X Train looks destined for North Las Vegas platform

It will be another month before North Las Vegas City Council members look to sign off on a long-awaited adults-only party train between Southern California and North Las Vegas.

That means it will be at least another year before the so-called X Train — set to feature cocktails, live entertainment and two party-equipped ultra lounges — can arrive via existing Amtrak rail at an as-yet unbuilt station sited near Interstate 15.

Las Vegas-based Las Vegas Railway Express has kept shovels handy in the meantime, surveying 20 city-owned acres near the intersection of Craig and Losee roads with an eye toward breaking ground as soon as council members give the go-ahead.

The company hopes to take the X Train on a trial run on New Year’s Eve and officially open the new platform to Fullerton’s teeming, champagne-soaked masses by the end of next July.

Company COO of Passenger Services and Marketing Penny Stegeman said disembarking passengers can expect to find a fleet of limos and company-hired shuttles waiting for them once they arrive.

“We’ve got a (request for proposal) in place for shuttles and taxis headed to the center of the Strip,” Stegeman said. “We’re going to have a lot of all-inclusive travel packages in place, so that will be part of the deal.”

The party train looks set to carry as many as 1,200 passengers on its maiden five-hour voyage, with all-inclusive travel packages and private on-board bachelor and bachelorette parties set to pad sales of a typical $99 one-way ticket.

The expected announcement of a North Las Vegas-based X Train drop-off comes after several years of research into alternate locations for the platform, which looked destined for a downtown Las Vegas drop-off at the Plaza as recently as last month.

The X Train’s planned future home at 4140 Frehner Road isn’t regarded as the most glamorous location in the Las Vegas Valley. It’s also about a 15-minute drive from to the heart of the Strip, though Stegeman doubts passengers will want for things to do.

“There’s the Cannery (Hotel and Casino) and restaurants around; there’s things to do,” she said. “We were looking at a piece of land off Decatur (Boulevard) and another piece of property downtown, but there’s just not enough room out there, especially when we expand to nine trains.

“We were also impressed by just how receptive (City Council members) were to the project — that’s been a real breath of fresh air.”

Count Isaac Barron among the X Train’s City Hall cheerleaders.

The recently elected City Councilman couldn’t be happier for a project he expects will bring approximately 80,000 tourists through Ward 1 every week.

“Are you kidding me? I love it,” he said. “We have to find out a little bit more about it, but I’m leaning toward (approving) it because these are the kind of developments that I think we want in North Las Vegas.”

City leaders haven’t said which August meeting will see a vote on final approval for the project. Once operational, company officials hope to run X Train departures on Thursday and Friday, with return trips on Sundays.

Contact Centennial and North Las Vegas View reporter James DeHaven at jdehaven@viewnews.com or 702-477-3839.

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