Las Vegas station, November 1982
|Location||100 South Main Street Las Vegas, NV 89101|
|Owned by||Plaza Hotel & Casino|
|Line(s)||Union Pacific Railroad|
|Platforms||1 side platform|
|Opened||July 7, 1979|
|Closed||May 12, 1997|
Las Vegas station is a former passenger railroad station in Las Vegas, Nevada. It is connected to the rear of the Plaza Hotel & Casino and was in service from 1971 until the demise of the Desert Wind in 1997.
Las Vegas Union Pacific Station
Prior to the construction of the casino, part of the site was used for a Streamline Moderne train station. Constructed in 1940, the station was upgraded with neon lights in 1946. This station was demolished in 1971 and replaced by the Union Plaza Hotel, which included a small waiting room to be used as a station for Amtrak trains.
Union Plaza Hotel and Casino station
The Union Plaza Hotel and Casino, originally called the Union Plaza in reference to the Union Pacific railroad station that stood at the site, opened on July 2, 1971. Its original owners included local businessmen: Sam Boyd, Howard Cannon, Jackie Gaughan, and Frank Scott.
From 1990 to 1992, the red neon object was installed at the top of the neon sign.
Before the discontinuation of the Desert Wind train route on May 10, 1997, Amtrak's Las Vegas, Nevada station was located at the Plaza. The station and ticket windows were directly connected to the hotel. It was the only train station in the United States located in a casino. The Las Vegas Limited also served the station during the service's short existence.
Today, Las Vegas is served by Greyhound bus from the Salt Lake City Intermodal Hub in Salt Lake City, Utah. Its two Las Vegas bus stops are located at McCarran International Airport and in Downtown Las Vegas, near Union Plaza station.
Amtrak plans for restoration of Las Vegas rail service surfaced almost immediately after the discontinuation of the Desert Wind. These plans recommended using Talgo trains between Los Angeles and Las Vegas, similar to Amtrak's Cascades route in the Pacific Northwest. This plan was never implemented and Las Vegas went without passenger rail service. Las Vegas is one of the largest metro areas in the US without passenger rail service.
In 2005 DesertXpress Enterprises LLC was formed in an attempt to restore passenger rail service to Las Vegas. They officially released their plan to construct a high-speed route to SoCal later that year. In 2009, after years of environmental reports, determining right of way, and debating over what federal agency would have regulatory authority, Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood announced the official recognition of DesertXpress as a high-speed route.
In early 2011, DesertXpress applied for a federal, $5 billion loan through the FRAs RRIF. If approved this would be the largest single amount loaned out since the program began. This contradicted original statements made by DesertXpress Enterprises, that they would not use any taxpayer funds. This loan request came months before the final EIS was approved.
Their XpressWest project is a plan to construct a 185 mi (298 km) high-speed route from Las Vegas to Southern California. The terminus of this line, Victorville, has been criticized due to its distance from Downtown Los Angeles, the place long considered to be the prime location for any high-speed rail terminal. Victorville, approximately 85 miles from Los Angeles, was chosen due to the cost of building high-speed rail infrastructure in urban areas, such as the Los Angeles metropolitan area.
A competing company, Las Vegas Railway Express, also plans to begin passenger rail service between Las Vegas and Southern California, though at lower speeds.
- Marroquin, Art (August 21, 2016). "Rails remain, but Amtrak left Las Vegas with the Desert Wind". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved March 4, 2018.
- "Art Deco Train Stations". Agilitynut.com. Retrieved 2008-09-02.
- "UP Railroad Station 1946 – Las Vegas". Flickr.com. Retrieved 2008-09-02.
- "Milestones • XpressWest Website". Xpresswest.com. Retrieved 31 July 2017.
- "DesertXpress rail project going after tax dollars, after all". Vegasinc.com. 21 February 2011. Retrieved 31 July 2017.
Media related to Las Vegas, Nevada (Amtrak station) at Wikimedia Commons