US Approves $2.5B for High-Speed Rail Line Connecting SoCal, Las Vegas

Connor Forbes
Connor Forbes
3 Min Read
Conceptual rendering of proposed high-speed line in the median of I-15 between the IE and Las Vegas. Courtesy Brightline West

Vegas to SoCal California High-Speed Rail

RANCHO CUCAMONGA (Combined Sources) — A proposed high-speed passenger train reaching speeds of 186 mph between Las Vegas and Southern California got another boost on Tuesday with Biden administration approval to issue $2.5 billion in tax-exempt bonds for the $12 billion project.

The 218-mile project aims to whisk passengers in electric trains on new tracks along the Interstate 15 corridor — cutting in half a four-hour freeway trip between Las Vegas and Rancho Cucamonga. 

Passengers throughout the Southern California region will be able to connect to the high-speed line from Metrolink stations in Riverside, Los Angeles and Ventura Counties. 

The $12 billion project by Brightline West will be a fully electric, zero-emission system that officials say will be one of the greenest forms of transportation in the United States. The project is expected to bolster tourism, create 35,000 jobs, ease traffic on I-15, and cut more than 400,000 tons of carbon pollution each year.

“Today, the Biden-Harris administration takes the next step to fulfill the promise of high-speed rail in the American West … to lay tracks, create jobs, and connect American cities,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said in a statement. “President Biden’s historic infrastructure package gives us the opportunity to build safe, green, and accessible rail systems that will deliver benefits to the American people for generations to come.”

In December, the DOT awarded a $3 billion grant from Biden’s infrastructure bill to the Nevada Department of Transportation for the project, and in June, the DOT awarded a $25 million grant to the San Bernardino County Transportation Authority through the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity Program that will be used for the construction of new Brightline West stations in Hesperia and Victor Valley

“As the first true high-speed rail system in America, Brightline West will serve as the blueprint for connecting cities with fast, eco-friendly passenger rail throughout the country,” Brightline Founder and Chairman Wes Edens said. 

” We appreciate the confidence placed in us by DOT and are ready to get to work.”

Florida-based Brightline Holdings LLC currently operates the only privately-owned intercity passenger railroad in the U.S., linking Miami and Orlando with trains reaching speeds up to 125 mph.

Planners and politicians say the project has all the required right-of-way and environmental approvals, along with labor agreements.

Brightline officials say the project is near shovel-ready and expected to break ground in early 2024. The tentative goal is to have the line open by 2028, in time for the Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.

More information about the project can be found at

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High-Speed Rail. Brightline West. Rancho Cucamonga Station.
Rendering of proposed Rancho Cucamonga Station. Courtesy Brightline West
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