Virgin Trains USA

Brightline, Virgin Rail Parting Company

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.

Tri-Rail, Virgin Trains USA Vying for Miami Access

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.

Virgin Trains USA, Morgan Stanley: $1.75B in PABs

Virgin Trains USA (formerly Brightline) has closed on $1.75 billion in private activity bonds (PABs) underwritten by Morgan Stanley and purchased by 67 different investors to help fund the company’s expansion from West Palm Beach, on the Florida East Coast Railway, to Orlando. Virgin described the closing as “one of the largest PAB transactions to date.”

Branson, Goddard christen MiamiCentral

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 scuttles IPO

Miami-based Virgin Trains USA LLC, previously known as Brightline before it rebranded itself following a 2018 partnership forged with Virgin Enterprises Ltd. and founder Richard Branson, has canceled issuing the IPO scheduled for the week of Feb. 11, saying it will pursue other fundraising options. No indication was given whether it will reconsider an IPO in the near future.