Virgin Rail née Brightline/AAF Orlando - Miami FL FEC

This is a forum for all operations, both current and planned, of Virgin Rail USA formerly known as Brightline, and Virgin Worldwide Rail operations, past and present.
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Arlington
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Re: Virgin Rail née Brightline/AAF Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Post by Arlington » Sun Dec 09, 2018 7:47 pm

David Benton wrote:I am trying to think of a precedent for a private passenger railroad line been built , without govt subsidy or incentives.
minds blank so far..., but that could be monday morningitis.
Well, as was suggested even with regard to AAF, some high-volume passenger-only RRs are operated by the Walt Disney company (diesel-fired steam cirumferential narrow-gauge and electric monorail) as part of their real estate development operations. I always thought that the comparison to Disney was a fair comparison (in a good way): If you have a lucrative-enough real estate idea, you very often build fixed guideway transportation to go with it. Being "like Disney's trains" should have been taken as "sustainable as part of a larger transit-oriented and real-estate development business model"

And of course if you'll accept a private railroad that also hauled freight, the US' Great Northern RR was built without govt subsidy (dynamite and steam drills having made construction cheap at a moment when laying claim to vast empty tracts was still possible), which was also the American Northwest's idea of transportation-oriented development and making money from real estate - transport synergies.
"Trying to solve congestion by making roadways wider is like trying to solve obesity by buying bigger pants."--Charles Marohn

David Benton
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Re: Virgin Rail née Brightline/AAF Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Post by David Benton » Sun Dec 09, 2018 9:07 pm

I was meaning in the modern era, and longer distance. But points taken .
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Ryand-Smith
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Re: Virgin Rail née Brightline/AAF Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Post by Ryand-Smith » Sun Dec 09, 2018 10:25 pm

gokeefe wrote:I am surprised but I suspect not nearly as astonished as someone such as yourself who saw Amtrak takeover service from his own road. Hope the trip is rewarding.

I would note additionally that Brightline/Virgin is now claiming they will build their own Rights of Way some of their future proposed service.

Should be interesting to see how the airlines cope with the return of a competitor they had so gladly written off in most of the country.
These short haul flights are not profitable for them between the fuel and the limited tarmac spaces, they would rather have planes going from big hub to big hub

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Re: Virgin Rail née Brightline/AAF Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Post by Ridgefielder » Tue Dec 11, 2018 12:33 pm

David Benton wrote:I am trying to think of a precedent for a private passenger railroad line been built , without govt subsidy or incentives.
minds blank so far..., but that could be monday morningitis.
In the US, you have to go back to the pre-Depression-era construction of the New York, Westchester & Boston and the Chicago North Shore & Milwaukee.

Arlington
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Re: Virgin Rail née Brightline/AAF Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Post by Arlington » Tue Dec 11, 2018 1:44 pm

Ryand-Smith wrote:These short haul flights are not profitable for them between the fuel and the limited tarmac spaces, they would rather have planes going from big hub to big hub
They do, however, like the feed. United Airlines, back when it was Continental, dropped flying in favor of an Amtrak Codeshare:
Amtrak operates a codeshare program with United. The codeshare program permits passengers to connect via Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) with train service to/from these train stations:
ZFV – Philadelphia 30th Street
ZTF – Stamford, CT
ZVE – New Haven, CT
ZWI – Wilmington, DE
This is why the Orlando setup is so perfect for feeding from pretty much the whole of the populated state (eventually)
"Trying to solve congestion by making roadways wider is like trying to solve obesity by buying bigger pants."--Charles Marohn

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Tadman
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Re: Virgin Rail née Brightline/AAF Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Post by Tadman » Wed Dec 19, 2018 10:23 am

David Benton wrote:I am trying to think of a precedent for a private passenger railroad line been built , without govt subsidy or incentives.
minds blank so far..., but that could be monday morningitis.
I think it’s the Texas-Mexican train started around 1987 between Laredo and Corpus Christi. It was a geep and a 4-5 used passenger cars, mildly rehabbed. It was marketed as a for-profit passenger train. It quietly disappeared a few years later, probably in anticipation of the TFM KCS merger.

See 44:07 https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=you ... sR1nMnCWJc" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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Re: Virgin Rail née Brightline/AAF Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Post by Ridgefielder » Wed Dec 19, 2018 12:25 pm

Both in concept and execution the FEC project is a lot closer to the 1920's parallels - new stations, new/upgraded ROW, new equipment - than it is to the Tex-Mex hauling a string of antique heavyweights (!) across the Gulf Coastal Plain at 40mph.

