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Groundbreaking Event Marks Commencement of High-Speed Train Project Connecting Las Vegas to Los Angeles

A $12 billion high-speed rail project that will connect Las Vegas and the Los Angeles region got underway on Monday when union, federal, and transportation executives met in Las Vegas and drove spikes into a symbolic rail.

“People have been dreaming of high-speed rail in America for decades,” Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said Monday ahead of the groundbreaking ceremony. “It’s really happening this time.”

It is anticipated that Brightline West, the only privately owned passenger rail operator in the US, will construct a 218-mile intercity passenger rail network between Las Vegas and Rancho Cucamonga, California, connecting to the current regional rail system in Los Angeles.
Buttigieg praised the Biden administration’s backing for the project on Monday, pointing out that it will boost local economies and create thousands of union jobs, according to an Associated Press story. About $12 billion is expected to be spent on the project, $3 billion of which was approved by the Biden administration last year. Trains can reach up to 180 mph on this trip, so it should take a little over two hours. Compared to driving, this will be almost twice as fast.

Proponents of the project anticipate that the train line will lower pollutants, traffic, and transportation costs. Every year, an estimated 16 million travelers travel over Interstate 15 through the Mojave Desert on their way from Las Vegas to Southern California. According to Brightline, the project might reduce 3 million annual car journeys. The business hopes to have the building completed in time for the 2028 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.

“I believe we’ll look back at today and say, ’This was the birth of an industry of high-speed rail,’” Brightline Holdings founder Wes Edens said Monday.

The first-ever high-speed Orlando to Miami service was introduced by Florida-based Brightline last year. According to the news wire, these trains have a top speed of 125 mph and run 16 round trips every day.

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