Chinese to help fund LA to Las Vegas high-speed rail link

Passengers who have long endured delays at security and check-ins during travel by air between Los Angeles and Las Vegas may soon have an alternative – a high-speed rail link between the two cities.

The Chinese are behind a project with XpressWest rail to provide a high-speed alternative from LA to Las Vegas

The Chinese are behind a project with XpressWest rail to provide a high-speed alternative from LA to Las Vegas Image by aFicus / CC BY 2.0

And after several abortive attempts to come up with a rail plan, XpressWest has received backing from China Railway International USA to undertake the project as a joint venture.

 Los Angeles  to Las Vegas in 80 minutes by rail could soon be a possibility for passengers

Los Angeles to Las Vegas in 80 minutes by rail could soon be a possibility for passengers Image by Ron Reiring / CC BY 2.0

The American and Chinese companies have already injected $100 million in starting capital but will required billions of dollars to build and operate the 370 kilometre (230 mile) system that will connect Southern Nevada and California by using stations in Las Vegas, Nevada as well as Victoville, Palmdale, California, and service throughout Los Angeles.

Las Vegas is a mecca for US tourism

Las Vegas is a mecca for US tourism Image by ADTeasdale / CC BY 2.0

The consortium is going ahead with this despite the fact the project failed to secure a federal loan of $5.5 billion.

Giz Magazind reports that although air flight time between the two cities is just an hour, there is a lot of time wastage around that 60 minutes in the air. The high-speed rail alternative could be done in around 80 minutes with none of the add on delays. However this will require a new track to facilitate the speeds expected to be around 240 km/h (150mph).

The big advantage of the link by rail is that it avoids the time wastage surrounding airport security. It is estimated that work could begin within the next year and will continue for many years before it is fully completed at a cost of more than $150 billion.

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