You're One Step Closer to Taking a High-Speed Train to Vegas

Or so Brightline says, anyway

Private High-Speed Rail Service Brightline Announces Its Service To Start Next Week
Joe Raedle / Getty Images

After years and years of discussion, it looks like the high-speed train between Los Angeles and Las Vegas is finally happening. Construction on the Brightline West rail line is scheduled to begin in the second quarter of 2021, per a Reno Gazette-Journal interview with the company's executives.

Brightline is the country's only privately owned passenger rail line, and it currently operates a (highly praised) high-speed train that connects Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach in Florida, with an extension to Orlando in the works. Brightline West will actually connect Las Vegas to Victorville, Calif., located about 84 miles by road outside L.A. But don't worry—you won't have to drive out there. Brightline expects to partner with regional rail MetroLink to shuttle passengers between the two Californian cities.

The Brightline West journey will take about three hours aboard high-speed, zero-emission electric trains that will travel up to 200 miles per hour. By comparison, driving between L.A. and Vegas takes about four hours sans traffic. While it's not the biggest time saver, it's a lot more relaxing to sit on a train than sit in traffic, not to mention more eco-friendly if you drive a gas-powered car.

But questions on the project's timeline remain. Even though ground will likely be broken on Brightline West in the near future, construction would take several years. And then there are some financial concerns—Brightline, like virtually all travel companies, struggled in 2020 due to the pandemic, and a lack of investments could ultimately delay the project.

Given how long Brightline has been pushing for this rail line, however, we wouldn't be surprised if they stuck it out till the end—but who knows when that might be.