California will spend $218 billion on a new high-speed train that will take passengers from Las Angeles to Las Vegas in two hours.
The 218-mile rail system, built by Brightline, will use ultra-fast trains capable of carrying 1,200 passengers and reaching speeds of up to 200 miles per hour.
Brightline will begin construction this year, meaning services could be up and running in 2026 – but some officials speculate trains won’t run until between 2030 and 2033.
Named Brightline West, the rail system was first pitched in 2008 with a price tag of $9 billion, but the budget rose to $33 billion in 2020 and then to $35.3 billion last year.
And because of its hefty price tag and delays, some California officials are calling it the “Hot Mess Express.”
Brightline to begin construction of 220 miles of track that will send bullet trains from Los Angeles to Las Vegas in half the time
Brightline, the only privately owned rail company in the US, claims their high-speed train will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 400,000 tons as the bullet trains are powered by electricity.
Trains are expected to depart from downtown Los Angeles every 45 minutes to a station on the Vegas Strip.
Brightline West includes stations near the iconic Las Vegas Strip and in Rancho Cucamonga, Apple Valley and Hesperia, California.
“About 50 million one-way trips are made between these two destinations each year, 85 percent of which are by car or bus,” Brightline shared in a statement.
“When fully operational, we expect to attract approximately 12 million one-way trips annually.”
The bullet trains offer several amenities, including free WiFi on board, a wide selection of food and beverages, checked luggage and hotel check-in services.
However, the project should be ready in 2020, and now engineers, product managers and Californians have given up hope.
In April 2021, Brightline West CEO Mike Reininger predicted that construction would begin ‘within weeks’, but the project was delayed.
The trains reach up to 200 miles per hour, cutting the four-hour journey by car in half
Brightline West includes stations near the iconic Las Vegas Strip and in Rancho Cucamonga (pictured), Apple Valley and Hesperia, California.
According to the New York Times, the “projections commonly used by engineers and project managers” show that “the train could not be completed in this century.”
Some Republicans have dubbed the bullet train the “Hot Mess Express.” KCRA reports.
Californians have lost faith in this project, and the legislature has lost faith, too; it’s very frustrating,” said Councilor Vince Fong, R-Bakersfield.
“We need to end this project, take the resources and invest in better things.”
However, Reininger is not giving up yet and envisions the system as an “investment in America,” as the construction and operation of the railroad will create nearly 35,000 new jobs.
“Our nation’s first high-speed rail system will be operated and maintained by unionized workers, a testament to the strength of America’s workforce,” he said last year.
“As the most shovel-ready high-speed rail project in the United States, we’re one step closer to leveling the playing field against transit and infrastructure projects around the world, and we’re proud to employ America’s most skilled workers to get there. come .’