A New High-Speed Train Between Las Vegas and California Breaks Ground This Week

The future of train travel is beginning to take shape.

Construction on a high-speed rail line from Las Vegas to Southern California broke ground on Monday, The Washington Post reported. The privately owned company Brightline will eventually run a train from just south of the Vegas Strip to the Los Angeles suburb of Rancho Cucamonga, making the trip in just over two hours.

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“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, The Washington Post noted, in time for people who will be in the area for that year’s Summer Olympics in L.A. Brightline’s electric trains will leave every 45 minutes from both stations, making two additional stops in the California towns of Hesperia and Apple Valley during the 218-mile journey. Going at speeds of 186 miles per hour, the train will cut down on the three-hour-plus travel time between Vegas and Rancho Cucamonga—and that’s without traffic, of course.

Besides the relatively speedy commute, Brightline offers a host of amenities that you wouldn’t get while just sitting in your car. Of course, many Los Angeles passengers would still be seated in their car for a while to drive out to Rancho Cucamonga, with the trek taking more than an hour even in light traffic conditions. The company’s stations offer comfortable seating areas, bars, and a lounge for premium passengers, according to the Post. And during the trek, you’ll have assigned seats, fast Wi-Fi, and snacks and drinks brought right to you by attendants.

Brightline, which also operates a route between Miami and Orlando, expects to transport some 6 million people during its first full year of operation, according to a federal assessment cited by the newspaper. And within a decade, that number could jump to 9.2 million passengers. As far as the SoCal-to-Vegas train goes, Brightline thinks that without the route, 75 percent of riders would drive between the two locales, while 15 percent would fly. The other 10 percent would opt out of making the trip completely.

While we’ll have to wait a few years to get a taste of the Brightline trip, but the company is betting on it being game-changer when it comes to travel to and from Sin City.

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