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Construction On Las Vegas-California Train Could Start This Year

Virgin Trains USA, previously known as Brightline, already operates a high-speed train in Florida. Its California-Nevada project is expected to span 185 miles and take 90 minutes to move passengers between Las Vegas and Victorville, Calif., which is northeast of Los Angeles.

A company with plans to build a high-speed train line between Las Vegas and Southern California says it has been approved for tax-exempt bonds that will allow it to break ground by the end of the year.

“West Coast, we’re coming for you,” said a tweet Tuesday from Brightline, which already offers rail service in South Florida and would run the new line here as Virgin Trains.

California on Tuesday approved a $600 million private activity bond allocation that will allow the company to raise up to $2.4 billion for the project, according to a report by Forbes.

Along with a provisionally-awarded bond allocation from the U.S. Department of Transportation and one pending in Nevada, the company is just $800 million short of the project’s $5 billion construction tab, according to the report.

Construction on the line is expected to take about three years.

The all-electric California-Las Vegas train would tentatively run every 45 minutes from 6 a.m. to midnight, carrying up to 500 people at speeds approaching 200 mph.

The trip would take about 90 minutes.

The Clark County Commission has already approved permits for a train station near the South Premium Outlets mall at Las Vegas Boulevard and Warm Springs Road. The two-story station would house a passenger terminal, shops and restaurants.

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