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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Brightline West – Cajon Pass High-Speed Rail Project

DesertXpress Enterprises, LLC (dba “Brightline West”) proposes to construct and operate the Cajon Pass High-Speed Rail Project (Project), a 49-mile train system capable of speeds up to 180 miles per hour between Victor Valley, California, and Rancho Cucamonga, California. The Project includes two railway stations—one in Hesperia, and one in Rancho Cucamonga. The station in Victor Valley would be constructed as part of a separate project that was evaluated in the DesertXpress Final Environmental Impact Statement (Final EIS; FRA 2011). 

The Project would be powered by overhead electric catenary within the Interstate 15 (I-15) right-of-way (ROW) for 48 miles and on existing transportation corridors for the last mile into the proposed Rancho Cucamonga station. The Project would require construction of one new traction power substation in the Hesperia area. The maintenance facility that was evaluated with the Brightline West Victor Valley High-Speed Rail (HSR) Passenger Project would provide the primary maintenance functions, although layover tracks are anticipated at the Rancho Cucamonga station, which could include light maintenance capability, such as interior cleaning and daily inspection.

Trains are expected to operate daily on 45-minute headways between Victor Valley and Rancho Cucamonga. The trip between Victor Valley and Rancho Cucamonga would be approximately 35 minutes. Service would be coordinated with existing and planned Metrolink service at the Rancho Cucamonga station to provide a convenient connection between the HSR and commuter rail systems.

The Project would be constructed and operated under a lease agreement with the California Department of Transportation for the use of the I-15 ROW and the station at Hesperia. As necessary, Brightline West would secure additional agreements for ROW use, design and construction oversight and reimbursement, and operations and maintenance.

Environmental Assessment

FRA, in cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), Surface Transportation Board (STB), and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), prepared an Environmental Assessment (EA) and Section 4(f) Evaluation in accordance with NEPA 42 U.S.C. § 4321 et seq.; Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, as amended; Section 4(f) of the USDOT Act of 1966; Executive Order 12898: Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations; and other applicable Federal statutes, rules, and regulations.


FRA Points of Contact

FRA NEPA Contact:
Matthew Mielke, Environmental Protection Specialist 
Environmental Review Division
Federal Railroad Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
West Building, Mail Stop 20
Washington, DC 20590 

Media Queries Contact:
Phone: 202-493-6024

Permitting Dashboard

The U.S. Permitting Dashboard is an online tool for Federal agencies, project sponsors, and interested members of the public to track the Federal government’s environmental review and authorization processes for large or complex infrastructure projects. The Dashboard is part of a government-wide effort to improve coordination, transparency, and accountability. A link to this project’s page on the Dashboard is below.

Last updated: Friday, January 13, 2023