June 29, 2023

$25M grant going towards 2 stations for Las Vegas-Southern California high-speed train

LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) – The proposed high-speed train that developers say will connect Las Vegas and Southern California may have again moved closer to reality on Wednesday.

The U.S. Department of Transportation Wednesday announced that the San Bernardino County Transportation Authority (SBCTA) received a $25 million Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) grant award.

In a news release, Brightline West, who is developing the high-speed train project, announced that the award will fund the final design and construction of two intercity passenger rail stations and associated facilities in Hesperia and Apple Valley, California.

Brightline says that the two stations will provide high-speed rail service to downtown Los Angeles through a connection with Metrolink’s San Bernardino Commuter Rail service, “creating a much-needed transportation alternative for people living in the High Desert.”

Brightline West rendering for Las Vegas to Los Angeles project.

Plans for Brightline’s 218-mile system connects Las Vegas and Southern California via a station in Rancho Cucamonga that will offer direct connectivity with California Metrolink. With trains capable of speeds of 200 miles per hour, the rail system will run within the Interstate 15 right-of-way,

Dr. Raymond Wolfe, executive director of the SBCTA, said the funding award received for the Apple Valley and Hesperia stations paves the way for a larger grant sought by Brightline West for the Las Vegas to Rancho Cucamonga system.

“This will provide a direct link between the High Desert, Rancho Cucamonga, downtown Los Angeles and our own East Valley, reducing the need to rely on personal vehicles for daily commutes, improving air quality and closing the live-work gap for millions of people. Along with other commuter projects either underway or under development, including the Arrow Line and the West Valley Connector bus rapid-transit system, Brightline West represents a cost-effective, 21st century solution to our region’s transportation challenges,” Wolfe said.

“I’m proud to have worked alongside our San Bernardino County Transportation Authority to secure funding through the Department of Transportation to support the final design and construction of Brightline rail stations in Hesperia and Victor Valley. This high-speed rail project will bring significant new economic activity into our community, boost local job availability, and help to alleviate traffic by linking the High Desert to Los Angeles and Las Vegas. I look forward to continuing to advocate for the completion of this project,” said Rep. Jay Obernolte.

Brightline notes in the release that in April, the company, along with the Nevada Department of Transportation, applied for $3.75 billion from the Federal-State Partnership for Intercity Passenger Rail Grant Program. The program, authorized by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, makes funding available for projects that expand or establish new intercity passenger rail service.

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