X-Train Chugging Along?

Discussion in 'Freight, International and Other Rail' started by Anderson, Aug 18, 2012.

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  1. Jan 24, 2014 #151

    Anderson

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    Let's bear in mind, also, that $169 r/t translates into just under $85 each way (and that this rate scales to two people with LARail; it's actually slightly less per person for four). This includes a night in the sleeper. For LAX-SAN right now, a one-way on the Surfliner is $37 in coach or $56 in Business Class (or $74/$112 round-trip).

    The question is what LVRE could afford to offer their trip at, price-wise, and if (should they do this with an increased regularity) they might benefit from both more space and the ability to pick and choose departure times with some flexibility. If they're really acquiring 12-24 cars, they could probably arrange two round trips per day (morning each way, evening each way) without too much trouble. At the very least, this would probably work on weekends; weekdays would depend on what the market looks like. They might also be able to add one or two intermediate stops as well (Anaheim, anyone?).
     
  2. Jan 24, 2014 #152

    Alice

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    Yes, I think LARail.com is a better deal than Amtrak for Angelenos who want to spend a weekend in San Diego and can conform to the schedule. You sure can't beat the location of the accommodations!

    For a day trip, I just got email about Tioga Road, $150/person including brunch, dinner, drinks, and open platform at 90mph. I think the X-Train can probably compete with that even charging more, especially since it'll have more regular service.
     
  3. Jan 24, 2014 #153

    Anderson

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    Agreed. And let's not forget that it's entirely possible that they might end up running other LA-based services...one-off trains to Vegas might be possible if UP has any sort of "off-season" where they'd be willing to let an excursion run. Considering the popularity of (for example) Iowa Pacific's "Eastern Flyer", it seems quite possible that you could sell folks on an excursion train to/from Vegas on a given weekend. I'm not sure what the round-trip would cost them, but if you could round up 500 folks willing to drop an average of $200 on the trip (remember, Iowa Pacific sold 300 tickets on each of three occasions, and a novelty factor would apply here as it does there) then there might be room to talk with UP about case-by-case slot rentals. One-offs up the coast might sell as well, particularly if these guys round up a dome or two (and/or CA gets rid of the Amfleet set that often carries the dome).
     
  4. Feb 2, 2014 #154

    GG-1

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    I have seen 2 X-Train cars. I am NOT impressed! They are parked at the end of an industrial siding for the Review Journal near the intersection of Martin Luther King Boulevard and Bonanza.This siding would be better than the North Las Vegas station they were touting. As much as I want them to succeed I do not have much hope.

    Sorry no picture as my camera is broken and I am so broke. Hopefully not for to much longer.
     
  5. Feb 2, 2014 #155

    FrensicPic

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    I've done LARail's weekend in San Diego on the Pacific Sands/Salisbury Beach and enjoyed the weekend.

    BTW...I think you mean Tioga Pass, not Road! Did that day-trip as well.

    X-train seems to be promoting more trips to places other than Las Vegas. Last year is was something on the Sunset Limited (Houston to New Orleans?) and now, San Diego!
     
  6. Feb 4, 2014 #156

    GG-1

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    Today I went down to the Review Journal to check out the 2 X-Train cars here in Vegas. The Siding goes past the RJ plant and is behind a company called Extreme Manufacturing located at 1415 Bonanza RD. in Las Vegas.

    There were a few workers doing something inside and at one door of the car there was a ramp into the EM Warehouse. I wrote down the car Numbers.

    The first was MRLX 800651 A picture I found of what it looked like before is

    http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=3162209

    The second one was MRLX 800644 A picture I found of what it looked like before is

    http://ddybowski.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=2862218

    Apparently these were formally Mid America Cars.
     
  7. Feb 8, 2014 #157

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  8. Feb 8, 2014 #158

    the_traveler

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    Whatever siding I'm sitting on!
    :huh:
    The only line between Daggett, CA (the cutoff from the BNSF trans-con) to LV is UP. unless they're going to build a new line in the next few months!
     
  9. Feb 16, 2014 #159

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  10. Feb 16, 2014 #160

    FrensicPic

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    Board Amtrak! What happened to their cars? What happened to LA to Vegas?

    "At 1:15 they’ll prepare to board the famous California Zephyr. Departure is at 2:00. The train is made up of Superliner equipment. Relax in your reclining coach seat with leg rest. Amtrak Roomettes and Bedrooms are available for an additional charge. After settling in, you may want to go to the glass walled Sightseer Lounge car with its comfortable seating. It's a great place to enjoy the passing scenery. All meals on the trains are included. Enjoy a full course dinner in the diner tonight. (D)"
     
  11. Feb 16, 2014 #161

    the_traveler

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    2 questions:

    If this is X-TRAIN, why is more of this tour on a bus? :huh:

    :huh: :huh:
    If the tour goes from GSC on the CZ, to Yellowstone and Mt Rushmore, then returns from Minot on the EB, and you go to FLG on the SWC (or fly to FLG) and return from SLC on the CZ (or fly from SLC), when and how do you go to Yellowstone and Mt Rushmore? And how do you get back to SLC if the tour ends in Minot?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 16, 2014
  12. Feb 17, 2014 #162

    Anderson

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    Well, they're running a bunch of tours. It's hard to think of something I've ever been quite so unenthused about.
     
