Media Kit » Try RailPrime™ Today! »
Progressive Railroading
Newsletter Sign Up
Stay updated on news, articles and information for the rail industry

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

View Current Digital Issue »


Rail News Home High-Speed Rail


Rail News: High-Speed Rail

DesertXpress awaits final EIS, aims to become private railroad


DesertXpress is moving full-speed ahead with plans for high-speed Las Vegas-to-southern California service, according to President Tom Stone and Chief Operating Officer Andrew Mack.

The company already has a project-specific environmental impact statement (EIS) and the final EIS is due to be released later this year, Stone says. He adds that he expects formal records of decision — which would enable the cooperating agencies to grant various permits — from the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) following the EIS release.

The 200-mile project is on a four-year development schedule that began this year. DesertXpress plans to test its trains in 2013 and begin revenue service in 2014.

“Desert Express is poised to be the first true high-speed rail passenger service in America,” says Stone.

While many U.S. high-speed projects rely on contracting an operator, such as Amtrak, DesertXpress has proposed to become a private interstate railroad. Stone hopes to receive a Surface Transportation Board decision on the matter following the EIS record of decision later this year.

Developed by a group of private-sector California and Nevada companies, DesertXpress proposes to implement high-speed rail service on nearly 200 miles of new, exclusive double-track right of way. Largely following the Interstate 15 corridor, the line would run between Victorville, Calif., and Las Vegas with no stops in between. Ultimately, DesertXpress hopes to extend the line to an intermodal station in Palmdale, Calif., in order to interface with California high-speed rail, Mack says.

Trains would operate at speeds up to 150 mph, making the 190-mile trip in one hour, 20 minutes. However, the system will be designed for higher speeds, and DesertXpress hopes to go faster once the FRA adds new regulations for higher speeds, Mack says.

The project is expected to cost between $3.5 billion and $4 billion for design, construction, trains, systems, testing and commissioning.

— Katie Berk

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 7/22/2010