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The Biden administration has approved a total $6 billion in grants to fund the development of two high-speed rail projects.
Brightline West, the proposed high-speed rail line that will connect Las Vegas to Southern California, and the California state high-speed rail project will each receive more than $3 billion in new funding form the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
"This historic high-speed rail project will be a game changer for Nevada’s tourism economy and transportation. It’ll bring more visitors to our state, reduce traffic on the Interstate 15, create thousands of good paying jobs, and decrease carbon emissions, all while relying on local union labor,” said U.S. Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.) said in a press release.
The funding will help Brightline West complete its 218-mile system to connect Las Vegas with Southern California in time for the Los Angeles Olympics in 2028, according to the U.S. High Speed Rail Coalition.
"The dream of American high-speed rail is about to become reality," said Ray LaHood, former U.S. transportation secretary and co-chair of the coalition. "We greatly appreciate the commitment of the Biden administration, our coalition members and many others who have worked hard to spark America’s high-speed rail revolution."
Meanwhile, the 171-mile route connecting Merced to Bakersfield in California's Central Valley is expected to be up and running between 2030 and 2033 and will be the world’s first solar-powered high-speed rail line, with solar panels and battery storage facilities sited along the route.
"California is delivering on the first 220-mph, electric high-speed rail project in the nation," said Gov. Gavin Newsom in a press release. "This show of support from the Biden-Harris administration is a vote of confidence in today’s vision and comes at a critical turning point, providing the project new momentum."
The $3 billion grant will advance work by funding six electric trains for testing and use; design of train facilities; design and construction of the Fresno station; final design and early works, including right-of-way acquisition and utility relocation on the extensions to Merced to Bakersfield; and construction in the Central Valley.
This most recent award received from the Biden-Harris administration was made possible through the Federal-State Partnership for Intercity Passenger Rail Program, according to the California High-Speed Rail Authority.