The re-branded Brightline West (formerly Xpress West) looks to be on a trajectory to break ground in the second quarter of 2021. Construction on the rail line was supposed to begin last year but the covid-19 pandemic left the future of the project uncertain.
In a statement from Brightline West President, Sarah Watterson, she wrote, “We are preparing a revised financing plan for 2021 that is expected to include additional equity and a relaunch of the bond sale." She also cited Brightline’s recent issuance of nearly $1 billion in tax-free bonds to fund an expansion of its existing Florida line as evidence of “improving market conditions and strong interest in private intercity passenger rail projects.”
The company says the project would create 40,000 construction jobs and 1,000 permanent jobs. It also says the all-electric train will keep 400,000 tons of carbon dioxide out of the air each year and remove three million cars from Interstate 15, which is often clogged with travelers on weekends.
The train, with a top speed of 200 mph, is expected to cut travel time between Los Angeles and Las Vegas in half.
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