Brightline West, Raleigh to Richmond Commuter Rail awarded federal rail grants

Dec. 6, 2023
The projects were awarded a combined $4 billion and aim to bring a combined 380 miles of passenger rail service into reality.

Federal rail grants have been issued to two projects that promise to provide better accessibility, create jobs and increase tourism and mobility in the regions.  

Brightline West  

The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) has awarded $3 billion to Nevada’s Brightline West to build a 218-mile, all-electric high-speed rail system between Las Vegas and southern California. 

The project will help to decrease the use of independent transportation on the I-15 route, reducing more than 400,000 tons of carbon emissions each year while creating 35,000 union jobs. 

“Connecting Las Vegas and southern California by high-speed rail will create thousands of good-paying union jobs, boost our southern Nevada tourism economy and finally help us cut down on I-15 traffic,” Sen. Masto said. “Bringing high-speed rail to southern Nevada just makes sense, given the millions of visitors we have each year. I will keep working to ensure Nevada is getting the resources we need to make transportation easier and cleaner for Nevada families.” 

Raleigh to Richmond Commuter Rail 

The USDOT has also awarded a $1 billion grant to fund the Raleigh to Richmond Commuter Rail’s project to establish a new passenger rail route between Raleigh, N.C., and Richmond, Va.. The 162-mile route will be along the CSX Transportation S-Line as  part of the Southeast Corridor that will better connect North Carolina with Virginia, Washington D.C. and the Northeast Corridor. 

“This $1 billion grant for North Carolina to make progress on the Raleigh to Richmond Rail Line is a big win for economic development in the region,” said U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC). “I’m proud this investment was made possible by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that I helped negotiate, write and pass into law.” 

The project will help to improve system and service performance by developing a more efficient and reliable passenger rail route and will also contribute to freight and supply chain resiliency in the southeast. The North Carolina Department of Transportation and Amtrak will be providing a 20 percent non-federal match. Following selection, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) will work with the recipient to establish and obligate the Phased Funding Agreement. The FRA anticipates an initial obligation of Fiscal Year (FY) 2022-2023 funds under the agreement of up to $479.4 million with contingent commitments from Advance Appropriations in FY2024-2026 providing the balance of funds. 


About the Author

Eman Abu-Khaled | Associate Editor

Eman Abu-Khaled is a recent graduate of Kent State University with a bachelors in journalism. She works through Endeavor Business Media with Mass Transit as an associate editor. Abu-Khaled brings a fresh perspective to the visual side of journalism with an interest in video and photography work.