Posts Tagged ‘Orlando International Airport’

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 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.

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.

Virgin Completes Laying Track at Orlando Airport

July 24, 2020

Virgin Trains USA has completed laying track at its terminal at the Orlando International Airport.

The project is part of a 170-mile extension from the current northern terminus on the service, formerly known as Brightline, at West Palm Beach, Florida.

The intercity carrier said it has laid 3.5 miles of track at the airport. That work was done in tandem with construction and remodeling that included a revision of the airport’s main entrance and a new south terminal.

Virgin to Start Laying Rails in January

November 27, 2019

Virgin Rails USA had told an Orlando news outlet that is will begin laying rails in January 2020 for its extension from West Palm Beach to Orlando, Florida.

The carrier said it will begin construction in February 2020 of a $70 million, 138,000 square foot maintenance center that it said will create 160 new jobs.

The 170-mile line to Orland will have 55 bridges that will cost $35 million apiece. Virgin projects that each bridge will take 12 to 30 months to build.

“Obviously our goal is to maximize mobility for the Central and South Florida communities,” said Virgin Trains USA CEO Patrick Goddard said. “We are looking at stations. We are in a dialogue with the Treasure Coast, we are in a dialogue with the Space Coast. We would like to see stations every 50 to 60 miles. I think that’s feasible and reasonable to have an express train service so we will continue to pursue to update those as we make progress.”

Virgin said the steel being used in construction of the line is being purchased from American Steel in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Approximately 1,000 will be employed to build the line.

Goddard said before building west of Orlando International Airport that Virgin must reach an agreement on a lease from the Central Florida Expressway Authority and the Florida Department of Transportation.

Virgin plans to build along existing highways between Orlando and Tampa.

Virgin Cancels IPO Offering

February 14, 2019

Virgin Trains USA has abruptly canceled plans to make an initial public offering, opting instead for what it termed “alternative financing sources.”

Virgin had said it planned to sell 28.3 million shares of common stock, which was expected to go for between $17 and $19 per share.

The IPO was to have been launched the week of Feb. 11 and was expected to raise $510 million.

Money raised from the IPO was to be used for expand service into Orlando and Tampa.

Formerly known as Brightline, Virgin has for more than a year operated daily intercity rail passenger service between Miami and West Palm Beach, Florida.

In a statement, about the IPO cancellation, Virgin did not indicate if it would consider another IPO in the future.

Most of the stockholders of Virgin Rail are private equity funds affiliated with Fortress Investment Group.

A news media report quoted a follower of Virgin as saying that the IPO can scrubbed because the company “concluded that it could not achieve the valuation it sought in an IPO: ‘It was a combination of [investor] appetite and people saying they’d be interested if it was private.’”

Had the IPO been executed, those buying stock in Virgin would had no more than a 2 percent stack in the company.

Documents filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission show that Virgin Trains has had discussions about raising up to $2.3 billion in debt and its plans to expand are contingent on it having the funds to acquire certain land rights.

Virgin faces a June 2019 deadline to raise more than $1 billion in construction financing to avoid losing a deal with the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority, which operates Orlando International Airport.

The airport plans to provide land for a station, storage facilities and tracks. Virgin has said it will may seek an extension of that deadline.