Why will high-speed train from Vegas go to Rancho Cucamonga, CA instead of Los Angeles? – Fox 5 Las Vegas

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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) – It is a question asked by many people in Southern Nevada.

Why did planners choose a city about 45 miles outside Downtown Los Angeles to connect to Las Vegas via high-speed rail?

Work is now underway on Brightline West. The line broke ground last month, south of the Strip on Las Vegas Blvd. It will connect to Rancho Cucamonga, California.

Rancho Cucamonga is a straight shot down the I-15 on the other side of the Cajon Pass, one of only a few ways to get past a large mountain range and to the biggest cities in Southern California from Vegas. Freight trains currently use the route to transport goods out of Southern California and for drivers, it is the most direct route.

Once at the Rancho Cucamonga Metrolink station, existing railways can take you just about anywhere you want to go throughout Southern California. From Rancho, you can get deeper into San Bernardino County, Riverside County, Orange County, Los Angeles County, and even up the coast to Ventura.

“It’s great because right now my wife is plugging in to go to Union Station from here and then we will go Metrolink up to Santa Barbara. There are so many different places you can go,” Rancho Cucamonga resident Steve Geist shared with FOX5′s Kim Passoth while she was visiting the station. The Geist’s trip for two to DTLA: $12.

“You can avoid sitting in traffic. This train will be operating at close to 80 miles per hour. The vehicles there in the primary lanes are basically operating at a standstill,” stated Metrolink spokesperson Scott Johnson, looking out at traffic on I-10 from a train window. Johnson takes the train daily through Rancho, commuting from his home in San Bernardino to his office in Downtown Los Angeles, a trip that could take three hours during rush hour.

Metrolink map
Metrolink map(FOX5)

“This express train that I am on will get me home in less than an hour,” Johnson revealed.

Once the Brightline West line is complete, the goal is to make Southern California accessible to Nevadans without the need for a car.

“People who live in Las Vegas who want to explore Southern California, whether it be Los Angeles, any one of the destinations like Universal Studios, anything Downtown around the convention center, the beaches or Disneyland and other tourist destinations. There isn’t a single destination in Southern California, certainly not in Los Angeles, that you can’t reach either by Metrolink or using the Metro light rail,” Johnson contended.

The best part? A Brightline ticket will get you anywhere you want to go on Metrolink’s network.

“The long-range goal of the service is that a single Brightline ticket will allow you to be able to transfer to and from Metrolink at no additional cost,” Johnson revealed. Johnson also told FOX5 that luggage would be transferred for you as well, like a layover at an airport.

The goal is to have Brightline West running by the summer of 2028 in time for the Olympics just down in Los Angeles. Metrolink is also investing billions ahead of 2028 with more than 20 improvement projects planned.

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