HNTB is helping with advanced engineering design and NEPA environmental permitting of a region-wide high-speed passenger rail system that will connect Las Vegas, Nevada with much of Southern California. The 185 mile-long XpressWest segment from Las Vegas to Apple Valley in San Bernardino County, California will eliminate about 10 million annual one-way auto/bus trips between these destinations. Reducing 100,000 tons of CO2 annually, the zero-emission electric train sets will be twice as fast as driving and will reach top speeds of 200 mph and will deliver passengers to their destination in approximately 85 minutes.
Much of the new rail will be constructed within or adjacent to the Interstate 15 highway with only two stations: Las Vegas and Victorville in the Apple Valley. Additional rail linkage to Southern California’s Metrorail system are planned.
DesertXpress Enterprises, LLC (a Brightline affiliated company formerly part of Virgin Enterprises) is doing business as XpressWest and is working closely with California, Nevada and the USDOT (Federal Railroad Administration) to secure $4.2B of private activity bond capacity. No capital or operating funding will come from the federal, state or local governments. Construction is scheduled to begin in late 2020 and the segment will be operational by 2023.