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Bipartisan Congressional Group Asks Biden Administration for Las Vegas-Los Angeles Bullet Train Funding

Bipartisan Congressional Group Asks Biden Administration for Las Vegas-Los Angeles Bullet Train Funding

Meanwhile, the LA-SF bullet train project faces more cost increases and possible delays.

A bipartisan congressional group from Nevada and California have asked the Biden administration for federal funds to build a high-speed rail line between Las Vegas and the Los Angeles area.

The system would be constructed by a private company.

All six of Nevada’s elected federal lawmakers and four House members from California sent the letter to U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. They said they’re on board with a proposal from Brightline West to spend more than $10 billion to lay tracks along the Interstate 15 corridor.

Traffic jams on the interstate often stretch for 15 miles (24 kilometers) near the Nevada-California line as motorists head home after weekend or holiday travel to Las Vegas.

The Mojave Desert is largely open space, and the electric-powered trains could potentially cut the four-hour trip in half, carrying passengers at speeds of nearly 200 mph (322 kph).

“This project is a major priority because it will make southern Nevada more accessible to millions of visitors each year,” said U.S. Sen. Jacky Rosen, the Nevada Democrat leading the group. She said it “will boost our economy and create more good-paying jobs.”

Brightline West hoping to get $3.75 billion in federal funding from the Biden administration-backed federal infrastructure law.

The company and the Southern Nevada Building Trades Union announced in recent weeks that union labor will be used during construction.

“After more than a decade of working to find a pathway, Brightline West will be the first true high-speed rail system in America and will serve as the blueprint for how we can connect major city pairs that are too short to fly and too far to drive,” said Mike Reininger, CEO of Florida-based Brightline Holdings LLC.

The lawmakers’ letter pointed to company projections of 35,000 construction jobs, 1,000 permanent jobs and the diversion of “millions of automobile users from I-15 onto a faster, more efficient, zero-emission transportation option.”

Interestingly, the firm intends to use “zero-emission electric trains.”

According to Brightline, the expected travel time between Las Vegas and Los Angeles is approximately 2.5 hours. The zero-emission electric trains could carry 500 passengers at speeds of nearly 200 mph

Approximately 50 million one-way trips are made annually between these two destinations with 85% of them by car or bus, the company said. At full operations, Brightline expects to attract approximately 12 million one-way trips each year.

Amenities for travelers include free onboard WiFi, ADA accessibility from station to train, a wide selection of food and drinks, checked luggage, and hotel check-in services.

“This project is a major priority because it will make southern Nevada more accessible to millions of visitors each year,” said U.S. Sen. Jacky Rosen, the Nevada Democrat leading the group. She said it “will boost our economy and create more good-paying jobs.”

Let’s hope the state’s electrical grid can handle wattage requirements.

Meanwhile, there is an update to California’s current bullet train project between Los Angeles and San Francisco.

There are reported to be more cost overruns and delays.

High Speed Rail Authority officials on Thursday could not provide an estimated completion date for the original vision pitched to voters but said the price tag for the entire project is now up to $128 billion, a 13% increase from last year’s projections.

Construction is currently focused on a segment in the Central Valley, a 170-mile stretch between Bakersfield and Merced. Project officials last year estimated that the route would be ready for riders in 2030. While that is still their goal, the latest update shows service could begin sometime between 2030 and 2033.

The Central Valley segment also faces 41% in cost increases compared to last year’s estimates, now expected to cost up to $35.3 billion. Part of the scoping plan changed between this year and last, with this year’s estimate including light maintenance facilities and new elements for the station in Bakersfield. Project leaders also pointed to the impacts of COVID-19, inflation and supply chain issues that have raised the prices of labor, concrete and steel.

The Los Angeles to San Francisco project was originally pitched to voters with a $33 billion price tag and an estimate that it would begin operating in 2020. Voters approved $9 billion for the project in 2008.

The Vegas destination may help incentivize the completion of the proposed project. Not only is Las Vegas fun, but Nevada is a favorite destination of Californians fleeing the state.

More people and more Californians keep moving to Nevada every year, according to UNLV researchers.

