US private intercity passenger rail system Brightline has acquired the proposed XpressWest high-speed rail project to expand services to the West Coast.
The XpressWest project involves building a federally approved high-speed railroad connecting Southern California and Las Vegas, Nevada.
With the XpressWest acquisition, Brightline will assume development, construction, and operation of the project.
It will also work with the local transportation officials to implement the high-speed rail project, as well as its potential expansion to the Los Angeles area.
Brightline president Patrick Goddard said: “Brightline’s model is setting a new standard for train travel in America.
“Today’s announcement is an important milestone for our company as we reimagine transportation between these major metropolitan areas. We look forward to working with the region’s stakeholders to make this vision a reality.”
Construction of the project is expected to begin next year, with initial passenger services due to start in 2022.
The high-speed corridor’s first phase will be built adjacent to the Interstate 15 and run for 185 miles.
Brightline is also acquiring 38 acres of land to adjacent to the Las Vegas strip to build the planned Las Vegas Station as a major intermodal hub. The Southern California station is expected to be located at Victorville.
Planning is currently underway to build additional stations along the route and connect the line to California Metrolink.
Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval said: “The introduction of high-speed rail between Las Vegas to Southern California will bring significant economic and environmental benefits to our state and support increased tourism.”
When completed, the XpressWest project will be the second privately funded express intercity passenger service in the country after Brightline’s rail system in Florida.