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Western Railroad Discussion > More on Las Vegas and the LA&SL


Date: 04/07/21 13:35
More on Las Vegas and the LA&SL
Author: StStephen

mapboy started lively discussions in the past week about BNSF’s Barstow ramp and Las Vegas traffic, including other threads about the LA&SL/Las Vegas. I had mentioned I am involved with several pending development and construction projects in the Las Vegas area. In addition, I’ve been involved with a Salt Lake City project. Those threads got me to thinking…
 
the greater Salt Lake City area has been an exploding market for some time now: a lot of manufacturing/processing plants are being built there, as well distribution facilities. It is greatly positioned for the West Coast, and the business environment is many times better than CA, OR or WA. UP gets limited traffic out of SLC compared to OTR truckers, and UP’s intermodal schedules aren’t exactly “hot”.  There are several large DCs that EACH individually send out more trucks to the West Coast than UP’s relatively new ramp there does.
 
I had not thought a lot about industrial facilities moving to LV until just recently: it is really starting to grow. The state of NV is relatively business-friendly.  The Las Vegas market is a very large consuming market, with some mining and a few other heavy industries around. But California’s challenging business climate and the growth of e-commerce are fueling a new explosion in the Las Vegas area. One of my projects is primarily to serve local consumers, but the other is a fairly large West Coast DC. Without giving away the “who”, suffice it to say that just this one facility – if built – will probably ship at least five times as many truckloads to the West Coast than UP sends out of its ramp. And it is one of many new DCs planned for the area. The amount of industrial land currently being entitled in the valley is huge.
 
The nature of logistics/supply chains is changing rapidly. Covid took what was evolving and turned it into an avalanche. How goods are distributed is demanding a much different level of service than even five years ago. I don’t see PSR fitting into that model at all. Las Vegas was once mainly supplied by the DCs of the LA Basin, but that is changing. UP runs loads from Chicago only into Las Vegas; they move a few loads and a lot of empties out of LV to Los Angeles (East Yard in Commerce): there is not a return trip to Chicago, at least in their schedules.  But as trucking was historically loads into LV, empties out, that is now shifting. More loads are going out from both RDCs and NDCs (regional/national). BNSF seems to understand something is changing. UP does not appear to “get it”. Las Vegas will become a larger industrial base by quite a bit than it is now: what will UP do about that? Or will it be another large population center where railroading is a bit player?
 
Bruce
 



Date: 04/07/21 13:39
Re: More on Las Vegas and the LA&SL
Author: Lackawanna484

Las Vegas has a good supply of skilled and semi-skilled labor. Also young, and attracting an inflow of population.   All good elements for starting or expanding a business.



Date: 04/07/21 14:47
Re: More on Las Vegas and the LA&SL
Author: Copy19

A very tight water supply is going to limit growth.  Lake Mead's water, now at record low levels due to climate change, is carefully allocated among its numerous users in Nevada, Arizona and California.  I think Mexico might get some too.

JB - Omaha



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 04/07/21 15:07 by Copy19.



Date: 04/07/21 15:11
Re: More on Las Vegas and the LA&SL
Author: callum_out

"Due to climatye change", yah right, like the drought in the 1400s that drove the cliff dwellers out of Mesa Verde, too many SUVs! So St. George (Washington County UT) and it's 10,000
homes over one million dollars took the bull by the horns and announced a pipline direct to Lake Powell. Lotsa luck. We haven't had measureable rainfall in over a year and yes it's pretty 
dry South of Vegas. The water situation needs to be addressed, it is serious. The only long term solution is going to be desal and water piped East, going to be expensive but at some 
point some regional authority is going to have to bite the bullet. We're all hoping for increased Monsoonal Flow this year but the high pressure dome over the West has pretty well stylied
that so far. Droughts have happened many times before, but now is the time to do some real planning. 

Out 



Date: 04/07/21 16:21
Re: More on Las Vegas and the LA&SL
Author: MSE

For the record, we do not know that Lake Mead's level is due to global warming. 

And, for those who are not aware, I am an atmospheric scientist who has studied this a great deal. 



-------------------------------------------------------
> A very tight water supply is going to limit
> growth.  Lake Mead's water, now at record low
> levels due to climate change, is carefully
> allocated among its numerous users in Nevada,
> Arizona and California.  I think Mexico might
> get some too.
>
> JB - Omaha



Date: 04/07/21 16:33
Re: More on Las Vegas and the LA&SL
Author: czuleget

Poketo mas Auga for Mexico.   but not much.



Date: 04/07/21 17:21
Re: More on Las Vegas and the LA&SL
Author: callum_out

Last year was awful for Monsoons, Phoenix got a bit but up the Colorado River Valley, nothing, odd year. Vegas
had a couple decent rains, 90 miles away, notsomuch.

Out 



Date: 04/07/21 17:46
Re: More on Las Vegas and the LA&SL
Author: Lackawanna484

Weather extremes are getting more frequent here in South Florida. Fewer total storms, but more high impact storms.

Insurance rates have begun to reflect that...

Posted from Android



Date: 04/08/21 00:39
Re: More on Las Vegas and the LA&SL
Author: BurtNorton

I'm actually in the initial development phase of developing a new switching railroad and associated transload in the Las Vegas area.   Lots of potential in this area based upon my extensive market research.   For the sake of full disclosure, the start-up date is about 24 months away.   

 



Date: 04/08/21 06:02
Re: More on Las Vegas and the LA&SL
Author: Copy19

Rain has little impact on the Colorado River.  It's the snowpack In the Colorado Rockies that drives the show.

