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A unit of CCRC, China's largest train maker, has signed a deal to help build a high-speed bullet train railway linking Las Vegas and Los Angeles.

China Railway International USA inked an accord for the project with XpressWest, a venture set up by Las Vegas-based hotel and casino developer Marnell Companies.

XpressWest and the Chinese firm said in a joint statement that the agreement would accelerate the plan for a 230-mile high-speed line between the two cities, with construction expected to start in September 2016. Finer details and financial terms weren't disclosed, though the statement said the project had initial capital of $100 million. No completion date was announced.The high-speed railway project would have stations in Las Vegas, Nevada, Victorville and Palmdale, California, and service throughout Los Angeles.

XpressWest said the trains would travel at speeds of up to 150 mph, getting passengers from Las Vegas to Los Angeles (and vice versa) in one hour and 20 minutes, versus about four hours by car. The deal was announced just days before China President Xi Jinping's visit to the U.S.

"With the environmental review process complete, all required federal right-of-way approvals in place, and having received the necessary licensing and approvals to construct and operate, XpressWest will provide a foundation for high-speed rail infrastructure in the Southwest Corridor," XpressWest said on its website.

CRRC also last week broke ground on a factory in the U.S. that will manufacture trains for Boston's subway system as part of a $556 million deal that China CNR, now part of CRRC, won almost a year ago.

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Dated: September 22nd 2015
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