The California Department of Transportation announced a proposal to assist XpressWest in the development of an electric high-speed passenger rail system from Apple Valley to Rancho Cucamonga that would run primarily along Interstate 15.
The proposal for The Cajon Pass segment was announced on Monday, March 29 marking the start of a 15 day Notice of Intent period for the public.
This project will serve as the second segment of the Brightline West high-speed passenger rail system that will initially connect Apple Valley to Las Vegas over 170 miles of track, with 135 miles in California.
Caltrans entered into a lease agreement with Brightline West on the initial segment in June 2020.
The Cajon Pass segment will add 50 miles to this alignment primarily within the existing I-15 corridor right of way protected by a median barrier, ending with a station constructed adjacent to or connected to the Rancho Cucamonga Metrolink train station.
According to Caltrans, “An environmental study estimates that the rail system will reduce carbon emissions by 300,000 metric tons a year – the equivalent of removing nearly 65,000 vehicles off the road. Additionally, XpressWest (a Brightline company) projects that the overall proposed rail system from Las Vegas to Southern California will create “500 new jobs post-production” on top of the already projected “10,000 jobs during the project’s construction.”
No information is provided regarding when the construction along the I-15 would begin or as to how long such construction would last if the memorandum is approved.
This announcement marks the start of a 15 day period in which the public may provide feedback regarding the proposal.
The 15-day Notice of Intent period ends April 13, 2021 at 5 p.m. Following the Notice of Intent period, the memorandum will be considered for signature with the publics’ feedback in mind.
The public may submit comments in two different ways:
Electronically by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or written to David Matza at California Department of Transportation, District 8 Office — 464 West 4th Street, 12th Floor, San Bernardino, California 92401.