VICTORVILLE (CBSLA) – A Florida passenger railroad company has been tapped to build a high-speed rail line from the Inland Empire to Las Vegas.
Brightline reported Tuesday that it has acquired the rights to the XpressWest project, which when complete, will run fully electric trains on a 185-mile route between Las Vegas and Victorville.
Construction will get underway next year and train service will begin in 2022, according to the company. Brightline will build the rail line adjacent to the 15 Freeway, with no pedestrian crossings.
Trains would be capable of traveling at speeds over 150 miles per hour, according to the XpressWest website, and would leave every 20 minutes during peak hours.
Brightline will acquire 38 acres of land near the Las Vegas Strip to construct a train station there.
“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,” said Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval in a statement. “Brightline has built a proven model for privately funded high-speed rail service in Florida and we are excited to welcome them to Nevada.”
An estimate on the entire cost of the project, which is being entirely privately funded, was not disclosed. A plan to build a high-speed rail line between Las Vegas and Southern California has been in the works since 2005, according to the Wall Street Journal. Although Brightline did not disclose the cost, previous estimates slated it at $7 billion, and Brightline officials told WSJ they expect to do it for half that.
This comes as California’s own plan for a bullet train between Los Angeles and San Francisco has been plagued by problems since being approved by voters in 2008. At the time, the high-speed rail project was expected to cost in the arena of $40 billion. That number has now jumped to $77 billion-plus.
Construction has not even begun, and under the current timeframe, service would not begin until 2033.