December 7, 2023
The Biden administration allocated $3 billion in funding to Brightline West on Dec. 6, a high-speed bullet train connecting LA to Las Vegas.
In a groundbreaking move, the Biden administration allocated $3 billion in federal funding to Brightline West on Dec. 6, a high-speed bullet train connecting LA to Las Vegas, according to Daily Mail. The planned route, Brightline West, aims to cover the 270-mile journey through the Nevada desert at an impressive speed of 186 mph, completing the trip in just two hours. The project’s estimated cost is $12 billion, with the federal grant covering approximately one-third of the expenses.
Brightline, a private passenger rail company, recently completed a diesel-powered rail connecting Orlando to Miami and now stands as the only private passenger rail company in the United States. The high-speed electric-powered option proposed by Brightline West could make it the first of its kind in the country, revolutionizing rail travel.
Wes Edens, the billionaire part-owner of the Milwaukee Bucks and Aston Villa FC and co-founder of Brightline in 2012, expressed gratitude for the federal funding, stating, “We’re honored and humbled in the confidence President Biden, Secretary [Pete] Buttigieg, Senator [Jacky] Rosen [of Nevada], and so many others have placed in Brightline’s vision to bring true high-speed rail to America.”
The project, expected to be completed in 2028, is heralded as a historic moment and a significant step toward establishing high-speed rail as a new industry in the United States. Edens, worth a reported $3.7 billion, emphasized the readiness of Brightline to bring American-made, state-of-the-art high-speed train travel to the nation.
Sen. Jacky Rosen praised the high-speed rail project as a game-changer for Nevada’s tourism economy and transportation, anticipating increased visitors, reduced traffic on the I-15, job creation, and a positive environmental impact. The federal aid, derived from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, aligns with the government’s focus on improving infrastructure, including roads, bridges, and railways.
The proposed 270-mile link between LA and Las Vegas has garnered bipartisan support, with lawmakers highlighting its economic benefits and potential to emulate successful bullet train systems in Asia and Europe. The grant is a critical boost to the project’s completion, addressing transportation needs and enhancing connectivity between the two cities.
Brightline’s ambitious plan involves selling 12 million one-way tickets annually once the project reaches full operations. The funding secured from the Biden administration is expected to accelerate the construction timeline and aligns with Brightline’s commitment to creating a sustainable and environmentally friendly transportation option.
In an interview with Forbes, Edens underscored the economic viability of the high-speed rail system, emphasizing its potential to build value over years and generations. With federal funding, Brightline West aims to set new standards as the “greenest train in the world,” powered entirely by renewable energy, including solar farms spread across the California and Nevada deserts.
As the hurdles of federal funding are cleared, Brightline West anticipates overcoming any unforeseen challenges, with Edens confident in raising additional funds from private investors and realizing his vision of transforming rail travel in the United States.
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