Private passenger rail services operator Brightline has received the go-ahead from transit agencies to begin planning two extensions for its $5 billion high-speed Las Vegas train, tying into existing Los Angeles-area commuter rail lines and, someday, California’s high-speed rail project.
The planned extensions would likely add about $2 billion of additional construction costs for the Florida-based company, Forbes has reported.
The board of Metrolink, operator of commuter trains that run from downtown Los Angeles to communities sprawled across six Southern California counties, unanimously approved a memorandum of understanding on Aug. 21 to study linking Brightline’s XpressWest project to Metrolink stations in L.A. suburbs Rancho Cucamonga and Palmdale. Each of the extensions would be about 50 miles from the current XpressWest terminal in Victorville.
“This is a forward-looking partnership that will allow us to explore the possibility to enhance the rider experience and attract new riders,” said Metrolink CEO Stephanie Wiggins. “Working with Brightline we can further connect our integrated regional transportation system. This could expand travelers’ access to passenger rail, which is a safe, stress-free form of transportation where riders can enjoy the journey as much as the destination while reducing emissions contributing to a cleaner tomorrow.”