Brightline Holdings plans to build a high-speed rail line between Rancho Cucamonga and Las Vegas

California has been trying to roll out its high-speed rail line for years, and now a company called Brightline Holdings wants to show how it’s done in abbreviated form, on a small private line that would run from Rancho Cucamonga to Vegas.

There’s a complicated mass of issues at play, as reported yahoo!, but basically Brightline hopes to capture 22% of people who would otherwise drive or fly. Its spur would run down the center of Highway 15, reducing the need to procure land. Critics, including the leadership of the National Parks Conservation Association, are concerned about the impact on wildlife, particularly across swathes of the Mohave Desert, and are urging the construction of three wildlife ramps to protect the animals at risk like the endangered desert tortoise.

Another concern is that if the system is unprofitable, the public purse will have to hold it back, because it’s hard to completely dismiss a transit system that takes so much effort to build.

The trip would take around three hours and cost $60, a slight increase from the typical $50 airfare – but since train travel is more comfortable, passengers might be willing to pay extra. Drivers would be particularly relieved to be freed from the rigors of driving in stressful and impacted traffic. The train would travel at 180 miles per hour, making it the first high-speed service in the United States, and would be a mode of transportation that would significantly reduce the carbon footprint of driving or flying to Las Vegas. .

Brightline has already had success with a line between Miami and West Palm Beach that began operating in 2018, the first new privately funded intercity railroad in a century.

Perhaps the best argument for a quick train ride is that you can start early on the train with your card count and your tendrils of vodka.

Jose P. Rogers