February 27, 2024

Brightline West begins worker recruitment for high-speed rail project

by Rene Ray De La Cruz
Victorville Daily Press

Unions may soon begin recruiting thousands of workers to construct the high-speed Brightline West rail system between Rancho Cucamonga and Las Vegas.

The Department of Labor recently met with trade unions of Nevada and California to discuss the possible hiring of nearly 11,000 workers to begin building 218 miles of rail by summer.

Nearly 3,000 construction and trade workers are expected to be hired within Southern Nevada, according to Vince Saavedra, the executive secretary-treasurer of the Southern Nevada Building Trades Unions.

The worker will be responsible for the roughly 50-mile portion of the Brightline West project from Las Vegas Boulevard at Warm Springs to the California border.

“Every craft has their position,” he said. “It’s just like football: everybody has their position to play. We all work together to bring home the win.”

California work

There was no timeline on the hiring of workers for the nearly 168-mile stretch of rail from state line to Rancho Cucamonga, with passenger stops in Apple Valley and Hesperia.

The goal is for completion by summer 2028, in time for the summer Olympics in Los Angeles.

Funding 

In December, the Biden administration approved $3 billion in funding for Brightline West. Saavedra and others noted that funding put the wheels in motion to start construction.

“Things like the entitlement process and land use issues for both the station and the rail line are taken care of. Rights of way issues have been resolved,” Naft said. “There’s so much groundwork that has gone into this project, that now it truly is shovel-ready.”

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