US sets target for first high-speed train
Washington DC - The United States will have its first high-speed train – between Los Angeles and Las Vegas – in 2028, the Biden administration said Friday as it unveiled a series of major rail investments.
This project called Brightline West, from the name of the Florida-based company that will build and operate it, will receive up to $3 billion in financing, the administration said in a statement.
This high-speed line spanning 218 miles between Las Vegas and downtown Los Angeles is supposed to slash the current five-hour car journey time to two hours and 40 minutes.
President Joe Biden, who is a big fan of train travel from his days as a senator commuting to Washington from Delaware, was scheduled to visit Las Vegas Friday to make the formal announcement of this line and other infrastructure upgrades that will receive federal money.
Altogether the administration announced $8.2 billion in new funding for 10 major passenger rail projects across the country, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said.
The cash will come from Biden's signature infrastructure bill passed in November 2021 aimed at revamping the country's creaking railways, roads, and bridges. It includes $66 billion for rail projects.
US makes an effort to catch up to Europe and Asia with new rail investments
While high-speed rail is the norm in much of Europe and Asia, particularly in China and Japan, the United States has long lagged behind.
But there has been a renewed emphasis on projects like this as the United States hurries to overhaul its polluting transport sector and make it more environmentally friendly, giving Americans an alternative to gas-guzzling cars.
While America's first bullet train will run from Los Angeles to Las Vegas, the administration also announced that another $3 billion is earmarked for a line between Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Cover photo: Screenshot/X/@Siemens USA