APPLE VALLEY, Calif – Construction on the Virgin Train that will lay 170 miles of new rail is on track to break ground in 2020, officials said.
On April 14, 2020, the California Debt Limit Allocation Committee unanimously approved the second half of $600 million in private equity bond allocation for the Virgin Train XpressWest rail project connecting Southern California to Las Vegas.
“These bonds will be funded through a sale of private bonds later this year, not using public funds, with construction scheduled to start immediately following the sale of the bonds,” stated Orlando Acevedo, Director of Business Development and Communications for the Town of Apple Valley.
The project will lay 170 miles of new rail track between Apple Valley and Las Vegas and create more than 30,000 new construction jobs and nearly $3 billion in economic activity for the state of California.
According to Acevedo, it will generate tax revenue for California and the Town and serve as a catalyst for increased housing, job creation and economic development throughout the High Desert region.
“Today’s approval is a great example of the public and private sector working together to create solutions for the economy, transportation and housing, and it couldn’t come at a more critical time,” said Ben Porritt, Senior Vice President, Virgin Trains USA. “Large scale construction projects will be a major solution in restarting our economy and we appreciate the leadership of Governor Gavin Newsom, Treasurer Fiona Ma, Controller Betty Yee, and the Committee staff.”
- The high-speed rail line will also help California meet its environmental initiatives.
- The car-free transportation option will eliminate 3 million cars and 100,000 metric tons of CO2 from the road annually.
- Trains will be fully electric and produce zero carbon emissions. The trip will take approximately 85 minutes with trains reaching 200 miles per hour.
During the Committee teleconference meeting today, Apple Valley Town Councilmember Art Bishop thanked Treasurer Ma and the Committee for their diligent work.
“You are helping to get our nation back online by putting tens of thousands of people to work over the coming years. This project will help our regional housing needs tremendously. But perhaps the best part of this project is that it is privately financed; no public dollars are being spent on this project.”
Treasurer Ma said during the call she was optimistic this project will help the Victor Valley region be one of the first to recover from the current economic downturn.
“This project is not only an important economic driver but advances clean mass transit. Domestic transportation will be a key factor in getting people back to work,” said Ma. “Projects like Virgin Trains don’t come around very often but it’s safe to say, the timing couldn’t be better.”