Brightline West, the high-speed project connecting Las Vegas, Nevada to Los Angeles and Southern California, has reached a new milestone by breaking ground on the 218-mile track. 

The $12bn project has been in the works in some form since 2005, and as Brightline since 2018, but was recently boosted by a $3bn grant from the US Department of Transportation to support construction of the line between the city of Las Vegas and Rancho Cucamonga, 30-40 miles outside of Los Angeles. 

An event celebrating the groundbreaking was attended by political and industry figures from Nevada and California, as well as US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, who said people had been dreaming of high-speed rail in the US for decades. 

He said: “Partnering with state leaders and Brightline West, we’re writing a new chapter in our country’s transportation story that includes thousands of union jobs, new connections to better economic opportunity, less congestion on the roads, and less pollution in the air.” 

The groundbreaking ceremony marks a significant step forward for the project which had originally been set to begin construction in 2020 but was pushed back by a number of issues, including the effect of the pandemic, and is now set to begin services in 2028. 

How well do you really know your competitors?

Access the most comprehensive Company Profiles on the market, powered by GlobalData. Save hours of research. Gain competitive edge.

Company Profile – free sample

Thank you!

Your download email will arrive shortly

Not ready to buy yet? Download a free sample

We are confident about the unique quality of our Company Profiles. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer a free sample that you can download by submitting the below form

By GlobalData
Visit our Privacy Policy for more information about our services, how we may use, process and share your personal data, including information of your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.

In addition to the stops at either end of the line, which will follow the I-15 highway, the fully electric trains that operate on Brightline West will also call at stations in Victor Valley and Hesperia and are expected to cut journey times between the casino city and Southern California in half. 

Wes Edens, founder of Brightline, which already operates a rail network connecting Miami and Orlando in Florida, described the west coast line as a “historic project” and said that while the beginning of construction was “long overdue”, Brightline’s model would allow it to repeat the idea in cities across the US. 

Edens is hoping that Brightline West will capitalise on the strong connections between the two cities and ambitions for cleaner travel, with Brightline stating that its vision is to connect “city pairs that are too short to fly and too far to drive.” 

According to the company, around 17 million people will live within 25 miles of its California stations, with the Rancho Cucamonga site also set to include connections to the California Metrolink and Downtown Los Angeles.