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Passenger Trains > Amtrak in Las Vegas?


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Date: 07/07/08 19:19
Amtrak in Las Vegas?
Author: Trainphotog

Can I catch an Amtrak train from Los Angeles to Las Vegas and back? I'm trying to understand the Amtrak info, but it appears to me there is only a bus link in Las Vegas. Hard to believe.
Thanks!



Date: 07/07/08 19:27
Re: Amtrak in Las Vegas?
Author: px320

No train to Vagas



Date: 07/07/08 19:28
Re: Amtrak in Las Vegas?
Author: toledopatch

There hasn't been train service to Las Vegas for more than a decade. There has been intermittent talk of trying to bring it back, either as conventional trains or something more exotic, but so far that's it: talk.



Date: 07/07/08 19:32
Re: Amtrak in Las Vegas?
Author: Trainphotog

With the cost of fuel and the 4-6 hour drive from LA or San Diego, seems like a full train would be a no-brainer. Thanks for the info



Date: 07/07/08 19:35
Re: Amtrak in Las Vegas?
Author: daniel3197

I gotta inject some humor here.
This question is just too tempting:

You CAN go to Las Vegas, NM (NEW MEXICO) on
Southwest Chief trains 3 and 4 .
Now THAT was your laugh for the evening.

Seriously and unfortunately you are forced to take a BUS
to the very Famous resort of Las Vegas, NV (NEVADA).
The ONLY Amtrak bus connection that goes to Las Vegas, NV is a forced transfer
thru Bakersfield, California and is operated by Amtrak California.

The DIRECT- Bus route service from Los Angeles to Las Vegas (VEGAS) is run only by Greyhound.
I heard an Announcement for this Greyhound bus at LA Union Station on June 1, 2008 in the afternoon.
The announcer just said it as the "Bus to Las Vegas" was boarding.
There was NO mention by the station announcer that this direct bus was operated by Greyhound Lines

This has been the sad state of affiairs since 1997 when Amtrak dropped
both the Desert Wind and Pioneer trains in a "cost cutting" move.
Those 1997 cuts by default deleted Las Vegas, NV from the Amtrak RAIL system back then.

I hope this helps you to make whatever travel plans you choose !
== Daniel



Date: 07/07/08 19:42
Re: Amtrak in Las Vegas?
Author: Trainphotog

My brother and I thought it would be fun to get to Vegas from San Diego via train transportation. SD to LA is easy, but it looks like it's gonna be a four wheel road trip. I would have to say the bean counters missed on that decision.



Date: 07/07/08 20:16
Re: Amtrak in Las Vegas?
Author: reindeerflame

It can't possibly be true that Amtrak doesn't have a train to Las Vegas, which is the biggest tourist destination in the U.S.

How could any company, or even the government, be run that way?

Is anyone competent in charge?

If Amtrak can't make it in Las Vegas, then it can't make it in Albuquerque, either.



Date: 07/07/08 20:29
Re: Amtrak in Las Vegas?
Author: toledopatch

reindeerflame Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> How could any company, or even the government, be
> run that way?
>
> Is anyone competent in charge?

In the not-too-long-ago days of cheap gasoline, the train was way too slow and unreliable, since LA-Vegas was part of a long-haul route between LA and Chicago via Salt Lake.

No one has ever tried running LA-Vegas as a self-contained corridor service, at least not in recent times, and when the subject came up recently there were all sorts of obstacles to getting it done -- most prominently, (1) track capacity and (2) environmental issues with adding track to deal with (1).

As far as government competence, think about it in these terms: there are very few "long-term" thinkers in American government. The capitalist/republic arrangement ensures that most decisions are based on whose political supporters will benefit most in the short run from any project or expenditure.



