Virgin Trains USA’s planned high speed train between Victorville, California and Las Vegas recently got some good news after a California state committee approved $300 million in tax exempt bonds to finance the service.
Virgin formerly Brightline is seeking $600 in bonding authority from the State Of California and $200 million from the State Of Nevada. The $800 million in bonding authority would allow the company to issue $2.4 billion in debt which would be about half the amount need to fund the system. The money would be used to fund the 185 miles of dual tracks along Interstate 15.
Brightline bought out XpressWest last year who for years has tried to get a train service going on the route from Victorville. XpressWest I might have mocked in the past because of it stopping in Victorville but also its plan to rent current freight issues was problematic. In the past i took the Amtrak to Las Vegas it was expensive and was supposed to take 6 hours but took over 9 hours because of freight train delays on a very busy freight line. The new service needs its own line to work it cannot be delayed or beholden to freight traffic.
The planned line between Las Vegas and Victorville is the first phase of the project with a later 50 miles extension heading to Palmdale to link up with the California High Speed Rail Service if it ever makes it to Palmdale which would then take you to Union Station in Downtown Los Angeles.