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Brightline West bond effort pushed back to 2022

By | June 23, 2021

Pandemic cited for latest delay to Las Vegas-Victorville plan

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Rendering of green and white high speed train
Rendering of green and white high speed train
An artist’s conception of a Brightline West train. Plans to pursue private activity bonds for the project have now been postponed until 2022. (Brightline West)

LAS VEGAS, Nev. — The effort to finance the Brightline West high speed rail line between Las Vegas, Nev., and Victorville, Calif., will wait until 2022.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports Brightline spokesman Ben Porritt said the plan to seek funding through private activity bonds was being pushed back because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and that the company had notified agencies involved its effort of that plan beforehand. “COVID has impacted just about everyone,” Porritt said, “including our cooperating agencies and as a result, we’ve shifted our timeline for this request to 2022.”

Brightline was awarded $200 million in private activity bonds in Nevada and $600 million in California in 2020, allowing it to seek $2.4 billion in bond sales. But it postponed the sale in November 2020, because of market conditions, just days after detailing plans to start construction before the end of 2020 [see “Las Vegas high speed project, rebranded Brightline West …,” Trains News Wire, Oct. 26, 2020]. The company subsequently said it would begin construction in the second quarter of this year [see “Digest: Brightline West aims for spring start …,” News Wire, Jan. 14, 2021] before announcing the latest delay.

10 thoughts on “Brightline West bond effort pushed back to 2022

  1. Unless Brightline manages to build into the LA Basin, this project seems bound to fail. Victorville is nowhere. (Sorry if you live there.)

    1. I can’t agree with you more. I use to live in Southern California. If you are going to drive to Victorville, you might as well drive the rest of the way. At a minimum, the train must at least go to the San Bernardino/Riverside area to be viable. It would be even better to go to Union Station in Los Angeles. Then you have a real alternative to driving to Las Vegas on I-15, which is always terribly congested.

  2. Apparently neither Jf nor Anthony are aware that the end goal is to connect with Metrolink/CAHSR at some point and run into Union Station over Metrolink tracks…it’s prohibitively expensive to build another(3rd) route into So-Cal even and neither the UP nor BNSF would allow Brightline to use their rights of way to do so.

    1. Unless I am wrong as have not livid in Southern California for quite a while. Metrolink does not serve Victorville. That is why I suggested at least San Bernardino which is the start up to Cajon Pass and Victorville.

    2. Actually, I am aware of the somewhat sensible plan of linking with CAHSR at Palmdale, but building high speed rail beyond the Central Valley seems a little far-fetched at this point.

  3. Personally, I think Victorville is OK to start with, just enough to prove you can do it. Phase II is build to Rancho Cucamonga and a Metrolink connection. Depending how fast they go, though, it might be worth building the also-proposed Palmdale connection and then offering to build CAHSR’s line from there into LA (with CAHSR paying, that is) in exchange for operating rights into LA. At the current rate, CAHSR will still be building the Valley portion by then.

  4. Anthony, San Bernadino-Downtown is the closest Metrolink comes to Victorville per Metrolink’s website.

  5. UP never officially denied access to their ROW, they just wanted an awful amount of liability insurance coverage.

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