On track: A bullet train from Las Vegas to Los Angeles by 2027

The 218-mile high-speed network will cost $10bn.
Jijo Malayil
Railway with high speed train at a landscape
Railway with high speed train at a landscape


An agreement has been reached to commence works on the United States' first high-speed rail network, Brightline West, connecting two busiest U.S. cities - Las Vegas and Los Angeles. The total length of the project is estimated to cross 218 miles (350 kilometers), and the system will be run on electric energy. 

Brightline, the rail company responsible for this project, announced that it had reached a consensus with a collective of various rail worker unions to go ahead with the $10 billion project. The memorandum of understanding (MOU) was inked between Brighline and the High-Speed Rail Labor Coalition. The 13 unions in the collective "represents more than 160,000 freight, regional, commuter, and passenger railroad workers in the United States," said a press release by the company. 

A green bullet train capable of touching 200 miles per hour

The proposed 218-mile high-speed network will connect Las Vegas and Southern California with technology that allows it to maintain a cruising speed of 200 miles per hour (321 km/h). This means the travel time between the cities will be just over an hour. In comparison, a journey by car takes over four hours.

The expenditure on the project is expected to provide a much-needed boost to the economy, including the creation of nearly 35,000 jobs during the construction phase and around 10,000 permanent jobs. According to Brightline, the fully electric, emission-free system will be one of the greenest forms of transportation in the U.S., removing 3 million cars and 400,000 tons of CO2 each year.

 The project will also be the first high-speed rail system that will be operated and maintained by workers of the various rail unions. “As the most shovel-ready high-speed rail project in the United States, we are one step closer to leveling the playing field against transit and infrastructure projects around the world, and we are proud to be using America's most skilled workers to get there," said Mike Reininger, CEO of Brightline Holdings. 

Plans to start operations by 2027

The company hopes to break ground for the project this year and estimates to finish all necessary work in the next four years. Brightline West network will have stations near the iconic Las Vegas Strip, Rancho Cucamonga, Apple Valley, and Hesperia, California.

The company is the only private provider of modern, eco-friendly, intercity passenger rail service in America. It currently serves Miami, Aventura, Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton, and West Palm Beach in Florida, with its Orlando station beginning service in 2023.

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