Brightline acquires XpressWest: Plans to offer Vegas-to-Victorville electrified train service in 2022

One-hundred and eighty-five miles is the distance by road, presumably, from Las Vegas in Nevada to Victorville in California.

We know for sure that that is the railway mileage between those two southwestern U.S. communities. This, according to Brightline in its Sept. 18, 2018 “Brightline to Build Express Intercity Passenger Rail Connecting Southern California and Las Vegas: Brightline to Acquire XpressWest and Develop the Second Privately Funded Corridor in the United States” news release.

And how is this relevant?

Well, it’s relevant because in the year 2022, initial high-speed passenger train service between the aforementioned southern Nevada and southern California communities is expected to begin. At least this is in Brightline’s estimation according to information stated in said release.

It’s also relevant because, potentially, over 50 million trips could be switched from both air and car travel over to passenger rail between Southern California and Las Vegas each year if building a high-speed train link is both completed and operating in this very corridor.

There is more spelled out in the release in question.

“Today [Sept. 18, 2018] Brightline, the nation’s only privately owned, operated and maintained express intercity passenger rail system, announced its expansion to the West Coast with the acquisition of XpressWest, a high-speed passenger rail project with rights to develop a federally approved corridor connecting Southern California and Las Vegas, Nevada. This project would be only the second privately funded express intercity passenger rail in the United States, following Brightline’s Florida rail corridor.

Further the company in the press statement said, “Brightline will link one of the most traveled routes in the country, connecting more than 22 million people living in Southern California with Las Vegas, one of the most visited cities in the U.S. According to ridership studies, travelers make more than 50 million annual trips between Las Vegas and Southern California. Today those travelers are limited to traveling by air or car, and Brightline expects to offer a convenient alternative that will make the trip in less than two hours.

“As a result of the XpressWest acquisition, Brightline will take over the development, construction and operation of the project and work with federal and local transportation officials to connect Las Vegas with Victorville, California, with future plans to expand into the Los Angeles area.

“The first phase of the corridor is expected to be built on a right of way within and adjacent to Interstate 15, traversing 185 miles with no at-grade or pedestrian crossings. Construction is expected to begin next year and Brightline is planning to begin initial service in 2022,” the company in the release further announced.

And adds Brightline President Patrick Goddard in said press statement: “‘Brightline’s model is setting a new standard for train travel in America.”

News release highlights:

  • “Brightline agrees to acquire XpressWest, a high-speed rail project with rights to develop a federally approved corridor connecting Southern California and Las Vegas
  • “Brightline will acquire 38 acres of land adjacent to the Las Vegas strip for the construction of a station and mixed-use development
  • “Brightline currently operates passenger rail service in Florida between Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach, and is expanding to Orlando, with plans to further expand into Tampa
  • “This project will be Brightline’s first corridor outside Florida and the second privately funded express intercity passenger [rail] service in the nation”

Once high-speed trains are in service, anticipated are considerable environmental and economic benefits brought to the corridor.

A definite win-win!

Image above: XpressWest

This post was last revised on Dec. 18, 2020 @ 4:43 p.m. Pacific Standard Time.

– Alan Kandel