Construction Begins on High-Speed Rail From Southern California to Las Vegas

Construction Begins on High-Speed Rail From Southern California to Las Vegas

Rendering of a high-speed rail line planned between Los Angeles and Las Vegas. (Courtesy of Brightline West)

City News Service

City News Service

4/23/2024

Updated: 4/23/2024

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LOS ANGELES—A high-speed rail line between Southern California and Las Vegas is one step closer to reality with the start of construction on the project.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg was among the dignitaries on hand for the groundbreaking ceremony on April 22 south of the famed Las Vegas Strip.
“This day is a major milestone in building the future of American rail and the jobs that come with it,” Mr. Buttigieg posted on social media ahead of the event. “We’re supporting this pivotal project with billions of dollars from President Biden’s infrastructure law.”
The $12 billion Brightline West project will be a fully electric, zero-emission system that officials say will be one of the greenest forms of transportation in the United States. The project is expected to bolster tourism, create 35,000 jobs, ease traffic on I-15, and cut more than 400,000 tons of carbon pollution each year, Brightline officials said.
The line will include a flagship station in Las Vegas, with additional stations in Apple Valley, Hesperia, and Rancho Cucamonga. The Rancho Cucamonga Station will also connect to Southern California’s regional Metrolink service, allowing for connectivity into downtown Los Angeles and beyond.
The 218-mile rail line will primarily run along the Interstate 15 median with trains capable of reaching 186 mph or more, cutting the trip to 2 hours, 10 minutes—half the time to travel by car, officials said.
The U.S. Department of Transportation in January announced $2.5 billion in bond funds for the project. The DOT previously approved a private activity bond allocation of $1 billion for Brightline West in 2020. In December, the DOT awarded a $3 billion grant from Biden’s infrastructure bill to the Nevada Department of Transportation for the project, and last June, the DOT awarded a $25 million grant to the San Bernardino County Transportation Authority through the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity Program that will be used for the construction of Brightline West stations in Hesperia and Victor Valley, California.
The tentative goal is to have the line open by 2028, in time for the Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.
More information about the project can be found at brightlinewest.com.
Map of a high-speed rail line planned between Los Angeles and Las Vegas. (Courtesy of Brightline West)

Map of a high-speed rail line planned between Los Angeles and Las Vegas. (Courtesy of Brightline West)

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