High-speed LA to Vegas train project looks to 2022 as hunt for investors continues

Local News

An image of the Brightline West project from gobrightline.com.

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The $5 billion high-speed train project that bought property near Allegiant Stadium last month for a Las Vegas terminal has missed another opportunity for funding.

A Bloomberg report indicates $200 million in bonds originally set aside for the Brightline West project — under the Fortress Investment Group — has been reallocated to pay for affordable housing projects in California.

Brightline has been working on a plan that has been around for a decade to build a high-speed rail connection between Las Vegas and Los Angeles. What began as DesertXpress in 2005 became XpressWest, and now Brightline West.

It’s the second time in less than a year that California has shifted funding away from the train and spent the money instead on affordable housing.

The reason? Fortress hasn’t found enough investors to purchase the bonds, according to Bloomberg.

And there’s plenty of demand competing for the bonds.

The company said in June it will wait until 2022 to push for bonds in Nevada and California.

A tweet Tuesday noted the promise of developing rail projects, and applauded the Biden Administration’s inclusion of rail projects in a $1 trillion infrastructure program that passed this week.

Brightline West has acknowledged that the pandemic slowed the planning process for work on the train, which had been scheduled to begin construction this year. Service in 2024 was part the goal at that time.

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