Brightline West to commence construction on Las Vegas to California rail connection


California – This month, Brightline West is set to begin construction on its ambitious $12 billion high-speed rail link between Las Vegas and Southern California. The significant groundbreaking event is planned for 10:30 a.m. on Monday at the location of the upcoming Brightline West station in Las Vegas, Nevada, according to a report from the Las Vegas Review-Journal. The main station of Brightline West will occupy 110 acres north of Blue Diamond Road, nestled between I-15 and Las Vegas Boulevard, and just south of the Harry Reid International Airport.

The groundbreaking ceremony is expected to feature key speakers including Pete Buttigieg, the U.S. Secretary of Transportation; Wes Edens, the founder and chairman of Brightline; and a range of federal, state, and local dignitaries from both California and Nevada. Brightline officials have highlighted a significant financial enhancement for the California/Nevada venture, which came in December when President Biden allocated $3 billion to the project from the historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

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The company has stated that Brightline West will create the first high-speed rail system for passengers in the United States, providing a rapid connection between Las Vegas and Southern California. However, Brightline West officials have not yet disclosed specific timelines for the construction or details of any groundbreaking activities planned for Southern California.

California stations

The new all-electric rail service will feature passenger stations in Apple Valley, Hesperia, and Rancho Cucamonga. Specifically, the Victor Valley Station will be positioned on 300 acres southeast of the Dale Evans Parkway and I-15 interchange in Apple Valley. This station is planned to potentially become a central hub linking to both the High Desert Corridor and the California High-Speed Rail networks, according to the company. The Hesperia Station will be situated in the median of I-15 at the intersection with Joshua Street. Its primary role will be to serve local residents of the High Desert, offering specific southbound morning and northbound evening trains during weekdays for travel into the greater Los Angeles area.

Additionally, the Rancho Cucamonga Station is set to be located on 5 acres at the northwest corner of Milliken Avenue and Azusa Court, close to Ontario International Airport. This station will be integrated with existing transport facilities, including Metrolink services. This integration aims to provide seamless access to downtown Los Angeles and various other locations across Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino, and Riverside counties.

High-speed rail

Field activities began in January along the Interstate 15 corridor for the proposed rail line, setting the stage for the final design phase before construction starts. In 2020, Brightline West secured a lease agreement with Caltrans to utilize the existing right-of-way along I-15 for their $12 billion, 218-mile high-speed rail project.

The trains, traveling at speeds of up to 200 miles per hour, will cover the 218-mile distance from Las Vegas to Rancho Cucamonga in approximately two hours, which is half the time it usually takes to drive. According to Brightline officials, the trains will run daily, departing every hour. The journey from Hesperia to Rancho Cucamonga will take around 35 minutes.

The rail system will be electrified using overhead catenary wires, and a power substation will be constructed near Hesperia. In a discussion with the Los Angeles Times, Wes Edens, the founder of Brightline, mentioned that the initial pricing for a round-trip ticket from Rancho Cucamonga to Las Vegas is set at $400. However, he noted that this price is still under review and could vary depending on when the ticket is booked.

Job opportunities

The Brightline West project is collaborating with unions under project labor agreements and is anticipated to generate over 10,000 union construction jobs. Notably, most of these jobs do not require a college degree. Including roles related to materials production, transportation, and other critical aspects of construction, the project is expected to support more than 35,000 jobs throughout the construction phase. Once operational, Brightline West will provide support for over 1,000 permanent jobs in operations and maintenance, with approximately 900 of these being full-time union positions.

Brightline aims to complete the rail system by the summer of 2028, strategically timed for the summer Olympics in Los Angeles, as stated by the company.

Jack Wolf
Jack Wolf
Jack is Long Beach native and proud member of US News Hub team. Jack knows best what Long Beach residents want and need to hear as he is one of them. At US News Hub, Jack is the one responsible for local news in Los Angeles county, with the focus on the Long Beach area.

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