Las Vegas to SoCal high-speed line is making rapid progress
Virgin Trains USA, the private company building a high-speed line between Southern California and Las Vegas, has agreed on terms to lease the existing I-15 right-of-way in California. The agreement with Caltrans, on the authority of the California State Transportation Agency, is “a major milestone in connecting two world-class destinations,” according to the director of Caltrans.
The project cleared another hurdle in April when California approved it for the sale of $600 million in tax-exempt bonds, allowing construction to begin later this year.
The roughly 170-mile line will originate in Victorville, CA, and will carry an estimated 10 million passengers annually on 200 mph, electric, zero-emissions trains. There are currently about 50 million trips each year between the two cities—roughly 85 percent of them by car or bus.
Virgin Trains also operates Brightline trains in Southern Florida, which currently run from Miami to Ft. Lauderdale and West Palm Beach. Virgin plans to extend the line to Orlando.
The new Las Vegas line is expected to create roughly 30,000 jobs during the construction phase and 1,000 permanent jobs.