The high speed train has been a plan for the last 3 decades. The hype and excitement has vanished but the hope is still alive due to the Federal Funded $1.2 trillion dollar infrastructure bill that recently passed.
Back in 2015, China's largest train manufacturer, CRRC had a joint agreement with American based company XpressWest to start on the project as early as 2016 but those plans fell through the crack due to the difficulties that CRI had in meeting deadlines and obtaining the required authority to proceed in the U.S. since domestic manufacturing was a requirement. There were also difference in technology and equipment between the China company and XpressWest.
The anticipated XPressWest train was anticipated to reach Victorville from Las Vegas in 80 minute which would normally take about 3 hours of travel on highway 15 but since the ties were cut, a new high speed train company has stepped up to the plate and acquired XpressWest. Brightline West is an all American high speed train company that is now anticipated to take over the project and complete it within 3 years.
Brightline West will connect the 260 miles of railway tracks between Las Vegas and Los Angeles and anticipates to reach the heart of Los Angeles with zero emmisions in just 3 hours which is at least 2 times faster than driving. To achieve that, the train is expected to reach a top speed of 180 mph.
How will all of this benefit everyone?
The high speed train will reduce over 400,000 tons of CO2 annually by decreasing the travel of 3 million vehicles. The plan is to have several connecting stations as shown in the map above and have the final station in Victor Valley before reaching the acquired 38 acres of land near the Las Vegas strip.
Las Vegas is not just a tourist destination anymore. It is home to the Las Vegas Raiders, Las Vegas Golden Knights, and perhaps a new home for the Oakland A's baseball team. Vegas also host 39 major trade shows each year and is still known as the entertainment capital of the United States.
1000 million round trips are made annually between California and Las Vegas with 85% of them by car or bus. Train ticket prices will most likely match the cost of gas and parking which is still less than actual plane flights. The amenities will include free onboard Wi-Fi, fully ADA accessibility from station to train, a wide selection of food and beverage, and hotel check-in services. How's that for bringing back the excitement?