The Las Vegas–LA electric high-speed rail line just broke ground

Brightline West, a future electric high-speed rail line between Las Vegas and Los Angeles, broke ground today in Nevada.

On December 6, 2023, Electrek reported that the Biden administration awarded Brightline West $3 billion in funding. The money was part of $6 billion previously earmarked for high-speed rail, and came from the Biden administration’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law as part of its Federal-State Partnership Program. (The other $3 billion will go to the public high-speed Los Angeles to San Francisco rail project, which has more than 100 miles of a high-speed line under construction.)

Brightline West will be a privately owned, 218-mile, all-electric high-speed rail service that will include a flagship station in Las Vegas (pictured above), with additional stations in Apple Valley, Hesperia, and Rancho Cucamonga. At speeds of more than 186 miles per hour, trains will take passengers from Las Vegas to Rancho Cucamonga, which is 37 miles east of downtown Los Angeles, in just 2 hours and 10 minutes – twice as fast as the normal drive time. 

Florida-based Brightline Holdings is expected to model the Las Vegas-LA rail line on its high-speed route between Miami and Orlando – the US’s only privately owned and operated intercity passenger railroad.

Brightline West estimates it will remove 3 million cars from I-15 annually, reducing over 400,000 tons of carbon emissions annually. It also anticipates creating an astounding 35,000 union jobs. The federal funding will enable the project, which is aiming to open by 2028, to begin construction.

Rick Harnish, executive director of the national nonprofit High Speed Rail Alliance, said today:

This is a transformational investment in American trains.

Getting a high-speed line in operation this decade will show Americans this terrific way to travel. If you have ever felt frustrated by traffic gridlock or airport hassles, a better future just got closer.

Read more: The US’s busiest rail corridor just got a $16.4B boost – why that’s huge

Photos: Brightline West

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