Posts Tagged ‘Los Angeles-Las Vegas corridor’

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.

New LA-Vegas Thruway Route Launched

May 21, 2021

Amtrak has established a new daily Thruway route linking Los Angeles with Las Vegas.

The bus route connects with Amtrak’s Pacific Surfliner service and operates twice daily.

Intermediate stops are made at San Bernardino, Victorville, and Barstow, as well as two stops in Las Vegas.

Passengers are guaranteed a connection to Surfliner trains. However, Thruway passengers can buy bus tickets without a train segment if they so choose.

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 http://www.PacificSurfliner.com/Thruway.

Brightline West Expects Work to Begin in 2nd Quarter

April 15, 2021

Brightline West said it is on schedule to begin construction of a high-speed intercity rail line between Las Vegas and Southern California.

It said work would begin in the second quarter of this year but did not specify a date for when construction of the 170-mile line between Las Vegas and Victorville, California, would get underway.

“The world changed as a result of the pandemic, but we continued to work wherever we possibly could toward advancing the ball,” said Brightline West CEO Mike Reininger. “The project remains a very high priority for us.”

The effects of the pandemic on the project were described in a letter sent in January by Brightline to the Nevada High-Speed Rail Authority. One of those was obtaining funding for the project.

In a related development Brightline West has asked the U.S. Surface Transportation Board for an exemption from certain regulatory requirements in order to construct and operate an extended 50-mile high-speed rail line between Victor Valley and Rancho Cucamonga, California.

That proposed line would extend the a previously approved Las Vegas-to-Victorville line..

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.

Lack of Interest Thwarts Bond Sale

November 7, 2020

Lack of interest has thwarted for now the plans of Fortress Investment Group to sell bonds to support its $8.4 billion Brightline West high speed rail project connecting Las Vegas and Southern California.

Fortress was facing a Dec. 1 deadline imposed by the state of California to sell the bonds but it now plans to take back the bond capacity and instead use it on affordable housing projects and other kinds of qualifying ventures.

A Brightline spokesman said the plans to develop the route will still move forward but will result in shifting the funding goals until the market improves.

Fortress had been offering $3.2 billion in bonds issued through California and Nevada agencies.

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.

Las Vegas Project Bond Sale Reduced

October 22, 2020

The size of the public bond sale that will finance a Las Vegas to Southern California high-speed rail project has been set at $2.4 billion.

Fortress Investment Group in announcing the sale said it will be the largest offering of unrated municipal securities.

It also acknowledged that the sale is $800,000 less than what it previously expected to sell.

The rail line will be operated by Brightline and extend from Las Vegas to Victorville, California.

Eventually, trains will reach Los Angele over tracks used by commuter rail agency Metrolink. The service has thus far been branded as Xpress West.

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.

Bond Sales Expected for Las Vegas Project

September 29, 2020

An investment group said that Brightline expects to offer $3.2 billion of tax-exempt private equity bonds to help finance construction of a high-speed rail line between Las Vegas and Southern California.

“The real goal is to have a single seat from (Los Angeles) Union Station to Las Vegas. That’s the service we want,” said Fortress Investment Group co-founder Wes Edens in an interview with Forbes magazine.

Brightline has proposed building 169 miles of track that would be good for 200-mph operation by electric trains built by Siemens.

The route would terminate near Victorville, California, and use Metrolink’s right of way to reach Los Angeles.

In California, much of the route would run parallel to Interstate 15.

Five banks have reportedly agreed to underwrite the bonds although no date has been announced for the sale of the bonds.

The magazine article noted that the interest rate and expected yield won’t be known until marketing of the bonds has begun.

During the Forbes interview, Edens said the cost of the high-speed corridor from Las Vegas to downtown Los Angeles could cost $8 billion, with debt financing providing $6 billion of that amount.