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Friday,  May 24, 2024 3:23 AM 

“Brightline West”: Las Vegas-S. California high-speed rail gets $3B federal grant

“Brightline West”: Las Vegas-S. California high-speed rail gets $3B federal grant

A high-speed rail system that has made a name for itself in South and Central Florida is heading to the Western United States. 

Brightline – a brand that currently operates rail connections between Miami, Aventura, Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton, West Palm Beach and Orlando – is set to bridge Las Vegas with Southern California after U.S. President Joe Biden on Friday (Dec. 8) announced $3 billion (USD) in funding for the Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT).

The Intercity Passenger Rail Grant Program will help form “Brightline West,” which is being called the nation’s “first true high-speed rail system.”

READ MORE: Florida's Brightline rail system increases commissionable fares to 20%

The fully-electric, zero-emission system will also “become one of the greenest forms of transportation in the U.S.,” according to a press release.

The 218-mile passenger rail service will reach speeds up to 200 mph with no grade crossings and the alignment is within the median of the I-15 highway.

The system will feature three full-service stations in Las Vegas, Victor Valley and Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.

A new connection  

The Las Vegas station, for one, is promising mobility connections to the Las Vegas Strip, the Raiders’ Allegiant Stadium and the Las Vegas Convention Center.

The flagship Las Vegas station will be on 110 acres at the south end of Las Vegas Blvd, the release says.

Brightline West’s California stations, meanwhile, will include Victor Valley and Rancho Cucamonga, with direct connectivity via California Metrolink to key points in Los Angeles, such as Union Station.

The $12 billion-dollar project is expected to bring widespread benefits, including more than $10 billion in economic impact to Nevada and California.

Economic studies show the project will create more than 35,000 (direct and indirect) jobs including 10,000 direct union construction jobs and nearly 1,000 permanent jobs for operations and maintenance, reads the release.

Brightline West’s investment also includes more than $800 million in roadway improvements to the I-15 corridor.

There’s a sustainability angle, too. The project is said to promote a no-emission mobility option that lowers greenhouse gasses by more than 400,000 tons of CO2 each year.

The diversion of people from auto and air travel to Brightline West’s high-speed rail system reduces vehicle miles travelled by more than 700 million each year and 16,000 short haul flights annually, the company says.

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