Brightline West: High-Speed Rail Revolution Connecting Las Vegas and Southern California

Brightline West: High-Speed Rail Revolution Connecting Las Vegas and Southern California
Brightline West: High-Speed Rail Revolution Connecting Las Vegas and Southern California

Brightline West breaks ground in Las Vegas, marking the beginning of the high-speed rail project

The groundbreaking ceremony for Brightline West will take place on Monday in Las Vegas, marking the official start of construction on a new rail system that will connect Southern California with Las Vegas.

Once operational, it will be the nation's first truly high-speed intercity rail system. It will expand on Brightline's innovative concept and service in Florida, which currently connects the southeast coast with Orlando.

Monday's groundbreaking at Brightline's future station in Las Vegas will mark the official start of construction on the planned 218-mile rail line, featuring a station just south of Vegas' strip. From there, the all-electric trains would cross the Nevada desert en route to Southern California stops in Victor Valley and Hesperia, before reaching the westernmost station in Rancho Cucamonga, outside Los Angeles.

In Rancho Cucamonga, Brightline West riders would be able to connect to regional transportation, with the planned station set to be located just steps from a Metrolink stop, where travelers could then travel onward to other parts of Southern California.

Once fully functional, trains are expected to reach speeds up to 200 miles per hour, with the ride between Rancho Cucamonga and Vegas expected to take just over two hours. By car, the trip can take well over four hours — including a drive across the Mojave Desert.

In total, a Vegas-to-Rancho Cucamonga trip followed by a Metrolink connection to central Los Angeles should take closer to three hours, the company says.

Significant investment planned

Discussed for years, the estimated $12 billion project got a significant leg-up in December, when the Biden administration announced $3 billion in grants supporting Brightline West, made possible through partnerships with California and Nevada via the 2021 bipartisan infrastructure law.

Like Brightline in Florida, the company's western line may be well positioned to avoid many of the trappings of

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