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Vegas to L.A. high-speed rail line secures $3 billion in federal funding

Brightline West, the company behind the proposed high-speed rail, will privately finance the rest of the anticipated $12 billion cost.
Gabby Birenbaum
Gabby Birenbaum
CongressEconomyGovernment
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A rendering of what the Las Vegas Brightline West station, on Las Vegas Boulevard, might look like. (Brightline West/Courtesy).

The long-awaited, long-delayed high-speed rail train from Las Vegas to Southern California is $3 billion closer to leaving the station.

Brightline West — the company behind the proposed high-speed rail line between Las Vegas and Rancho Cucamonga — will receive $3 billion from the federal Department of Transportation, a large portion of the $3.75 billion the company was seeking in public funds. The remainder of the projected $12 billion cost will be privately financed.

In a statement, Brightline CEO Wes Edens thanked Rosen and called the funding announcement a "historic moment that will serve as a foundation for a new industry."

The funding comes from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which authorized spending more than $4.5 billion for intercity passenger rail funding for lines outside of the rail-rich Northeast Corridor. 

The news was welcomed by Nevada’s representatives in Congress. Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-NV), who has led congressional efforts to fund the line through letters and press conferences, called the announcement a “game changer” for the state’s tourism economy.

“It’ll bring more visitors to our state, reduce traffic on the I-15, create thousands of good paying jobs, and decrease carbon emissions, all while relying on local union labor,” Rosen said in a statement.

Brightline West, which aims to open in advance of the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics, already has much of the requisite permitting and project-labor agreements in place. The funding announcement was also met with praise from the High-Speed Rail Labor Coalition and the Southern Nevada Building Trades Union.

Rep. Dina Titus (D-NV), who serves on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, said the funding announcement marked “an unprecedented example for the possibilities of high-speed rail in our country.”

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