New All-Electric SoCal to Las Vegas Train Will Get Gamblers to The Strip in 2 Hours

  • All-electric train will reach top speeds of 200mph between Southern California and Las Vegas
  • Secretary Buttigieg hailed launch as “the beginning of the high-speed rail era” in the US
  • Train will lower pollution and cut travel miles “equivalent to 16,000 short-haul flights” per year
Brightline train interior
Southern Californians will in a few years be able to travel by high-speed train to Vegas in around two hours. [Image:]

Two-hour trip

Southern Californians can look forward to a high-speed train that will connect them to Las Vegas in about two hours.

In a groundbreaking ceremony in Las Vegas on Monday, privately owned and operated passenger railroad firm Brightline stated the $12bn rail route could open as soon as 2028. Las Vegas Locally took to X with a visual preview of the train, which will reach top speeds of 200mph:

The Brightline West rail system will connect Southern California from Rancho Cucamonga to a station near the Strip called the Las Vegas Station.

According to a Brightline news release, approximately 17 million SoCal residents live within 25 miles of station sites marked for the high-speed route. The firm also said one out of every three visits to Las Vegas come from the SoCal area.

The groundbreaking was attended by high profile figures, including Nevada Governor Joe Lombardo, Senior Advisor to the President and Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement Steve Benjamin, Congresswoman Dina Titus, and US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.

An American first

Buttigieg said the groundbreaking for “America’s first high-speed rail system” was a “proud moment.” He added he saw the launch as “the beginning of the high-speed rail era in the United States of America.”

Brightline founder, Chairman, and private equity billionaire Wes Edens said the blueprint for the high-speed train “will allow us to repeat this model in other city pairs around the country.”

we’ll move millions of people”

Edens said the US was the world’s only industrialized country without high-speed rail but, come 2028, that will change. “We’ll move millions of people between two of the most exciting and important regions of the country,” he asserted regarding the new Las Vegas route.

According to a news release, the Brightline West project enjoyed a $3bn funding injection from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill. The balance of the project will be privately funded and has received a “total allocation of $3.5bn in private activity bonds” from the Department of Transportation.

Brightline says the $12bn project will create over $10bn in economic impact for Nevada and California. It’s also slated to create over 35,000 jobs, including “10,000 direct union construction roles and 1,000 permanent operations and maintenance positions.”

Environmental boost

The high-speed, all-electric train is expected to lower pollution along the congested Interstate 15 that links SoCal to Nevada and cut 700 million vehicle miles traveled per year: “the equivalent of 16,000 short-haul flights.”

build three overpasses for the safe passage of native wildlife

In partnership with Caltrans and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Brightline will also build three overpasses for the safe passage of native wildlife such as bighorn sheep.

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