New High-Speed Train Connecting Las Vegas and California Begins Construction

Connecting Las Vegas and California

According to The Washington Post, construction for a high-speed rail line from Las Vegas to Southern California commenced last week. The privately-owned company, Brightline, will operate this train, which will run from just south of the Vegas Strip to the Los Angeles suburb of Rancho Cucamonga, completing the trip in just over two hours.

“You’ll be sitting there flying by on Brightline, looking at all these brake lights on the highway, and thinking, ‘It sucks to be you,’” Jim Mathews, the CEO of the Rail Passengers Association, told the Post on Friday. “That’s what it’s going to be like for all those people trying to get from greater Los Angeles to Las Vegas.”

The $12 billion project is scheduled to be completed by early 2028, just in time for the 2028 Summer Olympics in L.A., The Washington Post noted. Brightline’s electric trains will depart every 45 minutes from both stations, making additional stops in the California towns of Hesperia and Apple Valley during the 218-mile journey. Traveling at speeds of 186 miles per hour, the train will significantly reduce the three-hour-plus travel time between Vegas and Rancho Cucamonga—without factoring in traffic delays.

In addition to a faster commute, Brightline offers several amenities that are unavailable when driving. However, many Los Angeles passengers will still need to drive to Rancho Cucamonga, a journey that can take over an hour even in light traffic conditions. Brightline’s stations feature comfortable seating areas, bars, and a lounge for premium passengers, as reported by the Post. During the trip, passengers will enjoy assigned seats, fast Wi-Fi, and snacks and drinks served by attendants.

Brightline, which also operates a route between Miami and Orlando, anticipates transporting around 6 million people during its first full year of operation, according to a federal assessment cited by the newspaper. Within a decade, that number could increase to 9.2 million passengers. For the SoCal-to-Vegas route, Brightline estimates that without the train, 75 percent of riders would drive, 15 percent would fly, and 10 percent would opt out of making the trip altogether.

While we’ll have to wait a few years to experience the Brightline journey, the company is betting on it being a game-changer for travel to and from Sin City.