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Passenger Trains > Brightline is moving along to Las Vegas - Construction start 2023


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Date: 11/17/22 06:33
Brightline is moving along to Las Vegas - Construction start 2023
Author: amtrakbill

From: Railjournal.Com

BRIGHTLINE West says that it is hoping to begin construction on the long-planned 418.5km Las Vegas, Nevada, to Southern California high-speed line next year.The estimated $US 8bn project would connect Las Vegas to Los Angeles via a route running alongside the Insterstate 15 highway (I-15), mostly within the “meridian strip” central reservation, and would include three stations in the high desert and San Bernardino County areas. If work proceeds as planned, the line could open in 2026 or 2027.

Construction of the line between Las Vegas and Victoriaville has already been approved, and the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has released an environmental assessment report for the 79km stretch through the Cajon Pass between the Victor Valley and Rancho Cucamonga. The assessment concluded that the planned line would have no significantly adverse impacts on either the environment or low income or minority populations.The FRA will continue to invite public comments on the proposals until November 28. Project permits are expected to be finalised by March 2023.In April 2021 Brightline West’s CEO,

Mr Mike Reininger, predicted that construction of the line would start “in a matter of weeks” - but in the event there were further delays to the project.Brightline West expects to offer a journey time of approximately 2h 15min, operating at a top speed of 290km/h. This is more than twice as fast as the equivalent journey by road.The company says that currently around 50 million one-way trips are made annually between Las Vegas and Los Angeles, 85% of them by car or bus, and the aim of the high-speed rail project is to attract approximately 12 million one-way trips per year. The use of zero-emission high-speed EMUs are predicted to remove an estimated 400,000 tons of CO=12px2 annually by reducing traffic levels between Los Angeles and Las Vegas by 3 million vehicles.

“The elevated train experience residents and tourists have come to expect in South Florida will be offered along this route as well, including but not limited to: free onboard Wi-Fi, fully ADA accessibility from station to train, a wide selection of food and beverage, checked luggage and hotel check-in service,” Brightline says.“Brightline represents the greenest form of transportation in the United States, with the potential to remove millions of cars every year from the I-15 and tremendous economic benefits for Nevada and Southern California,” says Brightline spokesman, Mr Ben Porritt. “The environmental assessment underscores the positive environmental impact of utilising the I-15 [corridor] for high-speed rail and is a significant step in the process to receive the key approval to begin construction.

”Funding for the rail project will comprise a mix of federal grants and private-activity bonds that Brightline would apply for in both Nevada and California. Brightline was previously approved to receive $US 200m of private-activity bonds in Nevada and $US 600m in California and official guidelines would allow the company to market those tax-exempt bonds for up to four times their amount, making a combined total of $US 3.2bn.It has been estimated that building the line will create 40,000 construction jobs, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports.The station in Las Vegas is envisaged to be in a convenient location on the Vegas strip.

The project plans call for a 6039m=12px2 terminal to be constructed on a portion of a 44.5ha site owned by Fortress Investment Group, which owns Brightline through an affiliate. The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that Fortress is in talks with Major League Soccer (MLS) to potentially construct an MLS stadium on another part of the same site.Stations in California are to include Victorville, Hesperia and Rancho Cucamonga, where a connection would be made with Metrolink services to and from central Los Angeles.

Also on the drawing board is a future planned connection from Victor Valley to the California High-Speed Rail at Palmdale.“This will transform transportation in Southern California and Las Vegas for generations by providing a fast and efficient connection that gets people out of their cars, reduces traffic congestion and decreases air pollution,” says California state treasurer, Ms Fiona Ma.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 11/17/22 06:40 by amtrakbill.



Date: 11/17/22 07:52
Re: Brightline is moving along to Las Vegas - Construction start
Author: masterphots

The fifth paragraph says it all.   They can surely issue such tax-exempt bonds,  but bond debt service will have to be derived solely from Brightline and their revenues from the project.   Should the proposed bond issues include any form of state or local government guarantees of annual debt service,  this observer says its DOA.   And without a governmental guarantee or possibly a major bank bank letter of credit,  good luck selling the bonds.



Date: 11/17/22 08:11
Re: Brightline is moving along to Las Vegas - Construction start
Author: Paniolo_man

I'll believe it when I see it.

Amtrak should take this project over and get funding from congress.



Date: 11/17/22 08:15
Re: Brightline is moving along to Las Vegas - Construction start
Author: masterphots

If it's such a killer deal,  how about getting the Casino industry in Las Vegas to put an underlying pledge of revenues on the bonds,  to make up for any revenue shortfalls  that might occur?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/17/22 08:36 by masterphots.



Date: 11/17/22 08:20
Re: Brightline is moving along to Las Vegas - Construction start
Author: Jishnu

Paniolo_man Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I'll believe it when I see it.
>
> Amtrak should take this project over and get
> funding from congress.

Ha ha! That would make it certain that nothing will happen until the 22nd century at the earliest :D



Date: 11/17/22 08:26
Re: Brightline is moving along to Las Vegas - Construction start
Author: Paniolo_man

And how long has this plan been on paper soo far?

