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China joins project to build high-speed rail between Los Angeles and Las Vegas

Sharon Hahn Darlin / Flickr

China is getting in on Las Vegas' controversial high-speed rail plans. XpressWest has announced a new partnership with a consortium led by the China Railway Group. Together, the groups plan to construct a high-speed rail system between Los Angeles and Las Vegas, spanning 185 miles of exclusive track. In a joint press release, the companies described the partnership as a major step forward for the rail plans: "The decision to form a joint venture is the culmination of years of work and builds upon the significant accomplishments of XpressWest."

According to the release, implementation of the partnership will begin in the next 100 days, spurred by an initial investment of $100 million. The project is not expected to break ground until September of 2016. The final cost of the project is still unclear, but a version proposed by XpressWest earlier this year projected its total cost at $6.9 billion.

The route proposed by XpressWest

The route will largely follow the I-15 corridor, with intermediate stations in Victorville and Palmdale, California. The company projects an 80-minute trip, reaching top speeds of 150 miles per hour, with an average round trip fare of $85. "XpressWest will provide a foundation for high speed rail infrastructure in the Southwest Corridor," the company site reads. "High speed rail represents the future of sustainable, green, high capacity and efficient transportation in the United States."