Construction on the highly anticipated bullet train that will transport Southern California residents to Las Vegas is expected to start in 2023 after Brightline, the company behind the project, inked a deal with a coalition of major labor unions.
The coalition, known as the High-Speed Rail Labor Coalition, includes “13 rail unions representing more than 160,000 freight, regional, commuter, and passenger railroad workers in the United States,” a news release said.
“Americans want high-speed rail, and Brightline West and the High-Speed Rail Labor Coalition will deliver,” the High-Speed Rail Labor Coalition shared in a statement.
The project is expected to be completed in 2026 or 2027, the International Railway Journey reported.
A newly designed station that will be built in Rancho Cucamonga will connect the station to existing Metrolink service lines in San Bernardino and Los Angeles so residents in those areas can travel to Las Vegas using the bullet train, the Daily Bulletin reported.
“People who need to go back and forth from Las Vegas, there’s really no need to deal with a four-hour trip on the freeway anymore or even worrying about flying,” Rancho Cucamonga City Manager John Gillison told KTLA. “You can literally come out, get on the rail line and two hours later be in Las Vegas, or vice versa if you’re going the other direction.”
Trains will be able to reach speeds of up to 200 miles per hour as they travel the 218-mile rail line. Brightline says they will be a fully-electric and emission-free.
The project also aims to significantly reduce CO2 emissions by eliminating the need for 3 million cars to travel to Las Vegas. Company officials hope the project will eliminate 400,000 tons of CO2 from roads annually and relieve traffic on Interstate 15.
The $10 billion project investment will also yield economic benefits. Construction for the train will produce nearly 35,000 jobs, have a more than $10 billion financial return and permanently create 1,000 jobs once the project is complete, officials said.
Before reaching the Las Vegas Strip, the train will stop in Rancho Cucamonga, Apple Valley, and Hesperia and Victorville.
Brightline currently operates in Miami, Aventura, Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton and West Palm Beach in Florida. The company plans to open an Orlando-based station in 2023.