JB - Omaha

callum_out Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Last year was awful for Monsoons, Phoenix got a
> bit but up the Colorado River Valley, nothing, odd
> year. Vegas
> had a couple decent rains, 90 miles away,
> notsomuch.
>
> Out 



Date: 04/08/21 10:08
Re: More on Las Vegas and the LA&SL
Author: callum_out

Pardon me sir, but rain does help our ground water sourcing, we don't pull out of the Colorado river for local water.

Out 



Date: 04/08/21 11:14
Re: More on Las Vegas and the LA&SL
Author: wyeth

callum_out Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Pardon me sir, but rain does help our ground water
> sourcing, we don't pull out of the Colorado river
> for local water.
>
> Out 

But John is still correct, most of the water in the Colorado River comes from the Rockies in Colorado and NE Utah.  The Rockies have been hit by what is very likely a change in the climate, as for many years now, the snow packs have been below, to way below average (except for the occasional odd year of good snow).

Also, good luck on getting that water piped from other long distance sources - there is already A LOT of fighting over the ever increasingly scarce water supplies, and those places are not likely to give up their water rights.  Historically, larger numbers of people haven't lived in desert areas for a reason - lack of water.  This problem is only going to get A LOT worse.



Date: 04/08/21 11:21
Re: More on Las Vegas and the LA&SL
Author: jst3751

callum_out Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Pardon me sir, but rain does help our ground water
> sourcing, we don't pull out of the Colorado river
> for local water.
>
> Out 

Well pardon you... Well maybe not...

Maybe try, just try, keeping your mouth shut.

John made an undeniably and unquestionable true statement.

Trying to twist his statement to fit your particular circumstances is just sad.



Date: 04/08/21 11:31
Re: More on Las Vegas and the LA&SL
Author: wyeth

rantoul Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
  
> Not sure how you draw that conclusion.  Does BNSF
> serve Las Vegas?  In the last decade UP has
> completely rebuilt Las Vegas operations ('Las
> Vegas' means the whole Valley, not just the
> City).  I suspect UP knows a bit more about Las
> Vegas railroad economics than most observers...see
> 1st comment.

I'm sure "StStephen" is well aware that BNSF doesn't "directly" serve Las Vegas with a rail line; however though, it does in-directly via their new ramp in Barstow, which is close enough for draying.  A good clue to this is the volume of "JB Hunt Intermodal" domestic containers traveling on I-15 between these two points.

As for comparing BNSF and UP's intermodal logistics operations, StStephen is probably meaning as a comparison for both of their entire systems, not just in Las Vegas.  Where BNSF and UP compete, in most locations, BNSF is definitely dominant in intermodal, usually handling the higher value/premium traffic and UP having to settle for the "lower hanging fruit".



Date: 04/08/21 11:44
Re: More on Las Vegas and the LA&SL
Author: mapboy

Here's the TO thread on the Barstow ramp, which included comments about the Las Vegas market-  
https://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?1,5227038,5227451#msg-5227451

mapboy



Date: 04/08/21 13:56
Re: More on Las Vegas and the LA&SL
Author: callum_out

So jst3751 since I twisted what was said to suit my situation you might want to know that 25% of the Summer water in Las Vegas comes
as groundwater. In fact 100% of the back up supply is ground water. The is some irrigation access South of Vegas off the Colorado but the
bulk of our water comes from pumping. The Laake Mead access is finite and determined, growth will need to come from other sources.

Out 



Date: 04/08/21 14:04
Re: More on Las Vegas and the LA&SL
Author: jst3751

callum_out Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> So jst3751 since I twisted what was said to suit
> my situation you might want to know that 25% of
> the Summer water in Las Vegas comes
> as groundwater. In fact 100% of the back up supply
> is ground water. The is some irrigation access
> South of Vegas off the Colorado but the
> bulk of our water comes from pumping. The Laake
> Mead access is finite and determined, growth will
> need to come from other sources.
>
> Out 

NOBODY has disputed that fact. 

Your problem is you can not accept the FACT that John (Copy19) posted without having to make some kind of counter point, to which there is none.

Gro up and move on.

If someone on here posts a undeniable and unquestionable fact, who the h**k are you to try to downplay it?



Date: 04/08/21 16:14
Re: More on Las Vegas and the LA&SL
Author: kyrasmus

Although water demand in the southwest is definitely a topic to be debated on a national scale, this post was about intermodal traffic in the SLC-LA corridor...

UP's ramp at Valley is nowhere near adequate for how much the Vegas area is growing. While land is probably still cheap(ish), UP should do themselves a favor a convert the area around the siding at Dike into a bonified intermodal ramp. Also as noted correctly, the only containers coming in are from Chicago, getting blocked onto manfiest trains through the yard at North Platte. If they gathered the loads at Salt Lake City, not only would they be able to provide faster service from Chicago via the daily ZG2SC trains, they also could access traffic from KC, St. Louis and Marion via INPOA trains. 

I know many years ago the city of North Las Vegas was actively pursuing an inland port, similar to what Salt Lake City is working on. Have not heard for years where that initiative ended up.

Kyle Rasmussen
Centerville, UT



Date: 04/08/21 16:20
Re: More on Las Vegas and the LA&SL
Author: callum_out

Water ties into this directly as it is the limiting factor on growth. There is no need to increase traffic on 15, what needs to be increased is a local site to Vegas
and Apex would be a great choice. 

Out 



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