A plan to build high-speed passenger rail between Las Vegas and Los Angeles got a $3 billion boost from the federal infrastructure law.
The grant will go to the Nevada Department of Transportation to work with private rail company Brightline, which built the first intercity passenger rail system in Florida. The Vegas to L.A. project is called Brightline West and will consist of 218 miles of track for the electric trains traveling around 200 mph, Brightline says. The service’s flagship station will be in Vegas at the south end of Las Vegas Boulevard and connect to Rancho Cucamonga, California. The Rancho Cucamonga station will connect to the regional Metrolink rail service, which extends to L.A.
Brightline says the trip from Vegas to Rancho Cucamonga will take 2 hours and 10 minutes. The trains will travel down the median of I-15. It is estimated the service would handle 11 million passengers a year. Brightline says its goal is to open the rail line before the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles.
In all, the project is estimated to cost $12 billion – about twice the cost of the Florida Brightline system, which has stations in Miami, Aventura, Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton, West Palm Beach and Orlando.
More Passenger Rail Grants
The Vegas-L.A. rail grant was among $8.2 billion pledged by President Joe Biden from the infrastructure law for this year for passenger rail.
Another high-speed rail project to receive funding is also in California.
The California High-Speed Rail Authority will receive $3.1 billion for construction in the Central Valley for a project to eventually connect San Francisco to Los Angeles.
The federal grants through the Federal State Partnership for Intercity Passenger Rail also include funding for these passenger-rail projects:
- Upgrade conventional rail corridors to better connect Northern Virginia and the Southeast with the Northeast Corridor.
- Expand the Pennsylvania Keystone Corridor between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.
- Extend the Piedmont Corridor in North Carolina north, as part of a higher-speed connection between Raleigh and Richmond, Virginia
- Improve Chicago Union Station.
- Improve service in Maine, Montana and Alaska.