Brightline to Build Express Intercity Passenger Rail Connecting Southern California and Las Vegas

MIAMI – Sept. 18, 2018 –


  • Brightline agrees to acquire XpressWest, a high-speed rail project with rights to develop a federally approved corridor connecting Southern California and Las Vegas
  • Brightline will acquire 38 acres of land adjacent to the Las Vegas strip for the construction of a station and mixed-use development
  • Brightline currently operates passenger rail service in Florida between Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach, and is expanding to Orlando, with plans to further expand into Tampa
  • This project will be Brightline's first corridor outside Florida and the second privately funded express intercity passenger service in the nation

Today Brightline, the nation's only privately owned, operated and maintained express intercity passenger rail system, announced its expansion to the West Coast with the acquisition of XpressWest, a high-speed passenger rail project with rights to develop a federally approved corridor connecting Southern California and Las Vegas, Nevada.  This project would be only the second privately funded express intercity passenger rail in the United States, following Brightline's Florida rail corridor. 

“Brightline is changing transportation in our country by connecting heavily trafficked corridors that are too long to drive and too short to fly,” said Wes Edens, co-founder and co-chief executive officer of Fortress Investment Group. “Our experience in Florida is proving that private-sector investment has a meaningful role to play in developing transportation infrastructure. We're excited to bring Brightline's world-class and convenient travel experience to Southern California and Las Vegas.”

“The introduction of high-speed rail between Las Vegas to Southern California will bring significant economic and environmental benefits to our state and support increased tourism,” said Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval.  “Brightline has built a proven model for privately funded high-speed rail service in Florida and we are excited to welcome them to Nevada.”  

Brightline will link one of the most traveled routes in the country, connecting more than 22 million people living in Southern California with Las Vegas, one of the most visited cities in the U.S. According to ridership studies, travelers make more than 50 million annual trips between Las Vegas and Southern California.  Today those travelers are limited to traveling by air or car, and Brightline expects to offer a convenient alternative that will make the trip in less than two hours.

As a result of the XpressWest acquisition, Brightline will take over the development, construction and operation of the project and work with federal and local transportation officials to connect Las Vegas with Victorville, California, with future plans to expand into the Los Angeles area. 

The first phase of the corridor is expected to be built on a right of way within and adjacent to Interstate 15, traversing 185 miles with no at-grade or pedestrian crossings. Construction is expected to begin next year and Brightline is planning to begin initial service in 2022.

“Brightline's model is setting a new standard for train travel in America,” said Patrick Goddard, president of Brightline. “Today's announcement is an important milestone for our company as we reimagine transportation between these major metropolitan areas. We look forward to working with the region's stakeholders to make this vision a reality.”

“The XpressWest team has done an incredible job bringing this project together and we're confident that Brightline will fulfill our mission and promise to the region,” said Tony Marnell, founder and chief executive officer of Marnell Companies. “We've been impressed with what Brightline has accomplished in Florida and are excited to be part of the team that is working to deliver privately funded high-speed rail to improve mobility in America.”

The planned Las Vegas Station is expected to be located within the resort corridor and will be a major intermodal hub with access to taxis, buses, shuttles, and limousines.  As part of the project, Brightline is acquiring approximately 38 acres of land adjacent to the Las Vegas strip for construction of the station and mixed-used development.

The first planned Southern California station is expected to be located in Victorville within a 30- to 45-minute drive of the approximately four to five million people who live in the Inland Empire and eastern Los Angeles County, and within close proximity to Southern California's remaining 17 to 18 million residents. Planning for additional stations and connectivity to California Metrolink and eventually California High-Speed Rail is underway.

“California has a vision for a modernized rail network that is fast, clean, and convenient for travelers, and the introduction of Brightline service linking Southern California to Las Vegas will help us achieve that vision” said California State Transportation Agency Secretary Brian Annis. “Brightline will be beneficial for our economy and our transportation system.”

Similar to Brightline's operations in Florida, the corridor between Southern California and Las Vegas is expected to generate major regional economic benefits, including construction and permanent job opportunities and local and state tax revenue.

In addition to Brightline's Florida development and operations and its anticipated development and operations between Las Vegas and Southern California announced today, Brightline continues to explore intercity rail opportunities across North America.

Please see the link below for Brightline's press kit:

 About Brightline

Brightline is the new benchmark for travel by train in America with express inter-city passenger rail service connecting Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach, with expected future service to Orlando and Tampa, and expected future service connecting Las Vegas and Southern California. Providing a travel option that lives at the intersection of transportation and hospitality, the service will ease the stress of traffic, provide a simple and intuitive experience from door to destination, and foster new opportunities to explore more of Southeast Florida and the Southwestern United States. Brightline is the only privately owned, operated and maintained express intercity passenger rail system in the United States. For more information, visit our website: and follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.


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Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements


Certain statements in this press release may constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are generally identified by the use of words such as “outlook,” “believes,” “expects,” “potential,” “continues,” “may,” “will,” “should,” “could,” “seeks,” “approximately,” “predicts,” “intends,” “plans,” “estimates,” “anticipates,” “target,” “projects,” “contemplates” or the negative version of those words or other comparable words. Statements concerning plans to build a passenger rail system, anticipated timelines, costs and benefits are all forward-looking statements. Any forward-looking statements contained in this press release are based upon Brightline's limited historical performance and on Brightline's current plans, estimates and expectations in light of information currently available to Brightline. The inclusion of any forward-looking information should not be regarded as a representation by Brightline that the future plans, estimates or expectations contemplated by Brightline will be achieved. Forward-looking statements are not historical facts, but instead represent only Brightline's beliefs as of the date of this press release regarding future events, many of which, by their nature, are inherently uncertain and outside of Brightline's control. There are, or will be, important factors that could cause actual events to differ from these forward-looking statements, and any such differences could cause Brightline's actual results to differ materially from the results expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. Such factors include but are not limited to the following: (1) inability to successfully take over the development and operations of the corridor between Southern California and Las Vegas, and to connect Southern California and Las Vegas; (2) failure to obtain and maintain required approvals and permits from governmental, regulatory and non-governmental agencies; (3) Brightline's limited operating history; (4) inability to acquire and develop land necessary for station sites in Southern California or Las Vegas, (5) the potential inaccuracy and inherent uncertainty of estimates of future ridership; (6) risks, costs and liabilities associated with environmental and other government regulations, including any future changes in such regulation; (7) Brightline's ability to obtain additional funding in order to connect Las Vegas to Southern California; (8) any future cost overruns and delays relating to connecting Las Vegas to Southern California, as well as difficulties in obtaining requisite approval or sufficient financing to pay for such costs and delays; (9) adverse macroeconomic and business conditions in Nevada, Southern California, Florida or any other areas into which Brightline may expand; (10) risks that the acquisition may involve unexpected costs or liabilities; and (11) risks that the acquisition disrupts current plans and operations and the potential difficulties in employee retention as a result of the acquisition. Furthermore, new risks and uncertainties arise from time to time, and it is impossible for Brightline to predict those events or how they may affect Brightline. Brightline does not undertake any obligation to publicly update or review any forward-looking statement except as required by law, whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise.