Posts Tagged ‘Brightline’

Virgin to Build Station in Boca Raton

December 13, 2019

Virgin Trains USA will build a station in Baca Raton, Florida, after that city council there approved a long-term land lease for the construction of the station and parking garage.

The facility is expected to open by late 2020, becoming the third new station for the service also known as Brightline.

Other new stations are planned at Aventura and PortMiami. Brightline trains currently stop only at West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale and Miami.

Virgin will pay for and operate the station, which will be built on a 1.8-acre site near Palmetto Park Road and Dixie Highway.

The city will fund most of the design and construction of the 455-vehicle parking garage adjacent to the station, but Virgin will be responsible for all operating expenses of the garage and the parties will split the profits.

Virgin May Gain Another Station in Miami

October 8, 2019

Virgin Trains USA may spend $76 million to build a new station for its rail service in Miami-Dade County, Florida.

The proposed location of the station is near the Aventura Mall. The facility would also serve Metrorail and buses.

The county could use its half-percent transportation tax to purchase land for the station, which would be built by Virgin with public funding.

Miami Mayor Carlos Gimenez has been pushing for a vote by the County Commission on that plan.

Thursday, but a source familiar with the planning said Monday night that a special meeting next week is more likely.

Virgin has pledged to give Aventura-bound passengers a 35 percent discount on its normal fare for trips between Miami and Fort Lauderdale.

Currently that fare is $15 today, so a ticket to Aventura would be $9.75 one-way.

Virgin would funding station operations and services with its existing trains and staff. The service is commonly known as Brightline.

Brightline Service Resumes Today

September 4, 2019

Virgin Trains USA plans to resume Brightline service in Floriday today (Sept. 4) and will offer a far special to entice passengers aboard.

The carrier is offering $10 fares for travel through Sept. 8.

Brightline service had been halted earlier in anticipation of damage from Hurricane Dorain, which tracked to the northwest of Miami and had minimal effect on the city.

Amtrak service to Florida remains suspended through Thursday, Sept. 5.

Brightline Service Suspended Ahead of Hurricane

August 31, 2019

Florida intercity rail operator Virgin Trains USA is tweaking its Brightline schedule and fares ahead the expected landfall of Hurricane Dorian.

Brighline said trains will adopt a modified schedule starting today (Aug. 31).

The final northbound and southbound departures from West Palm Beach and Miami will depart at noon and fares have been cut to $5 per passenger.

An alternate schedule of southbound trains include an 8 a.m., 9 a.m.,10 a.m. and noon departure from West Palm Beach and northbound train departing Virgin MiamiCentral at 10 a.m., 11 a.m. and noon.

Service will be suspended after the last trips on Saturday.

Dorian will be the strongest hurricane to make landfall in Florida since Brightline began operation in early 2018.

Virgin Carried 1 Millionth Passenger

July 26, 2019

Virgin Trains USA said it reached the 1 million passengers mark this past June.

The service formerly known as Brightline, operates between Miami and West Palm Beach, Florida, with an intermediate stop in Fort Lauderdale.

The service began between West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale in January 2018 and was extended to Miami in May 2018.

“This milestone shows the demand for new ways to travel and the need for greater connectivity in South Florida and other areas of the country,” said Virgin Trains President Patrick Goddard in a statement. “While we’re still in the adoption phase, our inaugural year showed great promise and tremendous opportunity to reinvent passenger rail in America.”

Virgin Eyes Adding 3 More Stations in Florida

July 17, 2019

Virgin Trains USA is considering adding as many as three new stations to its route between Miami and West Palm Beach, Florida.

The carrier formally known as Brightline said that additional stops will slow its trains but boost ridership.

The carrier has not named the cities it is considering, but among those thought to be in contention are Hollywood, Boca Raton, Pompano Beach and a site in Martin County.

Officials in Hollywood said they recently met with Virgin officials about creating a station downtown.

Hollywood is already served by Tri-Rail commuter trains to Miami, but Virgin trains are likely to be faster and cost more to ride.

Boca Raton officials said they hope to meet with Virgin officials soon about establishing a station there.

For the first quarter of 2019, Virgin said it carried of 244,178 passengers and netted revenue of $5.8 million.

It has set a goal of 2.1 million passengers and between $50 million and $100 million in revenues in 2019.

Virgin Holds Groundbreaking on Orlando Extension

June 29, 2019

A groundbreaking ceremony was held this week by Virgin Trains USA to kick off construction of an extension of its route in Florida from West Palm Beach to Orlando.

Virgin, formerly known as Brightline, is building 170 miles of new track to Orlando International Airport.

Construction actually began, though, a month ago and has been divided into four zones.

In a news release, Virgin said the project will require 225 million pounds of U.S. steel, 490,000 ties, and 2.35 million tons of granite and limestone for ballast.

The groundbreaking ceremony was held in Orlando, which a terminal has already been established at the airport.

Virgin said the extension to Orlando is an investment of $4 billion. The carrier currently offers intercity passenger service between Miami and West Palm Beach.

Virgin Chooses Contractors for Orlando Extension

May 25, 2019

Virgin Trains USA has selected contractors to build its extension in Florida from West Palm Beach to Orlando International Airport.

The company formerly known as Brightline has divided the work into four zones covering the 168 mile route.

The zones include a maintenance facility, right of way work at the airport, 35 miles of a sealed corridor east of the airport extending to the Florida East Coast mainline, and upgrading 129 miles of FEC mainline to allow 79 mph running for passenger trains.

In a news release, Virgin said that work on the sealed corridor and upgrading FEC tracks is imminent.

“For a project of this scope and magnitude, a world-class construction team has been assembled to undertake this tremendous assignment and we congratulate them on helping us make history,” Virgin Trains USA President Patrick Goddard said in a statement.

FECI Sells Part of Miami Central Station

May 19, 2019

Ridership that has fallen short of expectations has led Florida East Coast Industries to sell a portion of its MiamiCentral station complex.

FECI is the parent company of the former Brightline intercity rail system, which earlier this year was rebranded as Virgin Trains USA

News reports say FECI has sold for $160 million two office towers and more than 150,000 square feet of commercial space, ground-floor retail and parking to the Shorenstein Company of San Francisco.

Shorenstein is a real estate investment firm that is one of the largest landlords in San Francisco.

FECI will continue to operate the train station and rail service at MiamiCentral.

One report indicated that FECI sought the deal as a way to recoup losses from missing ridership goals.

Virgin Rolls Out New Look in Miami

April 9, 2019

Virgin Trains USA showed off last week its plans to rebrand the former Brightline service in Florida during a ceremony at its rail station in Miami.

Officials said the service will be rebranded in stages throughout the year starting with giving the Miami station a makeover.

The most visible result of that was to change Brightline yellow to Virgin red.

Virgin executives also wore red tee shirts with streaks of yellow, hinting at a new look for the trains that operate between Miami and West Palm Beach, Florida.

Among the VIPs in attendance were Virgin Group founder Richard Branson, Virgin Trains USA President Patrick Goddard, South Florida Regional Transportation Authority Chair Esteban Bovo Jr. and Miami Mayor Francis Suarez.

They spoke of how the Miami Central station will connect passengers using Metrorail, Metromover, Brightline and in the future Tri-Rail.

“Virgin MiamiCentral is the only destination that connects Miami-Dade County through its various transit systems, and with the combination of Brightline and Tri-Rail, connects the entire southeast region,” Goddard said. “Mobility continues to be key as our region and population grow — and we are meeting the demand.”

Branson said he foresees Virgin someday providing connecting service with cruise ships docking at the Port of Miami, which is already served by the Florida East Coast Railway.