High-speed rail line linking Las Vegas and Los Angeles area gets $3B Biden administration pledge

by Madison Thomas
High-speed rail Las Vegas-Los Angeles

The Biden administration has committed $3 billion on Tuesday to a high-speed rail project connecting Las Vegas and the Los Angeles area, as announced by Nevada officials. This $12 billion initiative, spearheaded by Brightline West, is set to commence construction along a 218-mile stretch adjacent to Interstate 15. This project, which has been in discussion for years, has secured all necessary right-of-way and environmental permits, as well as labor agreements, according to U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen.

Although a specific start date for construction has not been set, Rosen anticipates that by the 2028 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, electric-powered trains will be operational for passenger service. Wes Edens, the founder and chairman of Brightline, headquartered in Florida, expressed eagerness to begin work, coinciding with an event in Las Vegas that may align with President Joe Biden’s visit.

A bipartisan coalition led by Senators Rosen and Catherine Cortez Masto, both Democrats, has actively lobbied President Biden for up to $3.75 billion from federal infrastructure funds for this public-private venture. The proposed rail service, with trains reaching speeds close to 200 mph, aims to reduce the current four-hour road journey from Las Vegas to Rancho Cucamonga in suburban Los Angeles. The new route is expected to ease the frequent traffic congestion experienced during peak travel times on Interstate 15 at the Nevada-California border.

Senator Cortez Masto highlighted the project’s benefits, including substantial job creation, tourism growth in Southern Nevada, and traffic reduction on I-15. The concept of a high-speed rail line through the Mojave Desert to Las Vegas dates back to at least 2001, as noted by U.S. Representative Dina Titus. Despite previous hurdles and name changes, the project, which was stalled during the COVID-19 pandemic, is now gaining momentum.

Brightline Holdings LLC, a Florida-based firm that operates the only privately-owned and managed intercity passenger railway in the U.S., is expected to use its Florida East Coast service, launched in 2014, as a model. This service currently connects Miami and Orlando with trains reaching speeds of up to 125 mph. Other regions contemplating high-speed rail include a 240-mile route in Texas between Dallas and Houston, and a 500-mile system linking Los Angeles and San Francisco, which has been facing cost overruns and various delays.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about High-speed rail Las Vegas-Los Angeles

What is the Biden administration’s pledge for the high-speed rail project?

The Biden administration has pledged $3 billion to support the construction of a high-speed rail line between Las Vegas and the Los Angeles area.

Who is leading the Las Vegas to Los Angeles high-speed rail project?

The $12 billion high-speed rail project is led by Brightline West, aiming to connect Las Vegas with the Los Angeles area.

What are the expected benefits of the Las Vegas-Los Angeles high-speed rail line?

The rail line is anticipated to create thousands of jobs, boost tourism in Southern Nevada, and significantly reduce traffic on Interstate 15.

How fast will the trains travel on the new high-speed rail line?

The trains on the high-speed rail line are planned to travel at nearly 200 mph, cutting the current four-hour road journey between Las Vegas and suburban Los Angeles in half.

What is the anticipated timeline for the completion of the high-speed rail line?

While no specific start date for construction has been announced, it’s expected that the high-speed rail line will be operational by the 2028 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.

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SarahInFinance December 7, 2023 - 2:01 pm

really important step for infrastructure. but $12 billion is a huge cost, wondering how they’ll manage the budget over time…

EnviroGuy December 7, 2023 - 2:24 pm

It’s great to see electric trains getting a push, but what about the environmental impact? they need to consider the whole picture.

MikeLovesTrains December 7, 2023 - 7:25 pm

Wow, this is big news! i can’t wait to see the rail line in action, imagine zipping through the desert at 200 mph! Gonna be a game changer for travel.

TravelBug87 December 8, 2023 - 12:08 am

finally! been hearing about this project forever. LA to Vegas in half the time? sign me up. Hope it’s as good as it sounds.


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