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Thursday 7 December 2023

Are US travellers ready to embrace fast trains?

Inter-city trains have never been a big thing in the US. High-speed rail links are almost non-existent as Americans traditionally prefer to travel point to point in their gas-guzzling cars.

But now the US Administration has approved $US3 billion in funding from its Bipartisan Infrastructure fund for the Brightline West high-speed rail project.

This plans to connect Las Vegas to Southern California and is scheduled for completion in time for the Los Angeles Olympics in 2028. It projects journeys would take 2 hours, 15 minutes. 

It will become the first true high-speed rail system in the US, Travel Mole reports.

“The dream of American high-speed rail is about to become reality,” said Ray LaHood Co-Chair of the U.S. High-Speed Rail Coalition, a former US Secretary of Transportation.

“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,” LaHood said.

Andy Kunz, CEO of US High Speed Rail said: “Electrified bullet trains will transform the nation’s transportation system, reducing congestion and helping end our dependency on fossil fuels.

“This investment by the Biden Administration represents a milestone in advancing our progress.”

The new route is part of a planned West Coast Corridor connecting Las Vegas, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Other high-speed rail lines planned for the future include in Texas and a cross border connection from Vancouver in Canada to Portland and Seattle.

The Las Vegas project is not government run but a private-public partnership led by Brightline, a Florida-based company that runs a successful commuter line within that state. including Orlando, Fort Lauderdale and Miami.

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