PEMBROKE PARK, Fla. – Brightline is expanding, this time west -- way west.
The Florida-based private high-speed rail system announced Tuesday that it will acquire XpressWest, a high-speed rail project connecting Los Angeles to Las Vegas.
Brightline said in a news release that it will acquire 38 acres of land adjacent to the Las Vegas strip for the construction of a station and mixed-use development.
It will be Brightline's first corridor outside Florida and just the second privately funded intercity passenger rail system in the U.S.
"Brightline and Fortress executives have always said they are interested in connecting key city pairs that are 'too short to fly and too long to drive' around the country," Brightline spokeswoman Ali Soule said in an email to Local 10 News. "The model is being proven in Florida and will be expanded elsewhere across the country."
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.
Construction is expected to begin next year, with the first phase scheduled to begin in 2022.
Brightline is expanding to Orlando, and in June announced plans to further expand into Tampa.
"There is also an opportunity to expand Brightline to Jacksonville since we have ownership of the corridor," Soule said.