Las Vegas to LA in Two Hours? Brightline West High-Speed Rail Unfolding with $3B in Funding
Posted on: December 5, 2023, 11:09h.
Last updated on: December 5, 2023, 11:09h.
Brightline West claims its $12B project will be the first truly high-speed rail system in America, with trains capable of speeds of 200 miles per hour whooshing past vehicular traffic along Interstate 15’s right of way. Brightline projects an average Las Vegas-L.A. travel time of 2 hours and 15 minutes.
Brightline West estimates its high-speed rail “will remove 3 million cars from I-15 annually, reducing more than 400K tons of carbon emissions each year” and create “35,000 good-paying, union jobs” — including 10K union construction jobs and close to 1,000 permanent jobs for operations and maintenance.
According to Brightline West, the project will generate more than $1B in economic impact to California and Nevada.
Slow Train Coming
Brightline West said it hopes to build its rail line in time for the 2028 Olympics Games in Los Angeles. Even by that optimistic timetable, the project will have taken nearly 20 years from the time it was first envisioned.
Planning for a high-speed rail link connecting Las Vegas with Southern California began in 2009. That’s when the Federal Railroad Administration completed a draft environmental plan for a project, which was then known as DesertXpress. Brightline acquired the project in 2018.
In July 2021, Brightline purchased 110 acres for its Las Vegas terminus station at Las Vegas Boulevard between Warm Springs and Blue Diamond roads, only three miles from the southern end of the Las Vegas Strip. Brightline West is also expected to include a stop at the future Southern Nevada Supplemental Airport, which is expected to open by 2037 between Primm and Jean, Nev.