  13. Feb 17, 2014 #163

    GG-1

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    Just realized the Link I posted isn't for their first event. The first event is in their parked cars as a singles mixer, sold in age groups, with the top age being 59.

    I also noticed that the trip I did post is 2500+ in coach seats. Yet they say meals included, so How will they be handling that, including meal reservations. i.e. before sleepers or after. And how will they give preference to other coach passengers.
     
  14. Feb 17, 2014 #164

    FrensicPic

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    Just a big tour package. I'm assuming X-Train is reserving (buying out) an entire coach, or more. If not, their customers would be scattered on the train among the regular Amtrak coach passengers. Their "coach" fare includes meals but the mentioned upgrade to sleeper is interesting because because regular Amtrak sleeper passengers receive meals anyway!
     
  15. Feb 17, 2014 #165

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    http://www.vegasxtrain.com/casino-fun-train.html

    This also shows up on the site.

    http://www.vegasxtrain.com/x-rail-asset-fund-1-lp-presentation.html

    ...ok, so there's something interesting here. Something very interesting. Keystone Grill and Mohave are to start service on the Surfliner at some point soon per these documents. The whole business proposition here is fascinating if it can be made to work...though from what I can tell, Boswash and Chicago would be the more obvious candidates (as there's still a private car operating on one of the Chicago lines).
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 17, 2014
  16. Feb 18, 2014 #166

    Anderson

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    Some further thoughts on the possibility of "deluxe commuter" service:
    -It has been stated elsewhere that the reason the various commuter services don't offer any sort of upgraded service is because of the hassle of selling different kinds of tickets. Adding a third-party operator for the upgraded service removes that obstacle.

    -Also, the political element gets removed if a third party is handling the service and paying a haulage fee.

    -If I had to guess, based on the peak loads on some of the NJT and MNRR commuter trains, it's possible that the market is large enough to pitch a premium service to <1% of the commuters. 500-1000 customers per day might be a sustainable level for a New Haven Line service, for example. Same with NJT-NEC.

    --In that vein, there are a lot of stations along the NEC that aren't served by Amtrak (Hamilton, etc.) or are only thinly served on weekdays. The market I could see would be for those stops (where you can't upgrade to either a Regional or an Acela).

    -There's also the LIRR. I'm not sure if there would be issues with the curves (issues with curve radii apparently scrapped an attempt to buy some Amtrak equipment to keep the parlor car service(s) going during an equipment renewal cycle), but you've got enough people with long enough commutes that a service could sell.

    Other lines could be supported with lower ridership, depending on how much would be needed to support a service running only 2-3 cars on the back of an existing train. It's a question of whether they can make do with dozens or low-hundreds of daily ridership, or whether high hundreds would be needed.
     
  17. Mar 7, 2014 #167

    CHamilton

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    Possible typo in headline? Maybe it should read "consolidate with"? Sounds like they are looking to get bought out.

    X Train seeks private partnerships, acquisitions to consolidate existing passenger-rail operations

     
  18. Mar 7, 2014 #168

    afigg

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    Looks like the X-Train executives are seeking to buy or team up with other tourist train operators. This company is getting further and further away from a viable LA to Vegas train travel option. Too bad there is not political leadership in Nevada or Las Vegas that is pushing for a state supported LA to Vegas corridor service with daily or twice daily frequencies while waiting for Xpress West to sort out their plans.

    Oh well. I do have to give Mr. Barron of X-Train credit for packing a serious amount of MBA speak into 2 sentences. Quoting the Progressive Railroading article:

    "We are looking to consolidate the resources of a fractional industry of independent passenger-rail services under an umbrella which gives our affiliated companies economies of scale and greater marketing reach," said Michael Barron, X Train's chairman and chief executive officer. "We can provide a path to liquidity for those owners who wish to sell their enterprise as an exit strategy or owners can retain 100 percent ownership of their business operating under the extended service umbrella of our company."
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 7, 2014
  19. Mar 7, 2014 #169

    Paulus

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    Neither X-Train nor XPressWest was ever a viable train travel option and California has far better intercity routes to spend the money on (Daylight, Redding, and Coachella Valley for starters).
     
  20. Mar 7, 2014 #170

    jis

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    <sarcasm>

    Put in plain English this means "We have never run a single train successfully. But please ignore that and let us consolidate all your successful operations and screw it up together"

    </sracasm>
     
  21. Mar 7, 2014 #171

    RobertB

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    You're forgetting the unstoppable power of branding. They have an "X" at the start of their name! How could they lose?
     
  22. Mar 7, 2014 #172

    Green Maned Lion

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    Roy Disney: "Branding is something you do with cattle." And let's face it, this is simply bovine.
     
  23. Mar 7, 2014 #173

    Bob Dylan

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    Nice Quote Lion! And "Handling is for Animals, not People!" ;) Bill Russell/Basketball Great
     
  24. Mar 8, 2014 #174

    CHamilton

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    X Train negotiating to acquire four private rail operators

     
  25. Mar 10, 2014 #175

    RobertB

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    How many "privately owned passenger-rail services" are there? Would 4 out of X be a significant number?

    (lol, I used "X" as a variable, just shows how powerful it is, right?)
     

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