Construction starting on $12 billion high-speed rail between SoCal, Las Vegas

Construction is expected to begin Monday on a $12 billion high-speed passenger rail line between Southern California and Las Vegas.

Brightline West aims to lay 218 miles of new track between a terminal to be built just south of the Las Vegas Strip and another new facility in Rancho Cucamonga. That trip usually takes well over three hours by car.

The company says its fully-electric train will take just over two hours each way.

Almost the full distance is to be built in the median of Interstate 15, with a station stop in the Victorville area.

Forecasts are for 11 million one-way passengers per year, or some 30,000 per day, with fares well below airline travel costs. The trains will offer rest rooms, Wi-Fi, food and beverage sales and the option to check luggage.

In a statement, Brightline Holdings founder and Chairperson Wes Edens called the moment “the foundation for a new industry.”

Brightline aims to link other U.S. cities that are too near to each other for flying between them to make sense and too far for people to drive the distance, Edens said.

Story continues