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Source : Brightline West
March 27, 2023
Author : Alex Bustillos
Nevada Senator Jacky Rosen has called for the US Department of Transportation's (USDOT) to work with Nevada's Department of Transportation (NDOT) in pushing forward a grant to assist in the construction of the Brightline West high-speed rail route between Southern California and Las Vegas.
In a letter to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, she urged him to "stand ready to receive NDOT's application for the Federal-State Partnership for Intercity Passenger Rail Grant Program to construct this critical high-speed rail project."
The Nevada DOT (NDOT) will play an important role in moving the project forward.
The funding is part of a $4.57 billion Federal Railroad Administration program authorized by President Joe Biden's Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, written in part by Rosen.
Brightline West will function as a 218-mile rail link next to Interstate 15 connecting Las Vegas and Southern California, and the traveling speed will be up to 322 km/hr (200 mph). Brightline West is owned by Fortress Investment Group.
A vacant 110-acre site adjacent to Las Vegas Premium Outlets South Mall is chosen to construct the eastern terminus. Plans call for rail stations at Hesperia, Apple Valley, and Rancho Cucamonga in California, the western terminus station that allows passengers to connect with Metrolink's regional commuter rail services. The new rail system will primarily track I-15, connecting the tourism and economic hubs of Southern California and Las Vegas.
The traveling time between Rancho Cucamonga and Las Vegas will be nearly 2 hours and 15 minutes, similar to air travel when arriving early and waiting in the airport is counted in and is two times faster than driving. The rail system will use zero-emission, all-electric trains, and minimum environmental impacts, equivalent to removing three million vehicles from the road.
Rosen said Brightline West's high-speed rail project would reduce the movement of 3 million cars annually through I-15, reducing more than 400,000 tons of carbon emission annually and creating 35,000 good-paying jobs, among which 10,000 jobs in the construction industry.
This project reached a new milestone last month when Brightline West signed an agreement with several rail unions to operate and maintain the service.
Mike Reininger, CEO of Brightline, said in a statement, "As the most shovel-ready high-speed rail project in the United States, we are one step closer to leveling the playing field against transit and infrastructure projects around the world, and we are proud to be using America's most skilled workers to get there."
This project is anticipated to begin later this year and end before the 2028 LA Summer Olympics. It is anticipated that after 2027, the next phase of the project could include a looping extension with the LA area, and have stations in San Bernardino, downtown LA, and Palmdale.
Early this month, the State Building and Construction Trades Council of California and the Southern Nevada Building Trades Union revealed a memorandum of understanding for building the high-speed rail system.
The USDOT will evaluate the grant proposal after the application deadline on April 21.