Posts Tagged ‘Virgin Trains’

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.

Virgin’s Las Vegas Station Plans Revealed

February 22, 2020

Virgin Trains USA has submitted plans for its Las Vegas station.

Documents submitted to the Clark County Commissioners office indicate the Las Vegas terminal will be built on 110 acres on South Las Vegas Boulevard across from the South Premium Outlets.

The 273,300 square-foot station would be a 15 minute drive from the Las Vegas strip. Plans also call for a parking garage adjacent to the station.

Virgin has proposed establishing a high-speed rail service between Las Vegas and Southern California that would eventually serve Los Angeles.

The documents submitted for Virgin indicated that construction of the route is expected to begin later this year with service getting underway in 2023.

The Las Vegas terminal will contain a departure lobby, space for retail businesses and a baggage claim area.

Construction of Vegas Route to Begin in California

December 14, 2019

Work on building a intercity rail passenger route between Las Vegas and Southern California is expected to begin in California.

Officials with Virgin Trains USA have indicated that construction in Nevada is not expected to begin until 2021.

“They’ll probably start in about five different areas when construction starts,” said Virgin Trains’ business strategy vice president Tina Quigley. “Those five areas will probably be in California,”

Quigley said that only 35 miles of the 170-mile route will be located in Nevada.

Virgin is eyeing a 2023 date to begin the service, but several key steps still need to be taken.

These include receiving a formal record of decision from the Federal Railroad Administration and getting approval from Nevada authorities of a package of bonds worth more than $1 billion.

The latter needs to be finished by January or February in order for Virgin to stay on schedule.

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 Sells Bonds to Finance Expansion

April 7, 2019

Virgin Trains USA sold $1.75 billion in private bonds last week and a trade publication said Virgin might have received up to $4 billion in orders for its bonds.

The Bond Buyer quoted a Morgan Stanley executive as saying, “the feedback that we received was, ‘Wow, this is a whole new level of train transportation.’”

In a statement, Virgin said is received what it termed “an overwhelming positive response from qualified investors who recognize our early success and the long-term potential for our business.”

Virgin plans to use the proceeds from the bond sale to finance an extension of service from West Palm Beach to Orlando and, later, Tampa.

The former Brightline now operates between Miami and West Palm Beach.

Florida County Launches New Legal Attack on Virgin

January 19, 2019

A Florida County that has long opposed service by Brightline is back in court, this time arguing that it should not have to pay for railroad crossing work that benefits the carrier.

The lawsuit seeks a declaration that Indian River County should not be forced to pay for grade crossing work sought by Virgin Trains, the operator of Brightline,  because it lacks an agreement with Virgin.

The county contends that its agreement is with the Florida East Coast Railway to maintain 21 crossings and that Virgin should not be considered a third-party beneficiary of the agreement with FEC.

Indian River has fought and lost other legal actions to seek to stop Brightline, spending more than $3 million in the process to do so.

In a related matter, the county has filed notice of its intent to appeal a ruling last December by a federal judge who dismissed the county’s lawsuit challenging the legality of Virgin Trains selling tax-free bonds to fund a service expansion from West Palm Beach to Orlando.