is near the airport as well. It looks as if there is land about 1000 feet south of Tropicana that could be used, which opens up and becomes definitely wide enough for 2 stub tracks should they want that, to hold 2 trains. Stubs will almost certainly be required by UP, and there is room. Empty land will also give room for taxis and amenities. Another smaller likely overlooked benefit is that by being so much closer to the popular hotels, you could have the journey take 5 minutes less. The public would expect a certain time from Fullerton to Vegas, but they don't really care where it is in Vegas, it's more of a perception thing. If you can have the same scheduled time but a faster run time, it allows for more "free" padding that won't hurt the schedule at all. Or if you are sure that the run will be efficient without delays, then you can take 5 minutes off!

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upcoming Amtrak: Pacific Surfliner (10000000000 more)
upcoming non-Amtrak: Coaster, Red Line/Expo Line in LA, NJ Transit (5-10)

Pretty good for a 16 year old :)


#37 Anderson

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Posted 14 October 2012 - 09:50 PM

Of course, the counterpoint is that a $15-20 cab ride is necessary from McCarran to most resorts as it is, so you're probably at a wash either way. But I do know what you're saying on the "free padding". With that noted, though, I think the key is that even if they renovate the station at the Plaza, it's still a relatively "turnkey" station, while Fullerton is an active train station. That basically saves them the hassle (and cost) of building new stations at either end (which would probably add another 6-12 months to startup time).

If the operation is successful and ridership meets or exceeds projections, I could see a lot of things potentially happening (more trains, closer-to-daily service, adding a "Strip Station" [if the TSA checks your bag at such a place, would that make it a Strip Search?:P], and so forth). However, those are all big "ifs" at this point.
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#38 afigg

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Posted 14 October 2012 - 10:54 PM

http://www.lvrj.com/...-174081901.html

Although I am cautiously optimistic, I have some doubts he can get AMTRAK and the (3) host tracks on his side, but I'll wait and see. It would be a boon to Las Vegas' economy as the train ends right on the Strip at the Plaza Casino. It could bring in the gamblers and 'outdoor recreation" enthusiasts and facilitate railfans (ME-ME-ME) to LAX and EMY for LD trains and the west coast trains.

From the article he has already bought rolling stock from a private company in Wisconsin. My concern is the company's lack of experience in the transportation field and the aforementioned AMTRAK/host railroad cooperation.

The article makes the plans sound sketchy as they have appeared to be all along. Making public comments in 2010 about how the service could start in 2011 w/o having had in-depth discussions with UP on track access does not make Mr. Barron nor the company look reliable.

On the other hand, if the X-trains are to be run by Amtrak under contract, that would provide assurance that the trains are being run by qualified professionals. However, it might be a good idea for Amtrak to demand to be paid much of the start-up staffing and first month of operation costs in advance - and make sure the check clears.

If the company is willing and able to pay competitive trackage rights fees to have priority over freight trains, that would be a big step to making it a viable service. As I mentioned earlier in this thread, there are track upgrade projects underway by UP and BSNF in So Cal that should address some of the choke-points that were an issue in the most recent LA to Las Vegas Amtrak corridor service study.

As for getting to the casinos in Vegas, the company can arrange for shuttle buses to meet the arriving train and take passengers to their particular casino destination and then pick them up on Sunday to take them to the station. With only 2 arrivals and 2 departures per week, that should be pretty simple to do.

#39 calwatch

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Posted 14 October 2012 - 11:38 PM

Here's something cut and pasted from another board to their investors:

Dear X Train Shareholders and fans:Well, the long hot summer here in Las Vegas is over finally. And although the heat was turned up pretty high here, we had it turned up even higher on our project. We began our actual construction project on the station at the Plaza Hotel by hiring on our civil engineers, Walker Engineering, our General Contractor Ė R&O Construction, our Architects, Carpenter, Sellers, DelGatto, our rail engineers DeBerg & Associates as well as a host of ancillary professional staff with the City of Las Vegas. The civil engineering report was completed by Walker engineering and now identifies all infrastructure constraints on the site

We are now working with DeBerg to lay in the rail location and to orient the platform for speedy unloading. Approvals will take about 6 months before we can begin construction.We acquired 10 railcars outright and have them parked in a rail yard in Wisconsin. The cars are bi-level designs which we will refurbish into our Vegas Class club lounge cars. The designs for the interiors are being done by Carpenter Sellers DelGatto, architects, and are very spiffy.This is a working sample of one configuration which has a self-contained bar/lounge and food service area in each car and holds 40 people in complete comfort. (Photo not included)

Other designs are in the works as well and we will show them to you as they are available.

We will be acquiring additional rail cars to add to this set and expect to begin renovation after the first of the year 2013.Our marketing efforts have gone into high gear with the addition of our COO- Passenger Services Ė Penny Stegeman. Penny comes from the Vegas ticketing business and the airline services business. In her first two calls to major properties here in town, both customers indicated they could fill a train all year with just their own clients. Pretty good start for us on that. We have a lot more to talk about with these folks, but both are extremely excited about being part of the project. No names as yet. That is still confidential, but we will make it public when itís all done.

On the technology side, Bob Gottesman has come on board as our EVP/CIO and has two jobs he is responsible for. First he is the project manager for our development projects. This is like building the trip from the Earth to the Moon. Each project from station construction to car acquisition and build-out to logistics planning to IT systems is like a business of its own. I have attached Bobís dashboard from the project management system so you can see what Iím talking about. Itís complicated, to say the least. We currently have about 400 tasks we manage. By the time the train runs, it will be 4,000.

We completed an offering of $2.28 million for the company. This capital allows us to proceed with the development of the station, electronics infrastructure and to acquire the railset for the first train. Our next mission is to organize for our larger offering later this year. We have moved the ball forward with the railroads and expect final logistics to be completed by November for both railroads. Amtrak was selected as our haulage partner and we are now working on the marketing and technical interface with their existing train network. You will be able to buy an X Train ticket at any one of the thousands of Amtrak kiosks nationwide. We will be carried on their national timetable as well.

Edited by calwatch, 14 October 2012 - 11:40 PM.


#40 johnny.menhennet

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 12:50 AM

We will be carried on their national timetable as well.


I was hoping this would be the case. Will make a much easier job of selling tickets on a national scale, IMO.

Amtrak: Pacific Surfliner (100000000000), Southwest Chief (5), California Zephyr (1), Coast Starlight (6), Capitol Corridor (1), Empire Builder (2), Acela Express (1), LSL (1), NE Regional (2)
Non-Amtrak: NCTD Coaster (at least 20), Metrolink (4), SD Trolley (at least 20), LACMTA Red Line (at least 50), Seattle Streetcar (1), Chicago 'L' (probably 13), NYC Subway (probably 15), WMATA Mass Transit (probably 20), LIRR (1), Las Vegas Monorail (at least 12), MBTA Mass Transit (16), NJ Transit commuter rail (3), I'm sure there are more that I can't think of right now

upcoming Amtrak: Pacific Surfliner (10000000000 more)
upcoming non-Amtrak: Coaster, Red Line/Expo Line in LA, NJ Transit (5-10)

Pretty good for a 16 year old :)





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