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High-speed rail line between Las Vegas, Los Angeles area breaks ground

The CEO of the company in charge of the project says he expects it to be in operation before Los Angeles hosts the Summer Olympics in 2028.
High-speed rail line between Las Vegas, Los Angeles area breaks ground
Posted at 5:02 PM, Apr 22, 2024

A new $12 billion rail system connecting Nevada to Southern California is officially breaking ground.

Brightline West's 218-mile system will run within the median of Interstate 15 with zero grade crossings. The route will have stops in Las Vegas as well as Victor Valley, Hesperia and Rancho Cucamonga, California. 

The project is touted as the first true high-speed passenger rail line in the nation, designed to reach speeds of 186 mph, comparable to Japan's Shinkansen bullet trains.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said in a statement that the project, expected to start boarding passengers by 2028, is predicted to bring "thousands of union jobs, new connections to better economic opportunity, less congestion on the roads, and less pollution in the air."

Brightline, whose sister company already operates a fast train between Miami and Orlando in Florida, received $6.5 billion in backing from the Biden administration, including a $3 billion grant from federal infrastructure funds and approval to sell another $2.5 billion in tax-exempt bonds. The company won federal authorization in 2020 to sell $1 billion in similar bonds.

"This is a historic project and a proud moment," said Brightline Holdings founder and Chairperson Wes Edens in a statement. "Today is long overdue."

SEE MORE: Would high-speed rail work in the US?

The Las Vegas station will be located near the iconic Las Vegas Strip, on a 110-acre property north of Blue Diamond Road between I-15 and Las Vegas Boulevard. The 80,000-square-foot site provides convenient access to the Harry Reid International Airport, the Las Vegas Convention Center and the Raiders' Allegiant Stadium.

The Victor Valley Station in Apple Valley will be located on a 300-acre parcel southeast of Dale Evans Parkway and the I-15 interchange. The 20,000-square-foot station is intended to offer a future connection to the High Desert Corridor and California High Speed Rail.

The Hesperia Station will be located within the I-15 median at the I-15/Joshua Street interchange and will function primarily as a local rail service for residents in the High Desert on select southbound morning and northbound evening weekday trains.

The Rancho Cucamonga Station will be located on a 5-acre property at the northwest corner of Milliken Avenue and Azusa Court near Ontario International Airport. The 80,000-square-foot station will be co-located with existing multi-modal transportation options including California Metrolink, for seamless connectivity to Downtown Los Angeles and other locations in Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino and Riverside Counties.

This story was originally published on Scripps News Las Vegas. It was published here with additional reporting from The Associated Press.

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