XpressWest draws nominal high-speed rail competitors for service between Southern California and Las Vegas

November 4, 2015

When the Nevada High-Speed Rail Authority meets later this month to consider awarding a franchise for a system to deliver train passengers between Las Vegas and Southern California, there will be two competitors vying against the favorite, XpressWest.Website Insert Our Name Tells Our Story copy

Las Vegas-based XpressWest, formerly known as DesertXpress, has been the anticipated franchisee ever since Senate Bill 457 was signed into law earlier this year. The system requirements listed in the legislation match closely with those in the XpressWest business plan.

But the five-member authority is expected to hear presentations on each proposal Nov. 18, even though neither of the underdog competitors qualify based on the requirements of the legislation.

In addition to XpressWest, proposals will be offered by Sky Tram International, Portland, Ore.; and Las Vegas-based David Brough’s Dual-Mode Advanced Vehicular Endeavor, known as D.A.V.E. There won’t be a presentation on a third proposal, submitted by the Reno-based Nevada Intercity Passenger Railroad, headed by Lamar Aiazzi.

Aiazzi said he responded to a request for franchise proposals more as a protest than as a plan that would get serious consideration. While Aiazzi is working on a plan that would use traditional steel-wheels-on-rails technology, he’s more interested in linking Northern Nevada with Southern Nevada, which he argues would be more beneficial to the state than a train between Las Vegas and Southern California. His plan also includes a Southern Nevada-Southern California component and that incorporating freight hauling into the project could generate investment from gaming and mining interests.

Read the full story from reporter Richard N. Velotta of the Las Vegas Review-Journal by clicking here.

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