Southland-to-Las Vegas train service could be coming soon, but it’s not the high-speed rail that’s been talked about for years.
In true Sin City fashion, this will be an adult’s only “party train.” It’s been 13 years since Amtrak stopped operating L.A.-Vegas rail service.
And this new train aims to be everything Amtrak is not: raucous, boozy and cool.
Why wait until you get to Vegas to start the fun when you could spend your precious travel hours partying?
The X Train, as it will be called, will have lots of flat screen TVs, gourmet chefs, “conductresses” serving cocktails — and all-first class seating.
“It’s really not like anything you’ve seen in a train before. It will be like you’ve stepped into Las Vegas,” said Michael Barron, President and CEO of X Train.
If this all sounds a little far-fetched, especially for the ticket price of $99 each way, Barron says everything is on schedule to start in about a year, in time for New Year’s Eve.
The company just negotiated the rights to use Burlington Northern’s tracks for most of the route. It also bought 16 rail cars.
“We’ll begin to retrofit those cars into essentially an ultra-lounge on wheels that has all the look and feel of a Las Vegas casino,” said Barron.
One key difference: No gambling allowed.
X Train has raised about 12 million in funding, but still needs about $100 million more.
But Barron likes his odds.
He says his company will generate revenue from booking your entire Vegas vacation. They’ll get a cut of what you spend on hotels, shows, and restaurants.
Most of all, Barron is counting on the fact that the millions who brave the I-15 to Vegas will welcome the chance to get off the road.
“It’s a six to seven hour drive, bumper to bumper,” said Barron. “It’s a very dangerous highway. And in spite of all that stuff, people come to Las Vegas. So we would only need a fraction – one percent of traffic – to ride our train for us to be profitable.”
X Train plans to depart from Fullerton on Thursdays and Fridays and return weary revelers on Sundays and Mondays.