The honeymoon between Brightline, the private-sector luxury passenger train in Florida, and the Virgin brand is over. It lasted for fewer than two years. When we reported about the change in branding from Brightline to Virgin Trains USA late in 2018, it appeared that the edgy and innovative Brightline brand was headed for oblivion. It now seems that the COVID-19 virus is responsible for the reversal of events that led to a parting of the ways. Whatever the reason, the Brightline brand will now live again.
RT&S Editor-in-Chief Bill Wilson checks in with Brightline Executive Vice President of Rail Infrastructure Mike Cegelis on how construction is moving along on the Orlando Extension high-speed rail project.
Commuter Rail Coalition Secretary-Treasurer and SFRTA (Tri-Rail) Executive Director Steven Abrams: Rail Group On Air Podcast
Railway Age Editor-in-Chief William C. Vantuono hosts Commuter Rail Coalition Secretary-Treasurer Steven Abrams, Executive Director of the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority (Tri-Rail). Joining them is Joe Yesbeck, National Director Rail and
A railroad battle is shaping up in Miami. Two competitors want to serve potential commuters into Brightline’s new Miami Central downtown hub. It may not be as dramatic as the Chile War, when the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe and the Denver & Rio Grande Western literally fought armed skirmishes to determine who could build new rail lines in the New Mexico Territory in the early 1880s, but it nevertheless is a battle.
According to a report from the Associated Press, Brightline and its higher-speed Florida trains have the highest U.S. grade crossing collision/trespasser death rate.
After about only a year and a half in service, Virgin Trains recently surpassed one-million riders.
Quandel Consultants announced on April 15 that Peter Windschmitt has joined the national rail and transit firm as Director of Railroad Operations.
Sir Richard Branson and Patrick Goddard marked the beginning of Brightline’s transition to Virgin Trains USA on April 4 with a ceremony at Virgin MiamiCentral Station that unveiled the passenger rail service’s new branding graphics. Brightline is the express intercity passenger rail service that currently connects Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach, with expected service to Orlando and Tampa, and between Las Vegas and Southern California.
Virgin Trains USA announced Jan. 30 that it is launching an Initial Public Offering (IPO) of 28,334,000 shares of common stock. The NASDAQ Global Select Market listing is expected to raise $17 to $19 per share—between $482 million and $538 million—resulting in the company having a market capitalization of up to $3.2 billion.
Last month we reported on the impending demise of the Brightline brand for privately operated passenger trains in Florida, and the takeover by Virgin, at least as far as the public face of the venture is concerned (William C. Vantuono’s initial report on Nov. 16 and this writer’s article concerning the company and its branding on Nov. 26). There have been new developments lately: an initial public offering (IPO) for stock, and the prospect of an additional station near the giant Disney World theme park. The situation facing incumbent management may also be worse than we reported then.