Posts Tagged ‘XpressWest’

Las Vegas Rail Projects Gets OK to Issue Bond

April 21, 2020

A proposed intercity rail service to Las Vegas received approval last week from the California Debt Limit Allocation Committee to issue $600 million in tax-exempt bonds.

XpressWest has proposed creating a high-speed rail route between Las Vegas and Southern California.

Under Internal Revenue Service guidelines ExpressWest would be allowed to sell up to four times the amount of the $600 million in bonding authority, for a total of $2.4 billion in tax-free, private equity bonds.

ExpressWest, which is part of Virgin Trains USA, has estimated the project cost at

$4.8 billion

The route would begin in California at Victorville, although ExpressWest has said it would eventually be extended into Los Angeles.

A groundbreaking ceremony for route is being planned by the end of this year.

The U.S. Department of Transportation approved last month $1 billion in tax-free private bonds for the project.

The bonds are required to be issued by Sept. 30.

ExpressWest also is seeking approval from Nevada officials to issue $200 million in bonds, which would allow the company to market $800 million in bonds toward the project.

In an unrelated development, the California High-Speed Rail Authority has extended the public comment period to April 28 on the draft environmental impact report for the Bakersfield-to-Palmdale section of the high-speed rail system.

In a news release, CHSRA said the extra time will allow stakeholders and the public to review and submit comments on the draft EIR during the COVID-19 pandemic.

CHSRA plans to host a virtual public hearing on the report on April 23. The authority is accepting comments via mail, email, online portal and by phone.

Brightline Acquires Xpress

September 20, 2018

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.