Brightline Acquires Xpress

Florida-based Brightline is eyeing expanding in the West after it agreed to acquire XpressWest, a proposed high-speed rail project that had hoped to link Southern California and Las Vegas.

Brightline will take over the development, construction and operation of the project, which initially will operate between Las Vegas and Victorville, California.

In a news release, Brightline said service will be extended to Los Angeles at a later date.

The corridor’s first phase is expected to be built on right of way within and adjacent to Interstate 15, traversing 185 miles with no grade or pedestrian crossings.

Construction is expected to begin next year with service starting in 2022.

The carrier is acquiring 38 acres adjacent to the Las Vegas strip for construction of the Las Vegas rail station and mixed-use development.

Planning is underway for additional stations, as well as for potential connections to Metrolink and California’s future high-speed rail line between Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Brightline currently operates daily intercity rail service on Florida East Coast Railway track between Miami and West Palm Beach, Florida.

The company is planning to expand to Orlando International Airport in 2021 and, potentially, to Tampa.

“Brightline is changing transportation in our country by connecting heavily trafficked corridors that are too long to drive and too short to fly,” said Wes Edens, co-founder and co-chief executive officer of Fortress Investment Group, which owns All Aboard Florida, Brightline’s parent. “Our experience in Florida is proving that private-sector investment has a meaningful role to play in developing transportation infrastructure.”

Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

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