The data shows a continued influx of people in 2021 and 2022, despite higher mortgage rates and the start of an economic slump.

UNLV researchers tracked and recorded the data of people who surrendered their drivers licenses to the Nevada DMV. After a slump in 2020, the number of people choosing to move to Nevada surged.


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2smartforlibs | April 25, 2023 at 9:09 am

Talk about your bride to nowhere. This was a dingy harry Ried dream.

    docduracoat in reply to 2smartforlibs. | April 26, 2023 at 3:32 pm

    I would like to say that here in Florida bright line has been built with private funds.
    So far it runs from Miami to West Palm Beach as a “higher speed train” that goes about 100 miles an hour.
    Plans are to continue it all the way to Orlando.
    Fares are pretty reasonable, the only reason I don’t take it to go to Miami is they have metal detectors and do not allow your firearm to go with you.

    And I am not going to Miami without my concealed carry pistol

Good Lord, is this a piece from The Onion? After the monumental boondoggle and grift-o-palooza that has been the LA-SF ‘high speed rail to nowhere’ project, do they really have the audacity to put their hand out again?

Here’s an idea… LA and LV are two of the richest cities in the country. If y’all want a toy train PAY FOR IT YOURSELVES!!!

    jim_m in reply to Paul. | April 26, 2023 at 6:23 am

    In other news, a new high speed rail service was announced between Sodom and Gomorrah. Local resident Lot said, “we can’t go looking back at the past, we need to keep our eyes fixed on the future.”

Morning Sunshine | April 25, 2023 at 9:13 am




if there is demand for such, the private sector will do it. But then they could not use public domain to take private land. Bummer.

so, no again.

UnCivilServant | April 25, 2023 at 9:20 am

Why? To help evacuate Los Angelino Refugees from Commiefornia?

It’s not like it would ever be finished before that state finishes collapsing. They’ll have to hoof it like everyone else fleeing that disaster.

Let me just get this straight. What you’re saying is that no private corporation will touch the project because it’s sure to lose tons of money. Therefore, you want the taxpayers to build the project so that they, not private industry, will lose the money.

See, that’s how communism works.

    Idonttweet in reply to dging. | April 26, 2023 at 9:42 am

    How exactly does this benefit LA or California? It seems to me that, except for the initial construction, most of which would be in California, only Las Vegas stands to see any economic benefit. The money will be flowing out of California, specifically LA, to be spent in Las Vegas restaurants, hotels, and casinos, while LA might get sales tax on the train tickets. Again, the temporary construction project will benefit some Californians, but after that the benefits all accrue to Las Vegas. Add to that the questions about how California and its anemic power grid will power this electric train and it just doesn’t appear to make much sense for California.

      henrybowman in reply to Idonttweet. | April 26, 2023 at 11:37 am

      It’s politically-connected Californians trying to scam the government into paying to solve the state’s U-Haul shortage.

2nd Ammendment Mother | April 25, 2023 at 9:59 am

As noted, because that California train is on time and under budget?

More chimeric, unviable and fiscally profligate choo-choo train fantasies from the idiotic Dumb-o-crats.

How about those two Cities and those two States work together to figure out how to finance this boondoggle without Federal $. Why should Federal tax dollars go to this when they derive no benefits? Privatize Amtrak and keep all other rail systems off the govt teat.

If the goal is to build something along the right of way of I-15 between the two cities, why not just add three lanes in each direction to the interstate and be done? Has to be cheaper than “high speed rail”, and the trades unions would be just as happy to put down rebar and pour concrete.

Driving the losers back to LA even faster.

Man…the Friday morning ride from LA to LV is going to be awesome.

10 Billion? For weekend and holiday travel to Vegas? With all the train derailments we’re having, maybe we should relpace some of the old worn out tracks that carry dangerous chemicals.


For some odd reason I am not surprised.

If you want to cut the travel time between LV and LA in half then get on a F”NG PLANE! We’re not Europe so stop trying to be Europe. It’s all a bunch of globalist BS using climate change to get more control over the plebes, F THEM.

Bipartisan???? No names or how many???

