Las Vegas-L.A. Rail Drops Chinese Partner Over Regulatory Issues

  • Decision based on difficulties to move ‘timely, efficiently’
  • XpressWest to pursue other partnerships for implementation

XpressWest, the company developing a high-speed railway connecting Las Vegas and Los Angeles, has terminated its joint venture with a Chinese consortium over performance and U.S. regulatory issues.

The decision to end the partnership with China Railway International U.S.A. Co., a consortium that includes China Railway Corp. and China Railway Engineering Corp., is based on difficulties with moving the project forward, the Las Vegas-based company said in a statement. XpressWest said it will pursue other partnerships for implementation.

“Our ambitions outpace CRI’s ability to move the project forward timely and efficiently,” Tony Marnell, chief executive officer of XpressWest, said in the statement. “XpressWest is undeterred by this development and remains dedicated to completing its high-speed passenger rail project.”

The project faces challenges because of a federal requirement that high-speed trains must be manufactured in the U.S., according to the statement. The “inflexible requirement” has become a barrier to financing high-speed rail in the country, the statement said.

XpressWest is “precipitate and irresponsible” in making the statement while its talks with China Railway International were still going on, Xinhua News Agency reported, citing a manager of the Chinese group responsible for the venture. The unilateral announcement violated the cooperation framework agreement signed by the two sides, the report cited the manager as saying.

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