Groundbreaking Ceremony Marks Start of High-Speed Rail Construction Linking Nevada to California, Scheduled for 2028 Opening

Groundbreaking Ceremony Marks Start of High-Speed Rail Construction Linking Nevada to California, Scheduled for 2028 Opening

The Transportation Secretary and other officials broke ground on what will be the next high-speed train line in the United States on Monday.

“I’m convinced that the first time Americans actually experience American high-speed rail on U.S. soil, there’s going to be no going back, and people are going to expect and demand it all across the country,” Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg told CNBC on Monday.

Brightline West’s railroad, which also has a route in Florida, should be open by 2028. It will have a 218-mile route from Las Vegas, Nevada, to Los Angeles, California, and will be able to hit speeds of 200 miles per hour.

Some people are calling it the “first true high-speed rail system” in the US. It’s supposed to be up and running in time for the Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. It will take half as long as usual to get people where they need to go, instead of two hours.

It is paid for by President Joe Biden’s bipartisan building bill for 2021. Biden announced in December that the federal government would give $8.2 billion to new train projects. This included $3 billion to “fast track” the project to build a high-speed rail system between Nevada and California.

But private money will pay for the rest of the project. Brightline said the project would boost the economy by more than $10 billion and create more than 35,000 new jobs in the two states while it is being built.

A possible high-speed rail line in California has been talked about since 2012, when the Obama government tried to get the idea going. Biden said in December that the high-speed line would serve more than 11 million people a year, which would mean fewer cars on the road and lower pollution in the area.

A representative from the Transport Workers Union praised the historic day.

“International President John Samuelsen of the Transport Workers Union is proud to be here to see the start of this important infrastructure project that will change the way people travel and create thousands of good-paying jobs,” he said in a statement.

The Brightline West project has now officially “broken ground.” Wes Edens told me that work would start to make a difference in late summer or early fall.

“Investments in big infrastructure projects like Brightline West provide more than just a way to get from one place to another, they provide jobs with a pathway to economic security for hardworking Americans,” he added.

Buttigieg wrote on social media early Monday morning that the day was “a major milestone in building the future of American rail and the jobs that come with it.”

The Transportation Department said on its website, “For decades, America has not invested in passenger rail the way other countries have.”

“That changes today, with the start of construction on Brightline West,” they said.

Nevada’s Democratic Sen. Jacky Rosen wrote on X, “This project will help Nevada’s tourism industry and create good-paying union jobs.”

Catherine Cortez Masto, Nevada’s other Democrat senator, agreed with Rosen that Brightline West would help Nevada’s tourism business and create “good-paying union jobs.” Her post on social media said it all.

In his account of the day, Nevada’s Democratic Assembly speaker, Steve Yeager, also talked about union jobs, “less traffic and air pollution, and a greatly improved travel experience.” He also said that the groundbreaking event had “a packed house.”

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