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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

Brightline West, the Project Sponsor, proposes to construct and operate the Cajon Pass High-Speed Rail Project (Project), a 49-mile train system capable of reaching a top speed of approximately 140 miles per hour (mph) 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 was approved as part of a separate project that was evaluated in the DesertXpress Final Environmental Impact Statement (Final EIS; FRA 2011). 

Brightline West proposes to construct and operate the Project within the I-15 right-of-way for 48 miles and on existing transportation corridors for the last mile into the proposed Rancho Cucamonga station. The Project will be powered by overhead electric catenary and  require construction of one new traction power substation in the Hesperia area. The maintenance facility that was approved with the Brightline West Victor Valley High-Speed Rail (HSR) Passenger Project will provide the primary maintenance functions (Final EIS; FRA 2011). Additional 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 60-minute headways between Victor Valley and Rancho Cucamonga. The trip between Victor Valley and Rancho Cucamonga will be approximately 35 minutes. Service will 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.

Brightline West will construct and operate the Project under a lease agreement with the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) for the use of the I-15 right-of-way and the station at Hesperia. Brightline West will secure additional agreements for Right-of-Way Use; Design & Construction Oversight and Reimbursement; and Operations & Maintenance, as necessary, including agreements with the City of Rancho Cucamonga and the San Bernardino County Transportation Authority (SBCTA) for land rights, construction, operations, and maintenance for the last mile of the Project from I-15 to Rancho Cucamonga station. 

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 signed the EA on October 26, 2022, and a 30-day review and comment period ran between October 28, 2022, and November 28, 2022. On July 12, 2023, FRA signed a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI). The FONSI addressed the public comments and included measures to minimize impacts that will be implemented with the Project. The Brightline West Cajon Pass High-Speed Rail Project EA and FONSI can be accessed via the links below.


FRA Points of Contact

FRA NEPA Contact:
Matthew Mielke, Project Manager 
Office of Regional Outreach and Project Delivery
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.