A $12 billion high-speed rail project between Las Vegas and southern California has received a major boost with the announcement of a $3 billion federal funding commitment from the Department of Transportation (DOT).
The funding, which is part of the Biden administration's Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, is expected to help accelerate the development of the Brightline West line, which will connect the two major tourism hubs in just over two hours.
"This is a game-changer for Nevada's tourism economy," said Nevada Senator Jacky Rosen, who praised the funding and highlighted the project's potential to create thousands of jobs and reduce traffic congestion on I-15.
"For decades, Nevadans have heard about the benefits of high-speed rail," Rosen added. "I'm proud to have led the charge for months to push the U.S. Department of Transportation to secure critical funding to make this a reality."
The Brightline West line will be an all-electric service, with trains traveling at speeds of up to 186 mph. It will include stations in Las Vegas, Rancho Cucamonga, Apple Valley, and Hesperia.
California and Nevada lawmakers have been advocating for project funding for months, and they are also optimistic that the San Francisco to Los Angeles high-speed line will receive additional federal funding.
The Brightline West line once finished will see an all-electric service travel on the 218-mile new line with trains travelling at an estimated 186mph from a flagship station in Las Vegas to Rancho Cucamonga, where it will connect to the southern California Metrolink service. Alongside Rancho Cucamonga, new stations on the line will also include Apple Valley and Victor Valley.
The DOT is expected to announce an additional $8.2 billion in funding for rail projects under the infrastructure bill this week. Currently, the DOT has allocated $20 billion of the $66 million ringfenced in the rail infrastructure bill.
Brightline founder, Wes Edens said in a statement: “This is a historic moment that will serve as a foundation for a new industry, and a remarkable project that will serve as the blueprint for how we can repeat this model throughout the country.”
Photo Credit: Brightline West