XpressWest, a private venture by a Las Vegas-based hotel and casino developer, was given the green light in 2011 to construct and operate the 370 kilometre high-speed line, according to its website. “It shows the advancement of China-made high-speed railways”. Mr. Su. He added that both countries share common interests and have solid foundation for cooperation.
XpressWest and the Chinese firms said in their statement that the accord would help accelerate the plan for a 230-mile high-speed line, with an expected construction start date of September 2016. Proponents of high-speed rail say it will create jobs and bring American infrastructure and technology up to speed (so to speak) with those nations.
The deal marks the latest attempt in China’s increasingly aggressive pursuit of overseas high-speed rail deals after the country built the world’s longest network in less than a decade. Investment-grade ridership studies, a prerequisite for obtaining project financing, demonstrate the Southern Nevada-Southern California corridor is a robust market for future rail passengers.
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”.
Gary Wong, an analyst at Guotai Junan Securities, estimated that the XpressWest project was worth US$5 billion, which he said would likely offer the many Chinese companies involved little financial benefit.
The same month, the Russian government signed a memorandum of cooperation on a high-speed railroad with Chinese officials. Last October, China clinched a 7 million contract to supply train cars for Boston’s subway system.
Xi Jinping’s state visit to the U.S., is a milestone in China’s efforts to market its high-speed rail technology in advanced economies.
“The United States market is huge because the fact is that their railway tracks and facilities are aging and need upgrading”, vice chief economist Cao said. “And if [their technology] is used in the United States, it will be easier for them to sell to other countries”.