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Pioneer and Desert Wind

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If you make a business case for these trains... it's terrible. Even if you include state and local subsidies. The population density is horrifically low, with the sole exception of Las Vegas.

 

The NCH business case is a lot better (and has more state and local support). The Gulf Coast business case is better than that (and has more state and local support). The business case for a second frequency on the LSL route from Chicago to NY (...though preferably routed via Detroit) is much better than any of those business cases, even without state and local support.

 

I'd rather prioritize the routes with decent business cases, as it allows for future expansion later.

 

Las Vegas-LA as a standalone route might have an OK business case. Las Vegas - Salt Lake doesn't.

Pioneer is not much different from NCH. You get Wyoming and almost all of the major cities in Idaho. You also get a second CHI-DEN frequency.

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I don't know if anyone had ridership/revenue of the Pioneer/Desert Wind from the 80's/90's. I'd be curious to see how they stacked up against the trains still running today. Were they bad?

 

Clearly these two trains are the slower options to SEA/PDX and LAX but they do serve markets that aren't served today. In addition, weren't they both essentially through cars off the CZ?

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Personally, with my European perspective, I've always thought that it is very strange that there is no train between the Greater Los Angeles area and Las Vegas, NV. But that's just me. Surely there must be enough ridership for making that rail connection profitable?

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Personally, with my European perspective, I've always thought that it is very strange that there is no train between the Greater Los Angeles area and Las Vegas, NV. But that's just me. Surely there must be enough ridership for making that rail connection profitable?

A route is planned.

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One idea that would require a lot of equipment. Over 120 bi level cars.

Run a second train daytime to DEN - Cheyenne - Ogden - Seattle. Run another on the UP overland route to Cheyenne - Combine with the DEN train split at Ogden to go to LAX. Passengers could connect to other train while traveling between Cheyenne and Ogden.

Edited by west point

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@railgeekteen: Do you mean this train?

 

http://vegasxtrain.com/

yes

 

I wouldn't suggest holding one's breath in anticipation of this service beginning...

 

Why? Funding issues? Track owners?

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@railgeekteen: Do you mean this train?

 

http://vegasxtrain.com/

yes

 

I wouldn't suggest holding one's breath in anticipation of this service beginning...

 

Why? Funding issues? Track owners?

 

 

It all comes down to money.

 

I can't remember how many years ago I saw a presentation from these folks. I want to say 2011-2012, but really can't remember. They have made close to no progress since then. Nonetheless, their own website says they hope to start service in "late 2017" in the company info section (the "purchase X Train seats" link says "late 2018").

 

The wikipedia entry on them basically says they came nowhere near meeting their fundraising targets through stock sales ($2.3 million vs. $35 million in startup costs, plus apparently between $56 million and $66 million in track improvements to UP).

 

The assets of that company were sold to Xrail Entertainment, but when you look at their website, all of their "Casino X Trains" (except for the Vegas train) just have screenshots of Amtrak timetables. Also, it's not obvious that any of these "trains" run (they're just PVs tacked onto the back of Amtrak). The only thing the website seems to sell is polo shirts with their logo.

 

So, make of that what you will.

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Wasn't there some similar venture trying to raise money for a private Boston-Montreal train a couple of years ago? Wonder what ever happened to them? :rolleyes:

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The one problem for the DW between LAX and Las Vegas is the time it takes to get through eastern LA to Union Station. A HS solution had everyone drive northwest of LA into the Desert and ride to Vegas which no one would do, so that was scraped. If they did get the DW to Vegas revived I think they would need some luxury to entice the big spenders to ride rather than fly.

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If you make a business case for these trains... it's terrible. Even if you include state and local subsidies. The population density is horrifically low, with the sole exception of Las Vegas.

 

The NCH business case is a lot better (and has more state and local support). The Gulf Coast business case is better than that (and has more state and local support). The business case for a second frequency on the LSL route from Chicago to NY (...though preferably routed via Detroit) is much better than any of those business cases, even without state and local support.

 

I'd rather prioritize the routes with decent business cases, as it allows for future expansion later.

 

Las Vegas-LA as a standalone route might have an OK business case. Las Vegas - Salt Lake doesn't.

To bump this thread back to life, I wonder if there have been any serious proposals in recent years to at minimum reestablish Amtrak service between Las Vegas and LA? Since to me, that'd seem like the perfect place to have a regional train corridor service between, even if the full Desert Wind long distance train doesn't come back. I know one can take a bus like Megabus out to Vegas from LA(and which'd have fewer stops vs. Greyhound), but it'd be amazing to bring back Amtrak service to Vegas.

 

Also I noticed certain Capitol Corridor trains in California start and end in Auburn, CA, when I looked on a map. It's interesting to me that the easternmost runs on that Amtrak corridor, aren't extended east to Truckee and Reno. I wonder what the issues would be, that'd hold up Amtrak from extending more runs east from Auburn to also serve Truckee and Reno? Though having bus connections to those cities, is better than nothing. And ditto with California Zephyr service.

Edited by dogbert617

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Amtrak California which runs to Auburn is not Amtrak. It is Capitol Corridor service operated under contract by Amtrak. It is unlikely that the Capitol Corridor JPB would fund service in another state

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Amtrak California which runs to Auburn is not Amtrak. It is Capitol Corridor service operated under contract by Amtrak. It is unlikely that the Capitol Corridor JPB would fund service in another state

I am surprised that Amtrak California wouldn't consider some sort of regional Amtrak train(yes I know it's contracted) to Reno and also Las Vegas, with how many Californians travel to those nearby cities in NV. Truckee seems like a popular town for a lot of people to visit, so it's slightly surprising to me that they wouldn't at least consider an extension of the Auburn train in each direction to also serve Truckee.

 

I do wonder if Nevada did an assist with funding, if service could finally occur? There probably are issues preventing this from likely happening, that I don't totally understand.

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The CZ already runs to Truckee and Reno daily. Yes, it's a long distance train, so it's not ideal for short distance riders, but running the CC (or a similar train) all the way there might be a bit far for and unnecessary for a CalTrans service. Just my opinion.

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Amtrak California which runs to Auburn is not Amtrak. It is Capitol Corridor service operated under contract by Amtrak. It is unlikely that the Capitol Corridor JPB would fund service in another state

I am surprised that Amtrak California wouldn't consider some sort of regional Amtrak train(yes I know it's contracted) to Reno and also Las Vegas, with how many Californians travel to those nearby cities in NV. Truckee seems like a popular town for a lot of people to visit, so it's slightly surprising to me that they wouldn't at least consider an extension of the Auburn train in each direction to also serve Truckee.

 

I do wonder if Nevada did an assist with funding, if service could finally occur? There probably are issues preventing this from likely happening, that I don't totally understand.

A capitol corridor train extension to Reno has been in their published plans for a long time. The plan was for 2 round trips to Reno. They didn't even request funding from Nevada, it was expected to be a very popular extension. However UP several years ago told CC that they don't want anymore passenger trains over Donner Pass, and hasn't changed that stance since. UP even cancelled an in progress capacity study at the time. So I think the chances of an extension to Reno are slim.

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Also, didn't the desert turtle put a crimp in the process? UP required some double tracking between Barstow and Las Vegas, but the desert turtle's habitat would've been disrupted in the process. They couldn't move 50 feet? ;)

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