Brightline West Breaks Ground in Nevada

Written by Jennifer McLawhorn, Managing Editor
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Courtesy of Brightline West

LAS VEGAS – Brightline has broken ground in Nevada on the Brightline West project which aims to transport passengers between Las Vegas and Los Angeles at 200 mph.

The first spike has been hammered in Las Vegas with Brightline founder Wes Edens and federal, state, and local officials. Currently, Brightline operates 17 trains daily between Miami and Orlando in Florida. California and Nevada have “granted Brightline a right of way along Interstate 15, and in December, the U.S. DOT augmented private investment in the project with $3 billion from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.”

Executive director of the High Speed Rail Alliance Rick Harnish said, “This is a transformational investment in American trains. . . Getting a high-speed line in operation this decade will show Americans this terrific way to travel. If you have ever felt frustrated by traffic gridlock or airport hassles, a better future just got closer.” Harnish continued by expressing the urgency with which they “plan to bring these benefits to every region of our country . . . Just as the United States did for the Interstate Highway System, we need to establish a federal railway program that coordinates and supports the development of great train service. This means a combination of high-speed backbones, connected with regional rail networks to give people throughout the country the option to use fast, frequent, affordable trains.”

Other high-speed projects in America are currently under construction or in development. The California High-Speed Rail Authority is constructing more than 100 miles of a high-speed line and will connect Los Angeles to the Bay Area. As well, Amtrak has “recently partnered with Texas Central to help advance the planning and analysis for a high-speed line between Dallas and Houston.” 

The High Speed Rail Alliance says it is particularly focused on Illinois and the Chicago rail hub. The release states that while “midwestern states do not yet have active plans to build high-speed rail, advocates are making progress.” Back in 2021, the FRA’s Midwest Regional Rail Plan “shared a vision for fast, frequent train service on pillar lines throughout this densely populated region of the country.”

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