Posts Tagged ‘Las Vegas’

Brightline West Projects Hits Another Snag

July 8, 2021

Brightline service between Las Vegas and Southern California has encountered another delay.

Brightline West recently said it will not issue private activity bonds to fund development of the service until next year.

The company had earlier said it planned launch construction this year of a high-speed rail line between Las Vegas and Victorville, California.

A Brightline spokesman attributed the delays to the COVID-19 pandemic slowing the planning of the proposed Rancho Cucamonga, California, station. The latter will enable Brightline passengers to connect with Metrolink trains to Los Angeles.

The private activity bonds from Nevada would total $200 million and Brightline is seeking $600 million in private activity bonds from California.

Under IRS guidelines the bonds could marketed for up to four times those amounts.

In a related development, Brightline said this week it has has purchased 110 acres at the south end of the Las Vegas strip for station.

Brightline said it is developing plans for a 65,000-square foot station on the site, which will also include parking and connections to existing and planned ground transportation systems.

LA-Vegas Thruway Service Modified

May 10, 2021

Amtrak has modified its Thruway bus service between Los Angeles and Las Vegas.

The buses are now following as outlined below.

A new service operated by Alvand Transportation will travel between Los Angeles and Las Vegas daily, connecting to Pacific Surfliner Trains 579, 580, 763, 768, 777 and 796.

Buses will make intermediate stops at San Bernardino, Victorville and Barstow.

More information is available at

New Thruway Stops in Emeryville, Las Vegas

April 9, 2021

Amtrak Thruway bus services in California and Nevada have new stops in two cities.

In Emeryville, California, Thruway buses are no longer stopping in front of the Emeryville Station.

Instead, the buses have moved to the bus stalls located on the ground floor of the parking garage immediately next to the Emeryville station.

In a service advisory, Amtrak said disembarking passengers should turn left on the path just before the station to get to the bus stalls.

In Las Vegas, Thruway buses will stop at new locations. The downtown buses will board on South 1st Street across from the Bonneville Transit Center just north of Garces Avenue.

This stop is for Thruway Bus service to Bakersfield, Barstow, Mojave, Tehachapi, Filmore, Santa Paula, Oxnard, Ventura, Carpinteria and Santa Barbara.

The South Strip Transfer Center will board buses to Bakersfield and Kingman on Gilespie Street offering service to Bakersfield, Santa Barbara and intermediate stops. Shuttle connections are available here to Kingman, Arizona.

Brightline West Expect to Begin Construction in Spring

January 15, 2021

Brightline West expects to begin construction of its high-speed rail route between Las Vegas and Southern California this spring.

The company disclosed the plan in a filing with the Nevada High-Speed Rail Authority.

Sarah Watterson, president of Brightline West, said in the filing that the project is “on target” to launch in the second quarter of 2021.

Brightline’s filing also indicated that it will make another attempt to sell private activity bonds that it is depending upon to fund the project.

An effort to sell $2.4 billion in bonds last November was canceled. At the time the company blamed an unfavorable market for calling off the sale.

Las Vegas Rail Project Bond Sale Facing Delays

October 28, 2020

A proposed high-speed rail route between Las Vegas and Southern California has been rebranded as Brightline West.

In the meantime, a public sale of bonds to finance creation of the line has been delayed.

Construction of the line will be undertaken in six phases, split evenly between California and Nevada.

Construction under the current timeline is projected to start later this year and will include

most of the right-of-way not within the median of Interstate 15.

The middle and north sections, 45 and 51 miles, respectively, are projected to begin in the second quarter of 2021.

One Nevada segment is projected to start this year with two other segments to get underway in the second quarter of 2021.

A website devoted to the project said, though, that the timeline is subject to change and is contingent upon bonds being sold in California by Dec. 1.

The prospect of a delay increased this week when Fortress Investment Group delayed the pricing of $3.2 billion of municipal bonds it will seek to sell to finance the project.

Some observers said this may be a sign that investors were hesitant to finance what they view as a speculative project at a time of economic uncertainty.

