Construction Starts on High-Speed Rail Line from Vegas to LA

April 23, 2024|


LAS VEGAS, Nev. – Zero-emission train manufacturer and developer Brightline broke ground April 22 on a high-speed passenger rail line from Las Vegas to the Los Angeles area that could trim the travel time from about four hours by car to two hours, 10 minutes by train.

The $12 billion project, dubbed Brightline West – which stretches from Las Vegas to Rancho Cucamonga, 40 miles east of Los Angeles – is Brightline’s second all-electric, high-speed train corridor. Its first began carrying train travelers from Miami to Orlando 18 months ago.

Funding for a good chunk of the Vegas to LA rail project comes via a $3 billion federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act grant with state match. Another $2.5 billion to go toward the massive project comes from private activity bonds via the US Dept. of Transportation.

Geotechnical engineer and designer Atlas Technical Consultants is a project partner on the venture, which seeks to build 218 miles of passenger rail infrastructure, approximately 96 percent of which will align with the median of the Interstate 15 highway, skirting the Mojave Desert.

“Our trains are capable of reaching a top speed of 200 miles per hour,” said Brightline CEO Mike Reininger. “This high-speed network will be the first to connect Las Vegas with Southern California.”

According to USDOT, more than 85 percent of travelers currently drive the route from Las Vegas to LA and back. A total of 50 million annual trips occur between these destination cities. Brightline’s business model supports the goal of serving at least 11 million passengers annually.

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