Las Vegas-LA high-speed rail project cuts ties with Chinese construction group


    XpressWest, the company proposing to build a 300-kilometre high-speed railway between Las Vegas and Los Angeles, has terminated its joint venture with China Railway International (CRI).

    The company said the decision to end its partnership with CRI was due to “difficulties associated with timely performance” and “CRI’s challenges in obtaining required authority to proceed with required development activities”.

    XpressWest and CRI established the joint venture in September 2015 to help finance, build and operate the line, which will link Las Vegas to Los Angeles.

    Tony Marnell, chief executive of XpressWest, said: “The team at XpressWest is optimistic CRI and its affiliates will one-day succeed in establishing a viable presence in the United States rail market, however, our ambitions outpace CRI’s ability to move the project forward timely and efficiently.

    “XpressWest is undeterred by this development and remains dedicated to completing its high-speed passenger rail project. XpressWest will now aggressively pursue other available development partnerships and options expected to result in a more efficient and cost-effective project implementation experience.”

    XpressWest expects to receive the final environmental approvals for the Victorville-Palmdale section of the route by September. But the company still has to overcome the hurdle of finding a manufacturer to build the trains.

    “Our biggest challenge continues to be the Federal Government’s requirement that high-speed trains must be manufactured in the United States,” said Marnell.

    “As everyone knows, there are no high-speed trains manufactured in the United States. This inflexible requirement has been a fundamental barrier to financing high-speed rail in our country.”




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