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DesertXpress Vegas-California rail project renamed

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POSTED June 11, 2012 8:15 p.m.

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Developers planning high-speed rail service between Las Vegas and Southern California announced Monday they are giving the project a new name.

DesertXpress Enterprises is rebranding the project XpressWest to reflect its goal of a larger rail network across the western U.S.

The privately held company wants to build a high-speed line between Las Vegas and Victorville, Calif. In an exchange of letters last week, project organizers set the stage for talks with the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority to explore extending the line further west to Palmdale.

The California agency, known as Metro, has no financial stake in the extended line.

"We have no agreement with this agency," Metro spokesman Dave Sotero said. "We are having early discussions to share data."

The company has asked the Obama administration for a loan to cover the bulk of the cost of building a train from Victorville to Las Vegas.

Developers promise a train that shortens the trip between Las Vegas and Victorville to 80 minutes, at an average of $89 round-trip.

But critics say the project relies on the unlikely premise that Los Angeles residents will drive 100 miles from their homes to board the train and finish their trip.


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