Date: 07/07/08 20:30
Re: Amtrak in Las Vegas?
Author: smitty195

You could take a Surfliner from San Diego to Los Angeles, and then in Los Angeles, take a luxury bus to Las Vegas:
_____
http://www.luxbusamerica.com/index.php

The Las Vegas Liner also provides many on-board amenities. The seats are very spacious and there is a foot rest, as well as, a fold down tray available for your use. There is also an on-board coach attendant who is available to help you and make your ride more comfortable. Complimentary beverages and light snacks, headphones, pillows, and blankets are available upon request. Movies are also played on the trip for your enjoyment. Sit back and enjoy the ride on the Las Vegas Liner!
_____

If you have your heart set on NOT flying, I would much rather do this than drive. But if you don't mind flying, how about Virgin America? Great airline, and they serve San Diego, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas. Forget Amtrak to Las Vegas----their management is so mixed up in the head that you might see Las Vegas service start up in 50 to 60 years, then they'll advertise a "new relaunched service to Las Vegas" with crappy equipment, broken air conditioners, a cafe car that runs out of food, and who knows what other surprises.



Date: 07/07/08 20:39
Amtrak in Las Vegas
Author: jp1822

I was a little surprised to see how long this route would actually be by rail - that is without any significant upgrades to the trackage. Course I was using the Desert Wind's timetable, which hopefully would be the minimum route timing. A dedicated track for passenger trains would be best to perhaps work on shorter trip times. This is a route that you will have to see the passenger trains running on it to believe it! It could be an interesting private/public partnership - almost similar to how NJT looks to operate the Atlantic City Express service (the casinos contributing to financing some of the commuter car upgrades and contributing a subsidy to NJT). NJT is counting on the high rollers to be comfortable in some of NJT's newest multilevel fleet after the casinos contribute money to their customization/club car atmosphere and perhaps food service offering. NJT only will operate the trains on weekends though. This is a Warrington carryover (after his resignation from NJT and untimely death), which of course has been delayed - and not because NJT doesn't want to operate the service so I've been told! I could see the same happening in Vegas - but between Amtrak and the casinos there.



Date: 07/07/08 20:47
Re: Amtrak in Las Vegas
Author: Trainphotog

To my way of thinking, it's amazing. However, the Surfliner and then luxury bus could be an option. Flying is something we do all the time and driving is okay, but sometimes it's just nice to kick back and see the country from a few feet up. If you have ever driven to Vegas on a Friday night from SD or LA for a weekend, or even worse on a long weekend, where it is bumper to bumper most of the way, you just cannot believe, even with the costs involved, that someone would not be putting in a rail line. Maybe the Vegas corporations! They have a few bucks!
Thanks for all the insight tonight! Stay safe!



Date: 07/07/08 20:51
Re: Amtrak in Las Vegas
Author: jp1822

That's all the more reaso that this "new route" could test a "private-public" passenger rail operation. Perhaps try it with new routes, rather than existing ones!



Date: 07/07/08 22:00
Re: Amtrak in Las Vegas
Author: GP25

Hey Jp1822. What Year was you looking at for the Desert Wind? When it went throught Pomona or Fullerton?



Date: 07/08/08 05:24
Re: Amtrak in Las Vegas
Author: Jishnu

GP25 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Hey Jp1822. What Year was you looking at for the
> Desert Wind? When it went throught Pomona or
> Fullerton?

When I traveled on the Desert Wind the last time it ran through Fullerton. Only the Chief used to run through Pomona/Pasadena.



Date: 07/08/08 06:02
Re: Amtrak in Las Vegas?
Author: joemvcnj

< It can't possibly be true that Amtrak doesn't have a train to Las Vegas, which is the biggest tourist destination in the U.S.
<How could any company, or even the government, be run that way?
<Is anyone competent in charge?
<If Amtrak can't make it in Las Vegas, then it can't make it in Albuquerque, either.

Your were all for yanking the Desert Wind when Tom Downs was letting Mercer Consulting borrow his brain, so I don't understand why you are complaining now. If they truncated the train out of SLC - LAs Vegas, what then ? They would have lost all access from the east, and the stub train would have eventually died anyway. What does not serving Las Vegas have to do with "making it in ABQ" ? It's one of the busiest stops on 3 & 4 (also has commuter rail feeders). So was Boise on 25/26, and you want that train gone too. So I don't know what you want except anemic stub trains and mini-corridors with 4 car day trains, and more Greyhound.



