Brightline West is one step closer to breaking ground on its 216-mile high-speed electric train connecting Apple Valley to Las Vegas.
Wes Edens, co-CEO of Fortress Investment Group, told the Las Vegas Review Journal that he expects to break ground on the project by the end of the year. “We’re really at the 1-yard line in terms of pushing over the top," he said.
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration is currently reviewing the proposed 49-mile extension that will connect the Victor Valley Station down through Cajon Pass to Rancho Cucamonga. The line would then connect to Union Station via the Metrolink line.
“Brightline looks forward to working with the Federal Railroad Administration on finalizing the permitting process and making this America’s high-speed-rail showcase system,” the company said in a statement. “Brightline West is the most shovel-ready project in the nation and provides the best opportunity for this country to have a new high-speed rail system within the next few years, achieving success for this administration’s goals related to jobs, climate and equity.”
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s review is expected to be completed by November 2022, with passenger service anticipated by 2026.
The Brightline West project has an estimated cost of $8 billion. If the company receives approval from the Federal Railroad Administration, Brightline may apply for low-interest funding through the U.S. infrastructure program.