Forget the rumors. If the wildly ambitious, multi-billion dollar high speed train link between Southern California and Las Vegas comes to fruition, the local train terminal will not be headed anywhere near the Rio.
Newly filed paperwork confirms Virgin Trains USA intends to build a two-story train station on the empty plot of land bordered by I-15 and Las Vegas Boulevard, defined on maps as between Robindale Road and El Dorado Lane.
Sitting across from the Las Vegas South Premium Outlets, the electric-powered train journey would take 90 minutes to travel to and from Victorville, California, 60 miles from Los Angeles.
Boldy hoping for a 2023 launch, the train network’s estimated $4 billion budget will also cover a 2,400 space parking garage on the eastern side of the land, with easy access to El Dorado Lane. The company sees future commercial tenants moving onto the remainder of the footprint.
Inside, on the ground floor, the depot allocated space for five retail or dining tenants and a large area set aside for outdoor dining. The seating faces the outlet mall, not the arriving SCB-40 diesel-electric locomotives.
Upstairs, the dining and shopping experience touts 13 possible outlets, plus two smart lounges and a lounge for first-class passengers.
Possible restaurant tenants have not been announced, but Virgin Trains’ MiamiCentral station on its Miami to West Palm Beach line and a prototype for the West Coast rail link currently hosts Einstein Bros. Bagels and Joe & The Juice, with a 24-hour Starbucks and grocery store on the way later this year.
The forthcoming station, which sits just under four miles from Mandalay Bay on the south end of the Strip, allocated sections for shuttle buses, taxis, and ride share and touted its proximity to bus stops along Las Vegas Boulevard.
Virgin offers no timetable to break ground on the project. Virgin Hotels Las Vegas is scheduled to open inside the former Hard Rock Hotel in late fall, about five miles to the northeast of the train terminal.