Date: 07/08/08 08:48
Re: Amtrak in Las Vegas?
Author: parts545

Amtrak needs to take over the "Amtrak Thruway" to Vegas
Last time I rode the "Amtrak" Dirty Dawg, its was crowded, hot, smelly, there were 4 extra drivers taking 2 seats each, the driver stopped every hour and took a 20 minute break, it took 10 hours to get from Union Station to Vegas
I took the real Amtrak Thruway bus Vegas-Bakersfield-LA and had a seat to myself, it was clean, cool, and got to see more trains and it took 9 hours!

Riding the Dawg sux big time!



Date: 07/08/08 09:10
Re: Amtrak in Las Vegas?
Author: CPRR

What is the train count on the UP tracks to Vegas now? The quote of track capacity needs to be questioned. Also, to get the time down, would Talgo tilt trains be best on this route? I see two train sets, with 4 trips, 2 each way, morning and evening.



Date: 07/08/08 10:34
Re: Amtrak in Las Vegas?
Author: reindeerflame

joemvcnj Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> < It can't possibly be true that Amtrak doesn't
> have a train to Las Vegas, which is the biggest
> tourist destination in the U.S.
> <How could any company, or even the government, be
> run that way?
> <Is anyone competent in charge?
> <If Amtrak can't make it in Las Vegas, then it
> can't make it in Albuquerque, either.
>
> Your were all for yanking the Desert Wind when Tom
> Downs was letting Mercer Consulting borrow his
> brain, so I don't understand why you are
> complaining now. If they truncated the train out
> of SLC - LAs Vegas, what then ? They would have
> lost all access from the east, and the stub train
> would have eventually died anyway. What does not
> serving Las Vegas have to do with "making it in
> ABQ" ? It's one of the busiest stops on 3 & 4
> (also has commuter rail feeders). So was Boise on
> 25/26, and you want that train gone too. So I
> don't know what you want except anemic stub trains
> and mini-corridors with 4 car day trains, and more
> Greyhound.


Boise didn't do anything. Market way too small.

Las Vegas, in contrast, is a huge market on an objective basis. It is also largely a tourist market, which is more along Amtrak's lines, rather than a business market. My point being that Amtrak should be able to conceive of some competitive way to serve Las Vegas by train....or otherwise any other market is doubtful, like Albuquerque. If ABQ does OK, then Las Vegas should be even stronger...by a factor of 10 or more. Both would be miles ahead of Boise, which classically served something like 6 on, 7 off.

The fact that Amtrak has not developed any kind of proposal for Las Vegas, even an unfunded one that it could take to Harry Reid, is a sign the organization lacks creativity and energy, and is basically a nonresponsive government bureaucracy. Anyone who has high hopes for Amtrak will undoubtedly be disappointed. They aren't even excited about free money. They just want people to go away and not bother them. We have to do better than that.



Date: 07/08/08 10:39
Re: Amtrak in Las Vegas
Author: GP25

Jishnu Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> GP25 Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > Hey JP1822. What Year was you looking at for
> the
> > Desert Wind? When it went through Pomona or
> > Fullerton?
>
> When I traveled on the Desert Wind the last time
> it ran through Fullerton. Only the Chief used to
> run through Pomona/Pasadena.

Hey Jishnu. At one time before 87. The Desert Wind ran through Pasadena and Pomona. I still have several timetables before they changed the routing. And I was ask JP1822 what year



Date: 07/08/08 12:30
Re: Amtrak in Las Vegas
Author: gp50

Before Amtrak YouPee ran the "Las Vegas Holiday Special" on weekends. I rode it a few times in 1967, and it seemed well-patronized. But the LA & SL route from Barstow to LV is at least 100 miles longer than the highway over Mountain Pass, and even in 'dem days people were reluctant to spend 8 hours on a train when they could drive it in 5.

Does anyone remember "The THING in the Desert" tourist trap near the Nevada State Line??



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