LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com/AP) — China is bowing out of a partnership to help make a high-speed rail line between the Southland and Las Vegas a reality.

U.S. firm XpressWest says the company has terminated its joint venture activities with China Railway International (CRI) on the project, which already has approval to go from Vegas to the desert city of Victorville, about a 100-mile drive from Los Angeles.

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In a statement, XpressWest said the decision to terminate the partnership “was based primarily upon difficulties associated with timely performance and CRI’s challenges in obtaining required authority to proceed with required development activities.”

“The team at XpressWest is optimistic CRI and its affiliates will one day succeed in establishing a viable presence in the United States rail market, however, our ambitions outpace CRI’s ability to move the project forward timely and efficiently,” said XpressWest CEO Tony Marnell.

 (Image courtesy XpressWest)

(Image courtesy XpressWest)

When the partnership was first announced last September, XpressWest had received $100 million in initial capital and expected “implementation” to begin within 100 days.

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Touted as being able to transport riders from Victorville to Vegas in about 80 minutes, the multi-billion project is expected to offer trains leaving every 20 minutes and tickets costing as little as $75, according to the Victorville Daily Press.

The rail line – dubbed the “Southwest Rail Network”) – would have stations located in Vegas, Victorville, and Palmdale, with service running throughout Los Angeles, according to the company.

Officials are expected to complete an environmental impact report for the Victorville-Palmdale segment of the line no later than September.

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