HIGH-SPEED RAIL ON-AGAIN?

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IS THE ON-AGAIN / OFF-AGAIN HIGH SPEED RAILWAY FROM LAS VEGAS to SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA ON-AGAIN?
               Brightline West the company behind the high-speed, on again off again, rail project between Las Vegas and Southern California is hopeful work will begin in early 2021.
               Brightline West is hopeful to begin construction on a 170-mile rail line between Southern Nevada and Victorville, California, as early as the spring, according to a project status update filed Jan. 4 with the Nevada High-Speed Rail Authority.
               “The purpose of this letter is to provide a status update on the project, which is on target to commence construction in early Q2 2021,” Sarah Watterson, president of Brightline West, said in the letter.
               Watterson notes the company has an updated funding plan for the project, which includes relaunching the bond sale of private activity bonds that the project could again receive from Nevada, California and the U.S.
              Brightline previously postponed a $2.4 billion bond sale that would have generated the financing for the initial portion of tracks and stations of the long-talked about $8 billion project. The company blamed the delay on market instability due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
              After Brightline canceled the bond sale, both California and Nevada redirected the private activity bonds approved for the project — $200 million in Nevada and $600 million in California — to go toward affordable housing in each state.
              Brightline Florida’s recent successful issuance of $950,000,000 in tax-exempt bonds that reflects improving market conditions and renewed strong interest in private intercity passenger rail projects as we head into 2021.
              This renewed interest will hopefully fuel the start of this long delayed project.

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