E Howard Hunt | April 25, 2023 at 1:48 pm

How about a zero-emission Transportation Secretary?

It is well to remember the accumulated losses on the Chinese bullet trains are now $830,000,000,000 with absolutely no end in sight.

So a proposed bipartisan boondoggle. No, just no.

There is one single track line that runs in and out of Las Vegas for freight. It doesn’t come from LA. Amrak has no station there- the nearest station being 1.5 road hours away. Rails were constructed to where there was traffic justified to run the rails.

So to build a high speed rail line would require two tracks the entire distance- where no right of way TBH- this is one of the areas where monrail might actually be a solution. A right of way exists where an overhead monorail could be consturcted- the I-15 corridor.

A SAFEGE type suspended monorail could be constructed along the median of the interstate. Straddle types are more common- why SAFEGE? All weather operation. Snow, rain, hail, none of them affect the operation. The drive system is encased.

But built by government? No. But how to get private industry to build it?
1. No property or other type taxes on any infrastructure required to build an operate it. Ever.
2. Use of existing interstate right of way with no charges, ever.
3. Government pays for all legal costs for fighting any groip opposed to construction.
4. Government pays for legal costs in acquistion of property for any stations along the way that government wants/requires.

What might government want to require along with the passenger operation? Well, IMHO, I think if private industry really wants to make money- they’re want to explore a way to carry passenger vehicles aboard. For an extra charge of course. And ability to carry palletized loads with quick access loading/unloading.

If with all that private industry can’t raise the investment money- it’s not worth doing.

Building a rail right of way will never be worth doing.

“Approximately 50 million one-way trips are made annually between these two destinations”

One-way trips? That’s right! And most of them are in U-Hauls.

BierceAmbrose | April 25, 2023 at 4:48 pm

If it were worth what it took to build it, to them, who would use it, they’d fund the thing themselves in a hot minute.

Seems legit.

What is this weird obsession on the Left with high-speed trains? It’s kinda creepy.

    henrybowman in reply to andywidener. | April 26, 2023 at 11:39 am

    Most of these grand construction projects are just ways to launder tax money into the pockets of construction unions who got out the votes for Democrats.

      BierceAmbrose in reply to henrybowman. | April 26, 2023 at 3:53 pm

      I came up with the proxy “Concrete Pour Metric” for local econ development.

      You’d find plans and programs released with no change to their value, impact, cost, etc. Others would languish, independent of same. BUT something would always get pulled off the backlog to build.

      Public works projects are orchestrated to maintain about the same, constant rate of new concrete pour. When enough is gettig poured, nothing new starts. When the rate goes down, something gets released. I *think* concrete pour rate is a proxy for the payoff to pubic works constituencies who matter. They gotta get their constant taste, to keep them in the fold.

      In any event, it works.

Oh hell no.

LA and Las Vegas are already connected by rail and have been since at least the 1930s. Has anything been done to encourage passenger transport via this system to avoid all those terrible traffic jams (and yeah, I’ve been in them, they do exist)? Answer – no, it hasn’t.

Any “High Speed Rail” connecting the two cities implies a straight line drilled or blasted through the San Gabriel Mountains. Just how ecologically sound or safe is that?

Nah, if the shakers and movers of LA and LV really want this line, let them deal with the eco-nazis and fund it themselves.

    gospace in reply to Gosport. | April 26, 2023 at 2:52 pm

    Well, yes they are. By a line that is mostly sungle track. Designed for freight- owned by freight railroad lines, so freight trains would have the right of way.

    Now tourist trains can be run profitably. That line likely has some spectacular views. Could a once a week tourist run ,ake money, riding over existing tracks? Maybe. Would take a real railfan to explore that opportunity.

Oversoul Of Dusk | April 25, 2023 at 8:22 pm

Why are members of the legislative branch asking the executive branch for money?

How does this financially help California when all the big money is spent in Nevada? Better build high speed rail from Sacramento into the ocean for the lemmings.

It will take them 20 years to get a permit, all it takes is one group and one lawsuit to put a project like that on hold even of it made financial sense.

Las Vegas needs more gamblers