“We appreciate the confidence placed in us by DOT and are ready to get to work,” said Wes Edens, founder and Chairman of Brightline. Brightline Holdings LLC, based in Florida, currently operates the only privately-owned intercity passenger railroad in the United States, connecting Miami and Orlando with trains reaching speeds up to 125 mph.
The ambitious Brightline West project aims to transport passengers at speeds of 186 mph or more in electric trains on new tracks along the Interstate 15 corridor. This will effectively cut in half the travel time between Las Vegas and suburban San Bernardino County near Los Angeles, reducing a four-hour freeway trip to just two hours.
Planners and politicians highlight that the project has obtained all necessary approvals for right-of-way and environmental considerations, along with labor agreements. Furthermore, they anticipate that it will alleviate weekend and end-of-holiday travel congestion commonly experienced along a 15-mile stretch of I-15 near the Nevada-California line.
Senator Jacky Rosen from Nevada, a Democrat who has shown support for the project in Congress, believes that the long-awaited rail link will significantly boost Nevada’s tourism economy, create thousands of jobs, and contribute to reducing traffic and pollution.
Although no specific date has been announced for the commencement of construction, officials have indicated that the project could potentially be operational by the Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, scheduled for 2028.