TOD Opportunities Around America's First True High-Speed Rail Line

Brightline West hopes to break ground, in anticipation of a 2027 opening. Cities in the Inland Empire and High Desert areas of Southern California are looking to take advantage.

1 minute read

February 14, 2024, 10:00 AM PST

By Josh Stephens @jrstephens310


“If planning gives way to a ribbon-cutting on-schedule in 2027 — Brightline wants to operate a the line for a full year in advance of the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles — the line could transform Rancho Cucamonga, link exurban desert communities to Los Angeles, and boost the economy of the entire Inland Empire.”

“In total, the line will run 218 miles, largely within the median of Interstate 15, at speeds to up to 186 miles per hour. The line will briefly travel through the heavily urbanized areas of the western Inland Empire, then go through the Cajon Pass, and travel 185 miles mostly unimpeded through the Mojave Desert. The right-of-way offers distinct advantages: the line will be built in an already developed area, with easy access for construction crews, and it will only minimally disrupt the desert habitat that lines the majority of the route.”

“In the meantime, passengers will be able to park and catch the train in Apple Valley — both for trip to Las Vegas and to Rancho Cucamonga. As part of its collaboration with the San Bernardino County Transportation Authority, Brightline will welcome passengers who use the train as commuter rail, presumably from less expensive housing in the high desert to the job centers of the Inland Empire — and, possibly, to those of Las Vegas as well.”

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