Calif.-Vegas party train could hit tracks in 2013

Associated Press Modified: November 23, 2012 at 3:03 am •  Published: November 23, 2012
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With initial plans for one trip a day on Thursday, Friday, Sunday, and Monday, Barron believes he can attract tourists weary of the weekend traffic gridlock and perhaps hung over from their weekend revelry.

"Sunday is horrific," Barron said of the Interstate 15 corridor that links Las Vegas and its neighbor. "So now you've been up for 40 hours gambling and you have to drive for seven hours — that's just horrible. But people do it in spite of that!"

John Lawson, who was in Las Vegas from Orange County for a few days over Thanksgiving, said he'd like the option of hopping on a train rather than braving bumper-to-bumper traffic on the way back.

"If you party really hard, it sucks driving back," said Lawson, 28.

Vegas visitor Christina Bojorquez, 25, said she'd have to weigh the cost of the train ride against other cheap options, including discounted flights and sharing the expense of driving to Vegas.

"For special occasions it would be good, but not all the time," she said.

Tom Skancke, a transportation consultant for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, pointed to the proposed trains and other alternatives to personal cars as options that could entice a new generation of tourists. A new Greyhound Express nonstop bus route between L.A. and Las Vegas launched earlier this month.

"These modes of transportation do appeal to a younger, more eco-friendly traveler," Skancke said. "This generation is more interested in passenger rail, transit and high-speed rail than previous generations."

There's still work to be done on the X Train to get it running by late 2013. The sixteen cars the company has purchased need to be renovated, and a station needs to be completed in downtown Vegas.

"We're four years and $12 million into it. It's a lot of infrastructure building," Barron said. "This is a simple concept in discussion, but it's complicated to do."


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