A Bullet Train From SoCal To Vegas Is In The Works

Fellow denizens of Los Angeles: we may be closer to hopping on a bullet train to Sin City, with none of that wretched hours-long hangover drive back home. Chinese officials announced that they've worked out a deal with the U.S. to build a high-speed rail from SoCal to Las Vegas.

China Railway International USA Co. and XpressWest Enterprises LLC—a private company in which one of the partners is Las Vegas casino developer and hotelier Marnell Companies—are in a joint venture to build and operate the bullet train, according to Reuters. Chinese officials said that the train will go from L.A. to Vegas, though the L.A. Times points out that the XpressWest website says the takeoff point will be Victorville, which is about 85 miles northeast of downtown L.A. NBC News reports that the project would have stations in Las Vegas, Victorville and Palmdale, and service throughout Los Angeles. The Metrolink rides from L.A. to Palmdale, and Amtrak from L.A. to Victorville though.

Construction on the 230-mile project could start as soon as September 2016, though it's not clear when it will be completed, Shu Guozeng, deputy head of the government's Office of the Central Leading Group for Financial and Economic Affairs, said in a news conference today.

Though the U.S. didn't release a joint statement with the Chinese officials about the partnership, the release said that the project has an initial capital of $100 million. There aren't any details released about the financial terms or the projected cost of the venture, but they did say they reached this deal after four years of negotiations.

This announcement comes just days before Chinese President Xi Jinping is heading to the U.S. to "reach agreements on trade, energy, climate, finance, aviation, defense and infrastructure construction," Bloomberg reports.

China has been moving forward with their railway operations. Last week, the China Railway Rolling Stock Corporation (CRRSC) broke ground on a factory in Springfield, Mass., where they will be making train cars for Boston's subway system, making it the first Chinese rail manufacturer with a huge transit contract with the U.S.

Recently, The X Train announced plans to offer a limited-service party train—where passengers would board a vintage Hiawatha Milwaukee Road train ca—from Fullerton to Vegas, with the first ride slated for New Year's Eve. However, previous plans from the some company failed to materialize in years past.

Eds. note: An earlier version of this story said that the bullet train will go from L.A. to Vegas, but that might actually mean Victorville to Vegas. We've changed this in the story. LAist regrets this error.