DOT approves $2.5 billion for California-Nevada rail project

January 23, 2024

The U.S. Department of Transportation has approved $2.5 billion in private activity bonds for the Brightline West high-speed rail line, a privately owned initiative that will connect Las Vegas and Southern California.

The $12 billion high-speed rail project will feature fully electric, zero-emission trains capable of reaching speeds of up to 200 mph. Construction on the 218-mile line is expected to begin this year.

The DOT previously issued $1 billion in private activity bonds for the project in 2020. Additionally, the DOT in December awarded the Nevada Department of Transportation $3 billion in grants from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) for the initiative. The DOT also awarded a $25 million grant to the San Bernardino Transportation Authority in June to build stations in Hesperia and Victory Valley, California.

Earlier this month, Brightline began field investigation work in Nevada along the proposed rail corridor within Interstate 15 right of way. The field work will advance the final stages of design before groundbreaking.

Florida-based Brightline currently provides high-speed rail service between Miami and Orlando.

Brightline West is one of two high-speed rail projects planned for California. The California High-Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) is overseeing construction of an 800-mile high-speed line that will eventually connect Sacramento and San Diego. The DOT in December awarded a $3.1 billion grant from the BIL to accelerate construction of the first segment of the system in California’s Central Valley.

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Photo courtesy of Brightline West

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