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Courtesy of Brightline West

After almost 20 years of being in development, an announcement was made on December 5th, 2023 that the Biden administration has approved a 3 billion dollar grant for the Brightline West train that will add a much needed way of transportation between Los Angeles and Las Vegas.

Now that residents of both cities finally have a new form of transportation to look forward to, it is exciting to wonder what the timeline for the project will look like. This article will have all the answers of what to expect from the construction timeline and beyond.

What is Brightline West?

Las Vegas Bullet Train will be run by Brightline West, a privately owned and operated railroad company that specializes in short trips. The project has been in the making for nearly 20 years. Starting off as the DesertXpress, the project underwent a number of brand and ownership changes before Brightline bought the project in 2018, seeing it through to today. Brightline has already established roots in Florida with a railway that runs from Miami to Orlando, which makes it even more exciting that the company has chosen to expand to the West Coast.

What Will The Route of Brightline West Be?

Courtesy of Brightline West

As of the time of writing, the current plans for the train include four stops, which will be Las Vegas, Victor Valley, Hesperia, and Rancho Cucamonga. These stops are planned to help aid the traffic of travelers coming to and from Las Vegas. The improvement will be particularly noticeable in Primm since locals from Las Vegas often travel there to pick up Powerball tickets, congesting the roadways in both directions. 

While Rancho Cucamonga is the closest stop to Los Angeles, there will be a Metrolink regional railway connecting that stop to the Los Angeles Union Station. This extension will make it easier for people who don’t have as easy access to Rancho Cucamonga to still be able to use the Brightline train when traveling to Vegas.

What is The Building Timeline of Brightline West?

Construction on the railway is currently slated to start in early 2024, with completion expected in 2027. As of right now, the plan calls for the railway to be finished and running by the Summer Olympics in Los Angeles in 2028, which will allow for residents of both cities to easily travel during an incredibly hectic time.

After the train is finally finished and traveling, that won’t be the end of the building on the West Coast, as Brightline West is already planning an extension with Palmdale and Victor Valley stations to make travel through Southern California and Nevada more accessible and convenient.

What Are The Benefits of Brightline West?

In addition to clearing up the roadways, the Brightline West train will also help create many new jobs across its route, with the projected numbers being around 35 thousand new railroad jobs. These new jobs are expected to have a positive economic impact on the entire region, in addition to the benefits already created by providing more reliable transportation for travelers. 

While there will be many economic benefits to the train, the construction of the railway is still a large investment. Costing upwards of $12B, this project has been funded by a combination of federal grants, state funding, and private investors. The estimated price of the railway is expected to rise as the construction progresses and new costs come up. However, despite these costs the project is still expected to be a major economic boost for both California and Nevada.

In addition to the many jobs being created and the economic boost to the cities it runs through, there will also be an incredible impact on the environment, as the railway is expected to reduce the emissions generated by the large number of cars that travel this route every year. 

Additional environmental impacts also include the benefits for the local wildlife, as Brightline is working with California Department of Wildlife to build and maintain animal crossings This effort will help protect animals from crossing the railway and will help to maintain biodiversity in the area. 

The Brightline Train Experience

Courtesy of Brightline

Now that we’ve talked about what to expect from the timeline and budgeting, let’s take a look at what is anticipated for the train itself. When trips start running, travelers can expect an experience similar  to the Florida train that Brightline currently has running between Miami and Orlando. 

The amenities on board are slated to include power outlets at every seat, free WiFi, comfortable seating, and plenty of carry-on storage. There will also be two different kinds of seating options: SMART and Premium. Beyond the seating differences, premium does offer extra amenities to enhance your trip.

As for the estimated travel time, the train is expected to take around two hours to get from Los Angeles to Las Vegas, cutting the time in half compared to driving. The train will have a capacity of up to 500 passengers, and trains are projected to depart every hour. 

There are currently no confirmed prices available for the tickets, but it is reported that the cheapest tickets will start around 100 dollars, which is a very competitive price compared to taking a flight or driving between the cities

Stay Tuned for More Information

Although this is all we know about the project right now, new developments are always happening. Keep checking back with us for the latest updates on the project, as we hope to have more information soon.