No new date has been set for the bond sale.

Brightline Bond Pricing Delayed

October 16, 2020

The reluctance of investors to buy bonds has led Fortress Investment Group to delay the pricing of $3.2 billion in municipal bonds to finance construction of Brightline’s Xpress West high-speed rail line between Southern California and Las Vegas.

A news report this week said investors are shying away from helping to finance the project in an uncertain economic climate.

Bond prices were to have been set on Wednesday but that has been delayed to an unspecified date.

 Brightline, which operates intercity rail passenger service in Florida, has until Dec. 1 to sell the bonds under a deadline set by California officials.

ExpressWest Reaches MOU With Metrolink, Calif. Agency to Study Expansion of Las Vegas Service

September 2, 2020

A memorandum of understanding has been reached between developers of the Brightline/XpressWest project and the boards of Metrolink and the San Bernardino County Transportation Authority on a study of a high-speed rail line between Las Vegas and the Los Angeles region.

XpressWest has proposed using an existing Metrolink route for 50 miles from a western terminus at Victorville, California.

Use of Metrolink tracks would create service from Las Vegas to the Los Angeles suburbs of Rancho Cucamonga and Palmdale.

“This is a forward-looking partnership that will allow us to explore the possibility to enhance the rider experience and attract new riders,” said Metrolink Chief Executive Officer Stephanie Wiggins.

The SBCTA’s board last July approved an MOU with Brightline/XpressWest to expand the high-speed rail service to Apple Valley, using the right of way through the Cajon Pass along Interstate 15 and eventually connecting with the Metrolink station in Rancho Cucamonga.

SBCTA and XpressWest are expected to collaborate on design and right-of-way issues, SBCTA officials said in a news release.

“The MOU allows us to work with XpressWest in looking outside the box in considering the possibility of a privately built and managed rail system through the Cajon Pass between Apple Valley and Rancho Cucamonga,” said SBCTA Executive Director Ray Wolfe.

Construction of Vegas Route to Begin in California

December 14, 2019

Work on building a intercity rail passenger route between Las Vegas and Southern California is expected to begin in California.

Officials with Virgin Trains USA have indicated that construction in Nevada is not expected to begin until 2021.

“They’ll probably start in about five different areas when construction starts,” said Virgin Trains’ business strategy vice president Tina Quigley. “Those five areas will probably be in California,”

Quigley said that only 35 miles of the 170-mile route will be located in Nevada.

Virgin is eyeing a 2023 date to begin the service, but several key steps still need to be taken.

These include receiving a formal record of decision from the Federal Railroad Administration and getting approval from Nevada authorities of a package of bonds worth more than $1 billion.

The latter needs to be finished by January or February in order for Virgin to stay on schedule.

Virgin Gets OK to Sell Bonds for Las Vegas Route

November 6, 2019

Virgin Trains USA received approval last week to issue $3.25 billion in development bonds to be used to pay for its Desert Xpress high-speed rail service between Las Vegas and Southern California.

The California Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank approved what observers said is the largest bond request in history of the state’s public sector development bank.

The development bank noted the project will create nearly 16,000 construction jobs and 400 permanent jobs once the trains are in operation.

The line will initially terminate in Victorville, California, although Virgin has said it wants to eventually extend service into Los Angeles.

The bond sales are expected to begin in the first quarter of 2020 with operations projected to start in 2023.

Virgin Eyes Mid 2020 Groundbreaking on Vegas Route

October 26, 2019

Virgin Trains USA indicated in a recent presentation to the Clark County Board of Commissioners in Las Vegas that groundbreaking for construction of its proposed Las Veglas-Southern California service will occur in mid 2020.

Virgin is seeking support from Nevada public officials for tax-exempt, private activity bonds that will be used to fund the project.

Similar funding was used to start and expand service in Florida.

In its Nevada presentation, Virgin indicated that it is moving faster than others have in the past to get revenue trains in service by late 2023 between Las Vegas and Victorville, California.

In time, Virgin said it will expand service Victorville to downtown Los Angeles.