Ahead of Xi Jinping’s visit to the US, Chinese officials blew the lid on a proposal to work with a private consortium to link up the cities of Los Angeles and Las Vegas with high-speed rail.
XpressWest, a private developer which has been looking to build such a line for the past few years but was unable to secure financing, recently announced details of the joint venture with China Railway International USA, a consortium led by China Railway Corporation, the national operator of China’s railways.
While existing plans call for a 185-mile route which will run adjacent to the busy Interstate 15 running from Las Vegas to Victorville, Chinese officials are describing the project as a 230-mile (or 370-kilometer) line with an additional stop in Palmdale.
The Los Angeles Times reports that China Railway International USA has already pledged initial capital of $100 million towards the project and are confident that construction could begin as early as September 2016.
“As China’s first high-speed railway project in the United States, the project will be a landmark in overseas investment for the Chinese railway sector and serve as a model of international cooperation,” said Yang Zhongmin, chairman of China Railway International Co Ltd.
While certainly a major step forward for Sino-US relations, these plans are far less ambitious than proposals by the Chinese Academy of Engineering to build a high-speed railway which would connect the two countries.
[Images via Los Angeles Times // ExpressWest]
By Dominic Jackson