I have no confidence that private enterprise will deliver on hsr.



Date: 11/17/22 08:40
Re: Brightline is moving along to Las Vegas - Construction start
Author: Jishnu

masterphots Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The fifth paragraph says it all.   They can
> surely issue such tax-exempt bonds,  but bond
> debt service will have to be derived solely from
> Brightline and their revenues from the project. 
>  Should the proposed bond issues include any form
> of state or local government guarantees of annual
> debt service,  this observer says its DOA. 
>  And without a governmental guarantee or possibly
> a major bank bank letter of credit,  good luck
> selling the bonds.

I was just wondering about that. What did they do to sell every bond that they were authorized to sell in Florida? They don;t have any state or local guarantee of any sort beyond the tax exempt nature of the bonds.



Date: 11/17/22 08:46
Re: Brightline is moving along to Las Vegas - Construction start
Author: masterphots

Jishnu Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> masterphots Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > The fifth paragraph says it all.   They can
> > surely issue such tax-exempt bonds,  but bond
> > debt service will have to be derived solely
> from
> > Brightline and their revenues from the
> project. 
> >  Should the proposed bond issues include any
> form
> > of state or local government guarantees of
> annual
> > debt service,  this observer says its DOA. 
> >  And without a governmental guarantee or
> possibly
> > a major bank bank letter of credit,  good luck
> > selling the bonds.
>
> I was just wondering about that. What did they do
> to sell every bond that they were authorized to
> sell in Florida? They don;t have any state or
> local guarantee of any sort beyond the tax exempt
> nature of the bonds.

I wasn't aware they'd ever sold those bonds.   Every issue is different and the projections for an intrastate operation must have made sense to investors.  Do you know what the interest rates are on the bonds?  Within reason,  you can sell most anything if you have an interest rate high enough to offset perceived risk on said bond issue.

Can you post the formal name of the bond issue(s)?   That way I can access the official statement (prospectus)  and see what the deal was.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/17/22 08:56 by masterphots.



Date: 11/17/22 09:10
Re: Brightline is moving along to Las Vegas - Construction start
Author: Jishnu

masterphots Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Jishnu Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > masterphots Wrote:
> >
> --------------------------------------------------
>
> > -----
> > > The fifth paragraph says it all.   They can
> > > surely issue such tax-exempt bonds,  but
> bond
> > > debt service will have to be derived solely
> > from
> > > Brightline and their revenues from the
> > project. 
> > >  Should the proposed bond issues include any
> > form
> > > of state or local government guarantees of
> > annual
> > > debt service,  this observer says its DOA. 
> > >  And without a governmental guarantee or
> > possibly
> > > a major bank bank letter of credit,  good
> luck
> > > selling the bonds.
> >
> > I was just wondering about that. What did they
> do
> > to sell every bond that they were authorized to
> > sell in Florida? They don;t have any state or
> > local guarantee of any sort beyond the tax
> exempt
> > nature of the bonds.
>
> I wasn't aware they'd ever sold those bonds. 
>  Every issue is different and the projections for
> an intrastate operation must have made sense to
> investors.  Do you know what the interest rates
> are on the bonds?  Within reason,  you can sell
> most anything if you have an interest rate high
> enough to offset perceived risk on said bond
> issue.
>
> Can you post the formal name of the bond
> issue(s)?   That way I can access the official
> statement (prospectus)  and see what the deal
> was.

They used the high yield method to sell them Off hand I can find the more recent one of $770 Million. Earlier they have sold $2.2 Billion in a couple of tranches, all through Florida Development Finance Corporation.

Here is the recent one:

https://www.municipalbonds.com/bonds/issue/34061YAH3/
 



Date: 11/17/22 09:44
Re: Brightline is moving along to Las Vegas - Construction start
Author: GenePoon

Paniolo_man Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

> Amtrak should take this project over and get
> funding from congress.
============================================

Amtrak would be the kiss of death.



Date: 11/17/22 10:03
Re: Brightline is moving along to Las Vegas - Construction start
Author: TAW

Paniolo_man Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

> Amtrak should take this project over

That'll kill it sure.

TAW



Date: 11/17/22 10:16
Re: Brightline is moving along to Las Vegas - Construction start
Author: masterphots

Jishnu Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> masterphots Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > Jishnu Wrote:
> >
> --------------------------------------------------
>
> > -----
> > > masterphots Wrote:
> > >
> >
> --------------------------------------------------
>
> >
>
> > sold $2.2 Billion in a
> couple of tranches, all through Florida
> Development Finance Corporation.
>
> Here is the recent one:
>
> https://www.municipalbonds.com/bonds/issue/34061YA
> H3/
>

Good for them.  But a non-rated junk bond comes with a high level of debt service (as Muskie is facing with Twitter) so will be interesting to see how it fares. CA/NV could do the same thing and that is most likely what Brightline West is facing.   I couldn't find the official statement for the bonds on the msrb/EMMA website.....perhaps it was a private placement rather than public sale of bonds.   

