LAS VEGAS –Brightline, the only private provider of modern, eco-friendly intercity passenger rail in America, today announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the California State Transportation Agency (CalSTA), the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), and the California High-Speed Rail Authority. The MOU sets the framework regarding the use of 48 miles within Interstate 15 to be used for Brightline West to connect its planned Victor Valley station and a newly planned station in Rancho Cucamonga. The new station will provide connectivity to Metrolink’s system in Rancho Cucamonga, offering a seamless and straightforward access point for people traveling to and from Los Angeles. The total trip time will be about half the time of driving: two hours between Las Vegas and the new Rancho Cucamonga station, and three hours between Las Vegas and Los Angeles.
“This Memorandum of Understanding marks a critical milestone in our goal to connect the Los Angeles metropolitan area with the iconic entertainment destination of Las Vegas,” said Mike Reininger, CEO of Brightline Holdings. “This system will provide an optimal travel solution between Southern California and Las Vegas, and opens up the reality of emission-free, hospitality-focused high-speed rail service to millions of people traveling between these destinations every year.”
Brightline’s station in Rancho Cucamonga will be in the newly announced Cucamonga Station in the HART District, a full-service transit station building that will include the existing Metrolink platforms and a planned underground tunnel to Ontario International Airport. The station area will also provide connectivity to other local and regional transit partners as part of a multi-modal hub for the region through a partnership with several public and private stakeholders, including the San Bernardino County Transportation Authority and the City of Rancho Cucamonga. Through its connectivity with Metrolink, guests will have fast and convenient access in about an hour or less to many cities in the Greater Los Angeles area, including to Union Station in downtown Los Angeles, and other destinations throughout Southern California.
“In entering into this MOU with Brightline West, CalSTA, Caltrans, and the California High-Speed Rail Authority are setting the course for high-speed trains to connect Southern California and Las Vegas,” said CalSTA Secretary David S. Kim. “This is an important step in bringing major benefits to the state, including reduced congestion and greenhouse gas emissions on the Interstate 15 corridor and increased connectivity with rail and transit throughout Southern California as well as future connections with the state’s high-speed rail system.”
The service will bring substantial environmental and economic benefits to the region. It will utilize zero-emission electric trainsets capable of reaching speeds up to 180 miles per hour, which Brightline projects will reduce CO2 emissions by 400,000 tons each year and reduce vehicle miles traveled by 935 million annually. Brightline estimates the project will create 40,000 jobs during construction and 1,000 permanent jobs, with an economic impact of more than $10 billion. Brightline West expects to support more than 11 million trips annually.
“Along with planned underground loop service to Ontario International Airport, the upcoming Redlands Passenger Rail Service and the West Valley Connector bus rapid transit system, high-speed rail to and from Las Vegas is shaping up to be a game changer for our region. These projects will provide convenient connections to destinations throughout Southern California and beyond, and provide sustainable transit options for one of the fastest-growing population and economic centers in the country,” said Curt Hagman, Chairman of the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors and President of SBCTA.
The MOU follows a 15-day Notice of Intent process that took place earlier this year, which allowed for public comment on the project before signature. The project received overwhelming support from a variety of public and private entities for the positive impact it will have on the region.
Brightline is the only private provider of modern, eco-friendly, intercity rail service in America. The company currently operates between Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach in Florida and is scheduled to complete construction to the Orlando International Airport by the end of 2022. Brightline was recognized by Fast Company as one of the Most Innovative Companies in travel, offering a guest-first experience designed to reinvent train travel and take cars off the road. Brightline plans to bring its award-winning service to additional city pairs and congested corridors across the country that are too close to fly and too long to drive, with immediate plans to connect Las Vegas to Southern California. For more information, visit www.gobrightline.com and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Rod Washington Writer, filmmaker, model railroader, dreamer, posting videos and articles about trains. Also, posting railfanning videos and updates about his own model railroad layout via his webpage, the rail project (coming soon).