The Las Vegas bullet train has been a long-awaited addition to the West Coast. Although there are many travel options available currently, including planes, buses, and cars, the train is planned to offer an alternative that, in many cases, will be a faster way to reach your destination.
Brightline has announced that construction on the train, Brightline West, will start later this year. Let’s take a look at what to expect from it, when to expect it, and what to see along the way!
History Of The Las Vegas Bullet Train
Since its inception almost 20 years ago, the Las Vegas bullet train has undergone various iterations and owners.
DesertXpress LLC was the original company to develop the plan for the project in 2005 and the train was planned to run from Victorville to Vegas. In June 2012, it was announced that the project would expand to include stops in Arizona, Utah, and Colorado and be renamed XpressWest.
There was an announcement made in 2018 that Brightline would acquire the project and begin designing the route for the train. By the end of 2019, the project design was 30% completed and the project was set to be funded.
What Is The Building Cost Of The Bullet Train?
Throughout the period of 20 years that the railway has been in the works, the cost of building it has fluctuated a lot.
Currently, the cost of the railway is at roughly $10 Billion dollars. This is being funded by many sources, including the state of California. An application is currently being submitted to the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act so this final number of the cost may change.
What’s The Projected Timeline Of The Las Vegas Bullet Train?
In February, Brightline announced an important labor agreement was made and that construction on the railway would begin in late 2023.
Under the current plan that Brightline has developed, construction will last 3.5-4 years and will be completed in late 2027, a year before the summer Olympics will be held in Los Angeles.
During this 3.5-4 year period, the railway will be constructed through Rancho Cucamonga, Apple Valley, and Hesperia, and ending near the Las Vegas strip.
What We Know About The Las Vegas Bullet Train
Despite the fact that many of the details of the project are being kept under wraps for now, there has still been a handful of exciting details made available to the public about the bullet train.
The current projected route involves Rancho Cucamonga, Apple Valley, Hesperia, and Las Vegas. For access directly to Los Angeles, Metrolink connections will be part of the route.
Additionally, a connection to the California High-Speed Rail in Palmdale is confirmed to be in the future plans.
Offerings On Train
A Brightline West railway experience is similar to that provided by their Florida railway, with their elevated trains as the mode of transportation.
On Brightline trains, there is no shortage of ways to stay connected, including free Wi-Fi onboard as well as USB ports and outlets located right at your seat, so that you can stay connected anywhere in the train.
It is also worth noting that luggage options are plentiful with plenty of space for carry-on suitcases and even bike racks available. If you’re not planning to pack light, Brightline offers to check your bag before boarding the train.
The offerings on Brightline West are likely to differ from those on the east coast, however, there is confirmed to be a wide range of snacks and beverages available for purchase on the train ride, so you can grab a bite while you enjoy your view on the way to Las Vegas.
Lastly, Brightline trains are also pet-friendly, which means that you can bring your furry friend along on vacation with you no matter where you are going!
Expected travel time
Current expected travel time for the Brightline West train is around 2 hours and 15 minutes. In contrast to the four-hour drive between Las Vegas and Los Angeles, you will be able to take advantage of all the attractions the city has to offer instead of being stuck on the highway.
Las Vegas Bullet Train Details
- Estimated travel time is currently 2 hours and 15 minutes.
- The train is expected to be two times faster than driving.
- The top speed is expected to be 180 miles per hour.
- The train will be zero emissions.
- Expected to remove 3 million vehicles annually, eliminating 400,000 tons of carbon emissions.
- Expected to create approximately 40,000 construction jobs and 1,000 permanent jobs.
- Expected to generate $1 billion in tax revenue.
- Brightline West will construct 3 wildlife crossings over I-15 to provide a sustainable path for wildlife at Zzyzx Road, Mountain Pass, and Rasor Road.
- Brightline West will restore and install desert tortoise fencing and directional wildlife exclusionary fencing.
Tourist Attractions To Visit In Los Angeles
You definitely cannot miss out on everything there is to see and do in Los Angeles, whether your starting or ending point is here. Below are some favorite spots for both food and fun!
Black Market Liquor Bar
Founded by Antonia Lofaso, Black Market Liquor Bar is a must-stop destination for foodies. Apart from offering an outstanding selection of great cocktails, Black Market also offers a wide range of delicious dishes that you will not want to share with anyone.
Forma is a cheese lover’s paradise. This restaurant, located in the heart of Santa Monica, has a dedicated cheese bar that offers a wide variety of cheeses from all over the world, and it also has a section of its dinner menu that offers pasta dishes that are tossed in a large wheel of cheese!
Yamashiro makes a great choice for anyone looking for a restaurant with both a rich history and amazing food. This sushi restaurant has been the filming location for many iconic movies over the years (such as Blind Date, Gone in 60 Seconds, and Kill Bill, among others), and it is a great place to enjoy an unforgettable dinner.
TCL Chinese Theatre
The TCL Chinese Theatre is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city, and there is a good reason for that! It is an excellent experience to watch the latest movies in the historic theater after taking pictures of the many celebrity handprints adorning the ground on the outside.
Among the best places to view Los Angeles’ skyline is the Griffith Observatory. In addition to the stunning views, the observatory hosts daily educational programs, including a tesla coil demonstration and public telescope viewings.
Universal Studios Hollywood
A trip to Universal Studios combines thrills with a behind-the-scenes look at how Hollywood movies are made. The park’s highlights include the Wizarding World, a studio backlot tour, and the newly opened Super Mario Land.
Tourist Attractions To Visit In Vegas
With high-end casinos, incredible entertainment, and a variety of delicious restaurants to choose from, Las Vegas is the ideal place for a getaway, no matter how long you decide to stay!
There is no doubt that Wicked Spoon is one of the most innovative buffets on the Strip, serving a mix of traditional buffet items as well as small plates on the line to ensure a more sanitary dining experience. This is a great place to grab a bite for breakfast, brunch, or lunch.
Peppermill Restaurant and Fireside Lounge
Peppermill is another location which has been featured in TV shows and films over the years. Having recently celebrated its 50th anniversary of being open, this restaurant features a classic American dining experience within an environment of neon lighting.
Ping Pang Pong
Located in the Golden Nugget casino on Fremont Street, Ping Pong Pong takes Chinese cuisine to a whole new level. Offering many classic dishes with a refined twist, this restaurant is the perfect place to grab a bite while you’re downtown.
Shark Reef Aquarium
The Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay is the perfect place for the whole family to enjoy the variety of sea creatures the aquarium has to offer, including stingray touch pools and shark feedings.
An immersive art experience located just off the strip, OmegaMart has become one of the most popular attractions online. This exhibit flips a supermarket on its head with wavy products that are actually available for purchase! We don’t want to spoil all the fun, so you’ll have to visit and find all of the fun things OmegaMart has to offer yourself.
Pinball Hall of Fame
Many tourists visiting the area can’t miss the Pinball Hall of Fame, which has recently moved to a larger facility. This museum has been put together by many members of the Las Vegas Pinball Collectors Club and offers nearly 700 playable pinball machines.
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Morgan Mulac is a freelance writer who has spent years on the road as a nomad and now has settled back in California with her family. Some of her favorite spots to travel to in California are in Orange County and the many beaches along the coast. She’s an avid writer about her journeys and enjoys sharing the beauty California has to offer.