It’s been a long road to follow, with a lot of starts and stops. But now the Brightline High-Speed rail from Las Angeles to Las Vegas is fast becoming a reality.
As of last week, the entire line, including the extension from Victor Valley to Rancho Cucamonga, California, has passed the environmental review process.
“The FRA’s Finding of No Significant Impact confirms the environmental benefits of the project extending into Greater Los Angeles at Rancho Cucamonga,” said Sarah Watterson, president of Brightline West.
She added, “Having permits and right of way are typically the highest barriers to success for large-scale infrastructure developments, and Brightline West’s tremendous progress here signifies why we are moving towards a ground-break later this year.”
With the environmental approval in place, Brightline is still on track to break ground on the long-talked-about project at the end of the year, with the goal of having it in operation beginning in 2027.
Brightline and the Nevada Department of Transportation recently applied for $3.75 billion in federal funding that would be used toward the $12 billion construction cost of the rail system.
Brightline CEO Mike Reininger noted, “That represents 30 percent of the $12 billion project,” adding, “The other 70 percent of the project is going to be private investment by our company. … It is the only fully shovel-ready project that can be delivered in short order in the United States.”
Work on the 218-mile rail route between Las Vegas and Rancho Cucamonga, California, could begin as early as the end of the year. From there, riders would be able to continue into downtown Los Angeles via the Metrolink rail system in Southern California.
What is Brightline?
According to their website: Brightline is the only private provider of modern, eco-friendly, intercity passenger rail service in America. Recognized by Fast Company as one of the Most Innovative Companies in travel, Brightline offers a guest-first experience designed to reinvent train travel and take cars off the road by connecting city pairs and congested corridors that are too close to fly and too long to drive. Brightline is operating its first passenger train in South Florida – Brightline Florida – and is developing its second system, Brightline West.