Virgin Trains USA closed escrow on a 284-acre property in Apple Valley. This is the beginning of a multi-billion dollar project connecting Southern California to Sin City in a whole new way. The high-speed train to Vegas will begin construction this year and should open for passenger travel by 2023.
Fifty trains will depart from the station each day, with a 45-minute interval between them.
According to Victor Valley News, the project will transport passengers from Southern California to Las Vegas in 90 minutes or less.
The Economic Development Plan for Virgin Trains USA cites "VTUSA is the first new major private passenger intercity railroad in the United States in over a century. [The company] plans to develop a high-speed rail project within a corridor between San Bernardino County and Las Vegas."
California's high-speed train has been a talking point for years. Locals have heard about the potential to reduce their drive to Nevada, and this new form of transportation would cut the journey time in half.
Apple Valley Town Council Member Kari Leon confirmed Virgin Train's progress, saying "Virgin Trains closed escrow on 284 acres on Dale Evans, so that was quite exciting. That’s a commitment… money in the bank."
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Construction will reportedly bring more than 10,000 temporary jobs to the area in addition to 500 permanent employment positions.
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Apple Valley Mayor Larry Cusack said this "is one of those once-in-a-lifetime projects that will bring jobs and economic growth to not only Apple Valley but the entire Victor Valley region."
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He went on to say it "will help expand infrastructure into north Apple Valley, paving the way for residential, commercial and industrial growth in the newly annexed area of town along the I-15 corridor in exciting new ways.”
This is a developing story. Stay tuned for additional information and updates.