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Brian_tampa

Brightline takes over XPress West!

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(1) The "small number of trains" was in the context of not wanting to extend to Las Vegas (which I don't think we can see supporting anywhere near that many trains).

 

(2) Well, let's presume that number is about right in terms of frequencies, and that those 39 departures would have about a 2:15 runtime (80 MPH average speed; getting up to 90 MPH average speed doesn't get you under 2:00, so this seems reasonable). 39 departures spread over 16 hours means that you're going to have a peak rate of 3x trains per hour in each direction, so you're probably looking at needing about 15-20 trainsets. To get 200 pax/train on average (which is about what 15,800/day comes to) you'd probably need closer to 400 seats per train...so you're probably looking at about a 7-8 car set, plus two locomotives, for the service. If each set is about $40m, this would come to $600-800m for equipment. This would leave about $1bn for the rest of the project...

 

(3) ...which would probably go to some mixture of the two stations (likely with about a half-dozen tracks given those frequency levels), an equipment yard capable of storing those sets, plus the cost of getting through the mountains heading into Vegas. I stand by the $10m/mile estimate for the desert run, but there will be additional costs when dealing with a mountain range.

 

I write this presuming, of course, that Palmdale-Victorville isn't included. If it is, that's probably another $400-600m for the tracks, plus a slew of additional trainsets (since runtime increases).

So that works out to a total of something like $2.5B, right? Do you think it's realistic that they would be wiling to spend that much on this?

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(1) As I said, there's probably an expensive engineering issue somewhere in the mix (my guess is the mountains on approach to Las Vegas). I'd probably throw in $200m half-and-half for stations/parking lots (if you go with those ridership estimates, there isn't jack in terms of useful transit to Victorville...sorry, the SWC doesn't cut it, though this would make a decent transfer point to/from Vegas...so you'd need thousands of parking spaces) and a major equipment facility, storage tracks (20 trainsets at 850' each would effectively require about three and a half to four miles of storage space), etc.

 

(2) I think it's more likely that they would be willing to raise/spend more if they can get to downtown LA. I've always been dubious about the Victorville terminus plans. I think what it comes down to is that I don't buy the ridership numbers on a 4-4:30 train trip. 15,800/day translates into 5,767,000 riders per year and I'm not seeing that on the corridor in question, particularly to/from Victorville. I can buy perhaps a third of that, but remember: Per their 2013 study, Brightline expected somewhere between 1.5m and 2.2m riders between Orlando and South Florida...and that's with three downtown stations in South Florida. One thing that, in my mind, utterly screws Victorville as a terminus is the fact that it's a "one-way" service (e.g. I can use the train to get from Victorville to Las Vegas, but a train from Las Vegas to Victorville is nigh-on useless).

My best guess is that you'd get ridership similar to the Brightline estimates out of Victorville...but it would be at least somewhat pulse-heavy (e.g. lots of pax on Thursdays and Fridays outbound and Sundays returning; there's a reason that one of the wackier proposals was Thursday/Friday out and 2x Sunday return) compared to Brightline. There isn't an underlying commuter market, though I think a mix of off-day vacationers and convention business would keep ridership from being utterly empty on other days.

(3) I think the question is also whether you'd get equity and/or bond support from the casinos themselves. Remember, Brightline is (in many respects) spending other peoples' money.

(4) Something I will throw in as well (which I only just found) is that the line is apparently near the planned Ivanpah Valley Airport (which is intended as a reliever for McCarran); depending on the details here, it is entirely possible that you could pump a decent slug of ridership out of that, especially given that the proposed airport location is as far from the Strip as Dulles is from downtown DC.

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Half the battle of getting to Vegas from LA is getting to Victorville to begin with. WHO would want to drive to Victorville, then not just want to finish the drive in to LV?

Taking the question seriously, that's still nearly 400 miles of wear and tear on a car, including the relevant fuel consumption (which is going to run anywhere from 8-20 gallons of gas), and if you're on a peak travel day there's still traffic on I-15 to contend with...as well as parking fees in Las Vegas (which have the chance to add another $30-40 to a trip). So it's probably a non-zero market, but it also isn't going to be anywhere near 5.5-6.0m pax/yr.

Edited by Anderson

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I am just wondering what effect such a press release will have on real estate speculator's along the proposed route, or station's....

 

 

And how much insider dealing may be involved.... :)

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It seems unlikely that the aforementioned release would have much impact, given that the project has been languishing for quite a while.

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I think many of your on here are too focused on LAX when calculating the time and hassle of flying between SoCal and Vegas. The SoCal LAS market is spread out among BUR, LAX, SNA, LGB, and ONT. Not everything is a hassle via LAX. Burbank alone has 10 flights a day by Southwest and 5 by JetBlue.

SNA has 7 daily flights by Southwest and another 7 by others.

 

A big part of the of the Las Vegas air traffic is generated from the other regional airports and NOT all LAX based. Generally speaking from experience and hearing from others, we will do our best to avoid LAX for flights to LAS just so we don't have to deal with the hassles of LAX and we can show up an hour before our flight and get through security and be on our plane.

 

If the train can't make it between LA and LAS in under 5 hours, I think its going to be tough. But the key is going to be, the train has to be ON TIME.

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I think many of your on here are too focused on LAX when calculating the time and hassle of flying between SoCal and Vegas. The SoCal LAS market is spread out among BUR, LAX, SNA, LGB, and ONT. Not everything is a hassle via LAX. Burbank alone has 10 flights a day by Southwest and 5 by JetBlue.

SNA has 7 daily flights by Southwest and another 7 by others.

 

A big part of the of the Las Vegas air traffic is generated from the other regional airports and NOT all LAX based. Generally speaking from experience and hearing from others, we will do our best to avoid LAX for flights to LAS just so we don't have to deal with the hassles of LAX and we can show up an hour before our flight and get through security and be on our plane.

 

If the train can't make it between LA and LAS in under 5 hours, I think its going to be tough. But the key is going to be, the train has to be ON TIME.

 

Well, with a dedicated dual track ROW and brand new equipment, that should not be much of a problem.

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I think many of your on here are too focused on LAX when calculating the time and hassle of flying between SoCal and Vegas. The SoCal LAS market is spread out among BUR, LAX, SNA, LGB, and ONT. Not everything is a hassle via LAX. Burbank alone has 10 flights a day by Southwest and 5 by JetBlue.

SNA has 7 daily flights by Southwest and another 7 by others.

 

A big part of the of the Las Vegas air traffic is generated from the other regional airports and NOT all LAX based. Generally speaking from experience and hearing from others, we will do our best to avoid LAX for flights to LAS just so we don't have to deal with the hassles of LAX and we can show up an hour before our flight and get through security and be on our plane.

 

If the train can't make it between LA and LAS in under 5 hours, I think its going to be tough. But the key is going to be, the train has to be ON TIME.

Well, with a dedicated dual track ROW and brand new equipment, that should not be much of a problem.

 

Yeah. Like that's gonna be affordable for anyone. Why not go ahead and electrify it?

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On 10/11/2018 at 11:47 AM, VentureForth said:

Yeah. Like that's gonna be affordable for anyone. Why not go ahead and electrify it?

Anybody heard anything new on this project?

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