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Coming Soon to the Victor Valley: Trains, Parks and Fans

Future developments in Victorville and the region include high-speed rail service, new and improved parks, and a college stadium/convention center.

By Kim Madlom on January 26, 2023

Brightline should be moving passengers through the Victor Valley in 2026.

The Victor Valley is experiencing a wave of growth and investment driven by new businesses, new developments and new residents. Not surprising, since the region offers lower land costs and an abundance of space for development. Major new developments are taking shape in the region’s four main communities – Adelanto, Apple Valley, Hesperia and Victorville.

One major development in the works is a high-speed rail project that will connect the Victor Valley to Las Vegas and Los Angeles. It is on track to break ground in 2023 and begin moving passengers in 2026.

Brightline West has been planning a high-speed rail project in the region for years, but recent development has the company using 48 miles within the Interstate 15 corridor’s right-of-way to connect its station in Apple Valley to a newly planned station in Rancho Cucamonga. That would let passengers transfer to a train that would take them to Union Station in Los Angeles.

Bright Future Ahead

When the high-speed rail project is complete, Victor Valley residents will be able to take a day trip to major cities like Los Angeles and Las Vegas while also enjoying the convenience of small-town life with its tighter-knit communities, proximity to nature and limited traffic.

The project that will run between the Victor Valley and Rancho Cucamonga includes two railway stations – one in Hesperia and one in Rancho Cucamonga. The station in the Victor Valley will be constructed as part of a separate agreement.

The trains will be powered by overhead electric lines 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 also requires constructing a new traction power substation in the Hesperia area.

Plans call for trains to operate daily on 45-minute schedules between Victor Valley and Rancho Cucamonga. The trip will take approximately 35 minutes.

Flexible seating will allow friends or coworkers to meet face to face while traveling on Brightline trains.

Job Creation

The coming Brightline West high-speed rail project in Apple Valley will create thousands of construction jobs and hundreds of operational/permanent jobs once the rail line, train station and maintenance facility are operational by 2027, says Orlando Acevedo, director of business development and communications for the Town of Apple Valley.

More than 10,000 jobs are expected to be created during the construction phase of the project and 500 permanent jobs for Apple Valley at project completion. The high-speed electric train will move passengers from Apple Valley to Las Vegas in about 90 minutes at speeds greater than 150 miles per hour.

Powered by carbon-free sources, Brightline West estimates cutting traffic by as many as 4.5 million cars and 811 million travel miles on I-15 annually, which will significantly lower traffic congestion and air pollution. This is a part of Brightline West’s goal to remove 400,000 tons of CO2 each year.

Brightline trains offer Wi-Fi, snacks and beverages in its two classes of service. The train seats look and feel like premium economy airline seats with plenty of legroom plus an in-seat recline that slides forward. Seats feature USB ports and outlets to charge electronics.

Bike racks will be available on the Brightline trains.

Driving Investment

Jobs, travel time and environmental benefits of bullet trains are just part of the overall impact.

Regions like the Victor Valley served by high-speed rail expect the project to bring additional residential, commercial and industrial investment. That’s been the case with Brightline projects in the company’s home state of Florida.

With its first line launched in 2018, Brightline operates between three major metros – Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach in South Florida – with rail service almost hourly from early morning to late night. Since then, a variety of commercial and residential projects have sprung up on properties around the stations.

For example, a 27-acre mixeduse project developed around Brightline’s MiamiCentral station and a 24-story, 290-unit apartment building was built next to the train station in West Palm Beach.

“Like their South Florida rail stations, the Brightline station here is expected to attract transit-oriented commercial and residential development in the surrounding area,” Acevedo says. “It will also help extend much-needed infrastructure into north Apple Valley, laying the track for increased economic growth in the region.”

New and Improved Parks

In December 2021, Victor Valley cities received $19 million in park funding from the California Department of Parks and Recreation.

In Adelanto, $2.8 million will be used to build a neighborhood park and water feature, including a new playground, a splash pad, basketball and tetherball courts, exercise equipment and walking paths, as well as picnic areas, restrooms, landscaping and lighting.

Apple Valley received $8.4 million to build Pahute Park, expected to open in 2025, with a running track, football and baseball fields, two soccer fields, an all-abilities playground and a dog park, as well as picnic shelters, restrooms, landscaping and lighting.

“This grant is much needed as we continue to support and grow Apple Valley Recreation’s programs, user groups and teams,” says Apple Valley Council Member Curt Emick.

“Most parks have one or two primary focus areas, but [Lime Street Park] will be one of the few parks I’ve seen in the High Desert that has something for everyone.”

Kyle Woolley, Hesperia Recreation & Park District general manager

Hesperia’s $4.4 million will be used to renovate and revitalize Lime Street Park, nearly doubling the park’s size, says Kyle Woolley, Hesperia Recreation & Park District general manager. New features include two baseball fields, volleyball court, splash pad, walking path with exercise equipment, as well as public art, parking, lighting and landscaping.

Victorville will use its $3.3 million to upgrade Eva Dell Park. A playground will be renovated to be all-inclusive, and new features include a splash pad, lighted walking loop, covered picnic area, lighting for existing sports fields and paving for dirt parking lots.

New Stadium and Convention Center

Victor Valley College in Victorville is building a stadium that is not just a stadium. The project includes major upgrades and expansions of the college’s athletic facilities and the addition of a convention and events center. The new design is created to foster community connection, health and wellness, and environmental sustainability.

The stadium itself will hold about 4,000 people, nearly 2,500 on the home side and about 1,500 on the visitor side. There will also be a state-of-the-art NCAA track and field.

But the full scope of the multiuse facility includes a conference center next to the stadium that encompasses a 600-person banquet hall, three conference rooms, a boardroom, concession stand, catering kitchen and stadium gateway.

In addition to football games, track events and the college’s graduation ceremonies, the new venue can be used for concerts and football championship games. Completion is anticipated in 2024.

– Rich Bailey contributed to this article.

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