Posts Tagged ‘Virgin Rail’

Projects to Benefit Amtrak Routes

February 9, 2019

Amtrak stands to benefit from some of the railroad improvement  projects that recently won federal grant funding.

The Federal Railroad Administration said this week that it will award more than $56 million in grants, covering 18 projects in 16 states as part of the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements program.

In Florida, the installation of supplemental safety features at 48 grade crossings will benefit the Virgin Trains USA route between West Palm Beach and Miami.

Officials said the work is expected to cut the number of grade-crossing violations by keeping motorists and pedestrians from trespassing as trains approach.

Amtrak’s Lincoln Service trains and the Texas Eagle will see a trip time reduction of three minutes due to a reconfiguration of the Lenox Interlocking in Mitchell, Illinois, located 16 miles northeast of St. Louis.

The project is expected to provide operating flexibility at a junction of four rail lines used by six railroads operating 46 trains per day.

In St. Louis, funding was awarded to replace the Broadway Truss of the Terminal Railway Association of St. Louis’ MacArthur Bridge across the Mississippi River.

The bridge is more than 100 years old and serves as the nation’s second longest railroad bridge. The work will work will increase horizontal clearance of the bridge, which is used by Lincoln Service trains and the Texas Eagle.

In New York, replacement of timber bridge decks with ballast decks on three bridges on the Hudson Line in Dutchess and Columbia counties will eliminate current speed restrictions and allow for future 110-mph operation.

Twenty-six Amtrak trains per day use these bridges, including the Lake Shore Limited, Maple Leaf, Ethan Allen Express, Adirondack and Empire Service trains.

Work will be performed in Vermont to stablize slopes along an 80-mile section of the New England Central Railroad used by Amtrak’s Vermonter.

The project will lead to the elimination of slow orders that have resulted in 216 hours of annual passenger delays and 520 hours of freight delays as well as decreasing safety risks.

A second second platform, elevator towers, and an overhead pedestrian bridge will be built at the Milwaukee Airport Amtrak station, allowing passenger trains to use both tracks and ease congestion resulting from the current single-track configuration for passenger service.

The station is used by Hiawatha Service trains.

Virgin to Make IPO

February 5, 2019

Virgin Trains USA is planning an initial public offering of 28.3 million shares of common stock.

Virgin, which operates the Brightline intercity rail service in Florida, told the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that its plans to grant its underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 4.25 million shares at the IPO price, less underwriting discounts and commissions. The expected IPO price is between $17 and $19 per share.

The shares will be listed on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the VTUS ticker symbol.

As part of the transaction, Virgin Trains USA is being changed to a Delaware corporation named Virgin Trains USA Inc.

Virgin marked its first anniversary of service on Jan. 13. During its first year it carried nearly 600,000 passengers on its route between Miami and West Palm Beach.

Brightline to Create Station for Orlando Tourists

January 29, 2019

Tourists will be the primary beneficiary of a station that Brightline plans to develop in Orlando.

The idea behind the concept is to cater to those traveling to Orlando’s theme parks.

Brightlight has not yet said where the station will be located but in documents submitted to the Florida Department of Transportation the carrier hinted that it might create a connection with SunRail, a commuter service in Orlando, and create a station in Lakeland.

Brightline has also indicated an interest in creating a stop for Disney World.

“On our way to Tampa we will likely have a station somewhere around theme parks in Orlando and we think that’s going to be a great thing for our partnership with the Tampa airport,” said Bob O’Malley, Brightline’s vice president of governmental affairs.

Service to Tampa is expected to begin in 2021. Brightline is in the process of transitioning to the Virgin Rail brand.