Las Vegas-to-California high-speed rail project breaks ground – FOX 11 Los Angeles

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Brightline West, the high-speed train project connecting Los Angeles to Las Vegas, officially broke ground Monday.

The groundbreaking ceremony included remarks from U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, Brightline founder Wes Edens, as well as state and local officials from California and Nevada.  

“People have been dreaming of high-speed rail in America for decades – and now, with billions of dollars of support made possible by President Biden’s historic infrastructure law, it’s finally happening,” said Secretary Buttigieg. “Partnering with state leaders and Brightline West, we’re writing a new chapter in our country’s transportation story that includes thousands of union jobs, new connections to better economic opportunity, less congestion on the roads, and less pollution in the air.”

Construction was originally set to begin in 2020, but was halted when the company postponed a planned $2.4 billion bond sale to finance initial tracks and stations for the $8 billion project. The company blamed the delay on market instability because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Brightline, the expected travel time between Las Vegas and Los Angeles is approximately 2.5 hours. The zero-emission electric trains could carry 500 passengers at speeds of nearly 200 mph.

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Approximately 50 million one-way trips are made annually between these two destinations with 85% of them by car or bus, the company said. At full operations, Brightline expects to attract approximately 12 million one-way trips each year. 

Amenities for travelers include free onboard WiFi, ADA accessibility from station to train, a wide selection of food and drinks, checked luggage, and hotel check-in services.

The Rancho Cucamonga station will connect to Metrolink’s regional rail network, which includes stations in Los Angeles, Riverside, Orange, San Diego, and Ventura counties.

“This is a historic project and a proud moment where we break ground on America’s first high-speed rail system and lay the foundation for a new industry,” said Edens. “Today is long overdue, but the blueprint we’ve created with Brightline will allow us to repeat this model in other city pairs around the country.”

The anticipated completion date is by summer 2028, just in time for the Olympics.

Brightline currently offers rail service in Central and South Florida with stations in Miami, Aventura, Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton, West Palm Beach, and Orlando,

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
 

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