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High-speed train company receives permission to use I-15 right-of-way in California

Posted at 12:24 PM, Jun 30, 2020

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — More good news for the company hoping to build a high-speed train between Las Vegas and California.

Brightline has been given the green light to use existing Interstate 15 right-of-way in California.

The 170-mile long trip between the Victor Valley Region to Las Vegas will be built within the median of the I-15. Modern, electric and zero emission trains will reach top speeds of 200 miles per hour, whisking passengers between destinations in 85 minutes. Approximately 135 miles of the system will be in California. The project will be privately financed and is expected to break ground by the end of 2020. Economic impact reports indicate that the project will create over 30,000 new jobs and six billion in economic impact.
“This is a major milestone in connecting two world-class destinations – Southern California and Las Vegas – with high-speed passenger rail service,” said Caltrans Director Toks Omishakin. “The XpressWest trains will provide a convenient alternative to driving to and from Las Vegas while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”

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Every year there are 50 million trips made between Las Vegas and the Southern California region – 85% by car or bus. Ridership estimates show that at full operations, XpressWest will carry 10 million passengers each year.

This lease agreement follows a 15-day Notice of Intent process that took place in May. The process allowed for public comment on the project before the lease agreement was signed. All comments received were supportive of the project and the positive impact it will have for the High Desert communities and Southern California.