US high speed rail project Brightline West has started what it called the “final stages of design” work at both ends of its California-Nevada route.
The company, which also owns and operates an intercity service in Florida on the US east coast, said it was the final preparation before construction would begin on the west coast line.
Work underway before an official groundbreaking on the project includes geotechnical borings and samplings, utility potholing and land surveying according to Brightline.
The work is undertaken within the boundaries of Interstate highway 15 (I-15), which the project aims to decongest by providing opportunity for a modal shift to rail for commuters.
At this stage the only traffic disruption should be limited to shoulder closures during daytime work.
Although the groundbreaking is slightly behind Brightline West’s publicised schedule, the work suggests the first high speed rail project in the US may begin construction soon.
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The Brightline West line will be a 218-mile all-electric service with trains travelling around 186mph from a flagship station in Las Vegas to Rancho Cucamonga, a city about 30-40 miles away from Los Angeles, where it will connect to the southern California Metrolink service.