Posts Tagged ‘Brightline’

Brightline Says Orlando Extension Half Done

May 21, 2021

Brightline said it recently passed the halfway mark for construction of its extension to Orlando, Florida.

The company celebrated the milestone during an event held at the future site of a vehicle maintenance facility just south of the Orlando International Airport.

During the event, attendees signed a 12-foot, bright yellow stick of steel rail, which will be incorporated into Brightline’s track between the airport station and the maintenance facility.

Brightline is building a 170-mile extension from West Palm Beach to the airport in a $4.2 billion project.

Regular Brightline service operates between Miami and West Palm Beach although that service has been suspended since last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Brightline Aims to Resume in 4th Quarter

April 9, 2021

Brightline is looking to resume operations between Miami and West Palm Beach, Florida, in the fourth quarter of this year.

The intercity passenger carrier suspended operations in March 2020 after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the meantime, the company continues to construct its expansion to Orlando.

Workers recently completed a second highway grade separation east of the Orlando Airport.

They used pre-cast concrete boxes that were pushed under a road to reduce extended auto traffic disruptions and construction costs.

The project did result last month in narrowed highway lanes and a few overnight closures of the Beachline Expressway where the rail right-of-way from Orlando joins Florida East Coast Railway’s main line just west of Cocoa, Florida.

Virgin Sues Brightline Over Dropping Virgin Name

March 13, 2021

Virgin Enterprises has filed suit against Brightline over its dropping of the “Virgin Trains” brand name.

The $251 million lawsuit contends Brightline reneged on a 20-year licensing deal by claiming the Virgin brand had been damaged and was no longer “a brand of international high repute.”

The lawsuit says that that claim is “cynical and spurious.”

The two agreement between the two parties had been reached in 2018 but Brightline said last year it was dropping out of the agreement.

Virgin’s lawsuit said the amount it is seeking will cover royalties to this point plus an early termination fee.

Brightline, Florida Resume Talks Over Tampa Extension

March 5, 2021

The Florida Department of Transportation and Brightline have resumed talks about the latter’s proposal to extend its route to Tampa.

Brightline has proposed building the Tampa extension from Orlando in the median of Florida Route 417 and Interstate 4.

Negotiations between the two parties had been suspended in March 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

FDOT has asked Brightline to address a number of issues including a method to recover toll revenue lost because of Brightline’s construction and operation.

The agency also has questions about a resolution from Orlando’s airport authority supporting the Orlando-Tampa service and execution of an agreement meeting the requirements for use of the Central Florida Rail Corridor.

Brightline was asked to address these matters by July 31.

Boca Raton Station Work to Begin in March

January 25, 2021

Florida intercity rail operator Brightline expects to begin construction in March of a station in Boca Raton.

The $46 million project will get underway with construction of a temporary parking lot and garden and last for more than a year.

The station is expected to open in 2022. The Boca Raton City Council earlier approved the project, which is getting a $16.35 million federal grant.

Brightline Orlando Line 45% Done

November 27, 2020

Brightline said its line to Orlando is about 45 percent completed.

The route is expected to be completed in 2022 and will link with the carrier’s current northern terminus in West Palm Beach.

An Orlando station facility is about a quarter completed. It is expected to have 109,000 square feet of space.

Brightline may share 28 miles of tracks in the Orlando area with commuter railroad SunRail, which would enable Brightline to reach Walt Disney World while allowing SunRail to serve the Orlando airport.

Although Brightline hopes to eventually  create an extension to Tampa, it has yet to reach an agreement for a lease of right-of-way with the Florida Department of Transportation, Orlando Utilites Commission, and the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority.

Lack of Interest Thwarts Bond Sale

November 7, 2020

Lack of interest has thwarted for now the plans of Fortress Investment Group to sell bonds to support its $8.4 billion Brightline West high speed rail project connecting Las Vegas and Southern California.

Fortress was facing a Dec. 1 deadline imposed by the state of California to sell the bonds but it now plans to take back the bond capacity and instead use it on affordable housing projects and other kinds of qualifying ventures.

A Brightline spokesman said the plans to develop the route will still move forward but will result in shifting the funding goals until the market improves.

Fortress had been offering $3.2 billion in bonds issued through California and Nevada agencies.

Las Vegas Rail Project Bond Sale Facing Delays

October 28, 2020

A proposed high-speed rail route between Las Vegas and Southern California has been rebranded as Brightline West.

In the meantime, a public sale of bonds to finance creation of the line has been delayed.

Construction of the line will be undertaken in six phases, split evenly between California and Nevada.

Construction under the current timeline is projected to start later this year and will include

most of the right-of-way not within the median of Interstate 15.

The middle and north sections, 45 and 51 miles, respectively, are projected to begin in the second quarter of 2021.

One Nevada segment is projected to start this year with two other segments to get underway in the second quarter of 2021.

A website devoted to the project said, though, that the timeline is subject to change and is contingent upon bonds being sold in California by Dec. 1.

The prospect of a delay increased this week when Fortress Investment Group delayed the pricing of $3.2 billion of municipal bonds it will seek to sell to finance the project.

Some observers said this may be a sign that investors were hesitant to finance what they view as a speculative project at a time of economic uncertainty.

No new date has been set for the bond sale.

Construction of Brightline Tampa Route Expected to Start in 2022

October 28, 2020

Construction of the Brightline route between Orlando and Tampa line is expected to start in 2022 with a completion date of 2025.

That timeline was advanced by Michael Cegelis, Brightline’s executive vice president of rail infrastructure.

He also said Brightline is studying a potential shared operation on some of the route with Orlando commuter railroad SunRail.

The proposal calls for Brightline to use existing SunRail tracks to reach Disney World and the Orlando International Airport.

The Tampa route is expected to be built in part along Interstate 4.

Cegelis said that Brightline is giving a higher priority to reaching Disney World than Tampa. timeline.

Las Vegas Project Bond Sale Reduced

October 22, 2020

The size of the public bond sale that will finance a Las Vegas to Southern California high-speed rail project has been set at $2.4 billion.

Fortress Investment Group in announcing the sale said it will be the largest offering of unrated municipal securities.

It also acknowledged that the sale is $800,000 less than what it previously expected to sell.

The rail line will be operated by Brightline and extend from Las Vegas to Victorville, California.

Eventually, trains will reach Los Angele over tracks used by commuter rail agency Metrolink. The service has thus far been branded as Xpress West.