California-Nevada high-speed rail receives 25 million dollar grant
The United States Department of Transportation has awarded 25 million US dollars (23.1 million euros) to the Brightline West high-speed rail project in the states of California and Nevada in June. This will fund the construction of two stations, Hesperia and Apple Valley, on what will become one of the first high-speed rail systems in the US.
The Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) grant was awarded to the San Bernardino County Transportation Authority (SBCTA), to fund the Brightline West Victor Valley High-Speed Rail (HSR) Passenger Project. Brightline, a private provider of intercity passenger rail services, will use these funds to establish two new stations, one in Apple Valley and one in Hesperia. Brightline aims to connect Las Vegas and Southern California, with stations in Las Vegas, Apple Valley, Hesperia, and Rancho Cucamonga, and connectivity to the Metrolink regional rail network. Brighline currently operates its first rail services in south Florida, and now hopes to expand its operations in the west of the country.
Marked by a substantial investment of 12 billion dollars, Brightline West’s forthcoming 218-mile (about 350 kilometres) high-speed rail system is set to become one of the first high-speed rail networks in the United States. The realisation of the 12 billion dollar project hinges on the forthcoming approval of additional grants. Specifically, in April, the Nevada Department of Transportation submitted an application to the federal government, seeking a substantial sum of 3.75 billion dollars (about 3.4 billion euros) in funding. Service could begin in 2027.
Distinguished by its exclusive use of electric power, this high-speed rail system is projected to reduce road traffic, potentially eliminating over three million cars from the streets annually and curbing CO2 emissions by more than 400,000 tonnes yearly. Raymond Wolfe, executive director of the SBCTA, stated: “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.” At speeds of 300 kilometres per hour, trains will take passengers from Las Vegas to Rancho Cucamonga in just 2 hours and 10 minutes, twice as fast as the usual drive time.
Cajon Pass High-Speed Rail Project
The two new stations are poised to offer a high-speed rail connection to downtown Los Angeles through an integration with Metrolink’s San Bernardino Commuter Rail service. Indeed, Brightline also plans to build a station in Rancho Cucamonga, on Metrolink’s San Bernardino Line. Brightline is set to embark on the construction and operation of the Cajon Pass High-Speed Rail Project, spanning 49 miles (around 80 kilometres) and capable of attaining speeds of up to 140 miles per hour (or around 225 kilometres per hour).
This project will bridge the gap between Victor Valley and Rancho Cucamonga, in California, with railway stations strategically positioned in Hesperia and Rancho Cucamonga. Indeed, the envisioned route is planned to traverse the I-15 right-of-way for 48 miles, while the final mile into the proposed Rancho Cucamonga station will utilise existing transportation corridors. The operational aspect of the Project envisions trains running daily with 60-minute intervals between Victor Valley and Rancho Cucamonga, offering commuters a swift 35-minute journey.