Thanks too for your update on the bond authorizations.  It's obvious they're going the junk bond route and the question is will they find buyers willing to take the risk of default for a high yield?    There's trillions of money sitting around so they might be able to pull it off.    It worked on a small line in Florida,   whether it will for a true high speed long distance line in the desert may be a tougher sell.   I wonder if they have contractors lined up and if they are domestic or international.   Given the high yields,  I wonder why they didn't just sell bonds worldwide as the rates wouldn't be much different and they wouldn't have to deal with governmental issuers and all that entails.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 11/17/22 12:16 by masterphots.



Date: 11/17/22 10:33
Re: Brightline is moving along to Las Vegas - Construction start
Author: Jishnu

masterphots Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Jishnu Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > masterphots Wrote:
> >
> --------------------------------------------------
>
> > -----
> > > Jishnu Wrote:
> > >
> >
> --------------------------------------------------
>
> >
> > > -----
> > > > masterphots Wrote:
> > > >
> > >
> >
> --------------------------------------------------
>
> >
> > >
> >
> > > sold $2.2 Billion in a
> > couple of tranches, all through Florida
> > Development Finance Corporation.
> >
> > Here is the recent one:
> >
> >
> https://www.municipalbonds.com/bonds/issue/34061YA
>
> > H3/
> >
>
> Good for them.  But a non-rated junk bond comes
> with a high level of debt service (as Muskie is
> facing with Twitter) so will be interesting to see
> how it fares. CA/NV could do the same thing and
> that is most likely what Brightline West is
> facing.   I couldn't find the official statement
> for the bonds on the msrb/EMMA website.....perhaps
> it was a private placement rather than public sale
> of bonds.   
>
> Thanks too for your update on the bond
> authorizations.  It's obvious they're going the
> junk bond route and the question is will they find
> buyers willing to take the risk of default for a
> high yield?    There's trillions of money
> sitting around so they might be able to pull it
> off.    It worked on a small line in Florida, 
>  whether it will for a true high speed long
> distance line in the desert may be a tougher
> sell.   I wonder if they have contractors lined
> up and if they are domestic for international. 
>  Given the high yields,  I wonder why they
> didn't just sell bonds worldwide as the rates
> wouldn't be much different and they wouldn't have
> to deal with governmental issuers and all that
> entails.

Their construction contracators appear to be the likes of Herzog and Corman, Wabtec providing signal and PTC gear. So I'd think they are all domestic. The construction between West Palm Beach and Orlando is almost complete with certificationt etsing going on at 110mph on the coastal section (West Palm Beach to Cocoa, and testing about to begin on the 125mph section between Cocoa and Orlando. Service commencement date is first quarter (I think late first quarter) 2023.



Date: 11/17/22 11:55
Re: Brightline is moving along to Las Vegas - Construction start
Author: PC1974

Paniolo_man Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Amtrak should take this project over and get funding from congress.

You must be new to Amtrak.. We're having a Penn Central Party you don't appear to be on the guest list...



Date: 11/17/22 12:04
Re: Brightline is moving along to Las Vegas - Construction start
Author: Typhoon

masterphots Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> If it's such a killer deal,  how about getting
> the Casino industry in Las Vegas to put an
> underlying pledge of revenues on the bonds,  to
> make up for any revenue shortfalls  that might
> occur?

Why would the casinos want to get involved with this at all?   People are going to Vegas and spending money in record numbers without a train, there is no need for them to spend their money on it.  



Date: 11/17/22 12:14
Re: Brightline is moving along to Las Vegas - Construction start
Author: sf1010

What will be the power?  Diesel?  Electric?  If the article mentioned it, I missed it.



Date: 11/17/22 12:19
Re: Brightline is moving along to Las Vegas - Construction start
Author: Jishnu

sf1010 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> What will be the power?  Diesel?  Electric?  If
> the article mentioned it, I missed it.

Electric



Date: 11/17/22 12:38
Re: Brightline is moving along to Las Vegas - Construction start
Author: Macster

sf1010 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> What will be the power?  Diesel?  Electric?  If
> the article mentioned it, I missed it.

Siemens Velaro EMU's in 6 or 7 car sets. 



Date: 11/17/22 12:57
Re: Brightline is moving along to Las Vegas - Construction start
Author: Drknow

PC1974 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Paniolo_man Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > Amtrak should take this project over and get
> funding from congress.
>
> You must be new to Amtrak.. We're having a Penn
> Central Party you don't appear to be on the guest
> list...

👍👍👍🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

Posted from iPhone



Date: 11/17/22 20:05
Re: Brightline is moving along to Las Vegas - Construction start
Author: Trainwreck

Can someone tell me the maximum grade high speed rail can operate at? The I-15 corridor has two major passes between Baker and Primm. Maybe Uncle Pete and the Mojave National Preserve won't mind them building the line along the UP tracks (add laughter soundtrack here). 

Bob Payne
Glendora



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