President Joe Biden has devoted $8.2 billion in funding for high-speed passenger rails, including a route connecting Las Vegas, Nevada and California to be completed before the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles.
The Brightline West High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail System Project will receive $3 billion for a 218-mile rail passenger system between Las Vegas, and Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. The trip by train is expected to take just over two hours — less than half the time it takes to drive.
The route aims to provide transportation during the 2028 Olympic games, which will be hosted in Los Angeles. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said in a press statement that the line will be completed before the games, and that "true" high-speed rail will be available to other parts of the country by the end of the decade.
“Any American who has traveled to other countries has likely seen how countries in Europe and East Asia approach passenger rail,” he said. “[They] return home to wonder why Americans can’t have that, too.”
An additional $1.1 billion will be dedicated to the southeastern U.S., including a route between Raleigh and Wake Forrest, North Carolina. $729 million will go to a new rail bridge over the Potomac River, which will further connect Washington, D.C. and Richmond, Virginia.
Biden will announce the projects after traveling to to Las Vegas on Friday, before spending the remainder of the weekend in Los Angeles. The president just last month announced $16.4 billion for Amtrak rail projects in the Northeast, which will fund 25 passenger rail projects. It will also replace the Frederick Douglass Tunnel in Maryland, allowing train travel speed to increase from 30 mph to 100 mph.
The funding comes from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which invested $66 billion in rail. Biden has so far used $30 billion of the available funds.