Los Angeles

Farewell, 15 Freeway: The SoCal-to-Sin-City Train

Will LA revelers ride the rails to their Strip celebrations?

There are certain words, terms, and phrases that become more common in a person's everyday speech upon moving to Los Angeles, and "party bus" may be chief among them.

You've seen these rockin' rides on the Sunset Strip, but, as of this typing, other forms of transportation -- party hot air balloons and party zeppelins and party go carts -- haven't yet captured the public's whim.

"Party train," however, just might, thanks to The X Train, the latest Las Vegas-bound rail ride project stirring up a whole bunch of buzz among Sin City-loving Angelenos. 

The "party train" handle might stick -- the catchy handle appears on LAist -- though "fancy train," which is how LA Magazine defined it, could be The X Train's ultimate nickname. Time, and future riders, and the on-board reveling and socializing that ensues, will set the tone. 

So will it be partyriffic or posh? Maybe a bit of both? Questions, questions. 

"Our Project is to re-open a passenger rail route between Los Angeles and Las Vegas," says the X Train. A timeline on the company's web site gives September 2009 as the start date for the project; other financial milestones and approvals dot the locomotive's multi-year history.

The Las Vegas end point is set for downtown, at The Plaza Hotel. As for the first run? The X Train is aiming at New Year's Eve.

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But the riders' Sin City vacation would start early, per The X Train -- "Cars reflect a Vegas atmosphere," says the site, and the dress of train staff would reflect "the special event of the week in Las Vegas."

VIP seating at $750 per round trip and a High Roller Suite, as befits the destination, are part of The X Train's offerings. (Yes, a "butler attendant" caters to VIP guests, just so you know.) About 350 seats will be sold at a lower price point in Coach Class. (Lower price point=$99 each way.)

The schedule, as of now, would be a Friday-to-Vegas, Sunday-to-SoCal run, a run that is predicted to shave a few hours off the ol' 15 Freeway route.

If passenger train service takes flight -- or, rather, takes to the rail -- in a regular way in years to come, will the time-honored Vegas road trip movie embrace this new twist? Think of films like "The Hangover" and "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas." Much of the plot unwinds on the asphalt ahead of arriving in the Land o' Neon and Slots.

Perhaps The X Train will not only introduce a new expedited way to Sin City for weekend-ready SoCalers, but fresh plot ideas to SoCal-based, Sin City-obsessed screenwriters.

Want more on the train, including projections and photographs? All aboard.

Want to inquire about tickets? They go on sale in September. 

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