LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Gov. Joe Lombardo got a firsthand look this week at Brightline’s Florida operations as the company works on the nation’s first high-speed rail project linking Las Vegas and the Los Angeles area.

Lombardo boarded Brightline’s intercity passenger rail service in Orlando and made the journey south with stops in West Palm Beach and Miami. He was accompanied by representatives from the Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) and the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (RTC), according to a Wednesday press release from Brightline.

The number of Nevada officials on the tour was not disclosed, and Lombardo was the only one identified. A photo of the delegation shows Tom Burns, director of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development among the officials. Virginia Valentine of the Nevada Resort Association is also in the photo.

Brightline West broke ground on April 22 in Las Vegas. The 218-mile connection to Rancho Cucamonga, a Los Angeles suburb, will take about four years to build. Surveying, soil sampling and site analysis has been ongoing since early this year in the Interstate 15 median, where the tracks will eventually be put down. The project cost is estimated at $12 billion.

“I enjoyed seeing the operations of Brightline firsthand this week,” Lombardo said. “The positive economic impact of Brightline is evident, and I look forward to the benefits this innovative transportation method will bring to Nevada in the near future.”

Along on the ride were Brightline executives, Florida elected officials, business and tourism officials.

“The delegation took a ride on the rails and heard from the public and private sectors of the economic impact created by Brightline,” according to the news release. “They heard from local elected officials and members of the business and tourism communities about Brightline’s impact on tourism and business recruitment, transit oriented development (TOD) and connectivity to public transportation systems including Tri-Rail and Metrorail.”

Brightline extended service north to Orlando and service began on Sept. 22, 2023. The train is described as “modern, eco-friendly intercity passenger rail,” but it is not high-speed rail. A Saturday one-way 235-mile trip from Miami to Orlando ranges from $89 to $169, but prices drop substantially at night, with fares as low as $37. The train travels at 79 mph between five South Florida stations, and goes up to 130 mph in sections between West Palm Beach and Orlando.

“Seeing what we’ve built in Florida and understanding its regional impact goes a long way in making Brightline West a success for the Las Vegas area,” Brightline CEO Mike Reininger said. “I want to thank Florida leaders for sharing how Brightline is transforming their communities and the positive exchange of ideas with our Nevada partners.”

Source link