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Re: Virgin Rail née Brightline/AAF Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Post by Gilbert B Norman » Thu Dec 20, 2018 4:33 pm

It would appear that difficulties remain in the floating of the Private Activity Bonds needed to complete the project to Orlando - and two US Representatives from - guess where - districts that include Martin and Indian River Counties, are quick to "pile on":

https://www.orlandosentinel.com/busines ... story.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Fair Use:
TALLAHASSEE — Two Republican congressmen are pointing to a state report on passenger-rail service as they implore the U.S. Department of Transportation to put the brakes on extending a deadline to issue tax-exempt bonds needed to expand the Brightline rail system to Orlando from South Florida.

However, with a decision pending on the bond extension, U.S. Reps. Brian Mast and Bill Posey are on the opposite side of the issue from other lawmakers who support Brightline.
While I think the Representatives efforts will be for naught, it does point out that the successful issue of these PAB's is hardly a "slam-dunk". The bonds have been rsted by a recognized rsting agency as "junk", and with the rising interest rates confronting issuers, the project could well prove too costly to expect a reasonable return on investment.

Lest we forget, PAB's are guaranteed only by the issuer, and not by the "full faith" of any taxing authority, but then, considering my .000 batting average on Brightline affairs thus far, look to other sources for Outlook.

Next month when I go "down below", I fully intend to take an end to end joyride. But this time, it "won't exactly" be on the cheap.

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Re: Virgin Rail née Brightline/AAF Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Post by Bonevalleyrailfan » Mon Dec 24, 2018 2:49 pm

As I posted on another forum today, I happened to find a document online today that spells out the amount of money Virgin is investing in Brightline: $30-50 million. If this reflects the 3% figure that was reported previously, then Brightline appears to be valued at anywhere from $1-1.7Billion. I am surprised that Brightline is giving up their brand and allowing 1 of the 4 board of directors for the new company to be picked by Virgin for such a small amount of cash. Of course, Sir Branson is using what appears to be a shell company (Corvina Holdings) located in the British Virgin Islands to escape paying proper taxes. I understand he is known for this sort of stuff in the UK, so it's not unexpected.

https://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data ... x10-73.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: Virgin Rail née Brightline/AAF Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Post by Bonevalleyrailfan » Mon Dec 24, 2018 3:31 pm

I posted this elsewhere as well: More news about airlines (probably mostly international) interested in adding flights into MCO because of Brightline having a station at the airport. I know many people disagreed with the decision to have the main Orlando station at the airport. With this news, it might end up being a very good choice in the end. Especially if they have a station adjacent to Sunrail at the Meadow Woods station to allow more connections for local passengers.

Here is the relevant portion of the Orlando Business Journal article linked below:

https://www.bizjournals.com/orlando/new ... o-tap.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;



And it's Brightline that's been one of the X-factors the airport has been tapping into to keep conversations energized with potential future new destinations and carriers, said airport executives.

"Airlines are looking for the connectivity and where they can get more from a market. That's why airlines see Brightline and consider bringing more planes into Orlando," Vicki Jaramillo, senior director of marketing and air service development at the airport, told Orlando Business Journal.

"There's great interest in Brightline for Orlando. It would help in getting someone who flies in from Saudi Arabia to Palm Beach simpler. So we continue to push that because it's what the airlines want to do in the future," she added.

gokeefe
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Re: Virgin Rail née Brightline/AAF Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Post by gokeefe » Mon Dec 24, 2018 8:10 pm

Interesting angle for Florida infrastructure that is essentially "tapped out" in terms of highway connections. Passenger rail = The only path to growth.
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Re: Virgin Rail née Brightline/AAF Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Post by Arlington » Wed Dec 26, 2018 11:53 am

https://amp.tcpalm.com/amp/2411193002" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Dec 24th ruling in federal court has thrown out the treasure coast and space coast objections to aaf:
A federal court judge on Monday rejected each of Indian River County's legal challenges to All Aboard Florida, throwing out the county's latest lawsuit against the passenger railroad, formerly Brightline and now known as Virgin Trains USA.
"Trying to solve congestion by making roadways wider is like trying to solve obesity by buying bigger pants."--Charles Marohn

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Rockingham Racer
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Re: Virgin Rail née Brightline/AAF Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Post by Rockingham Racer » Wed Dec 26, 2018 2:39 pm

They just won't give up, will they.

gokeefe
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Re: Virgin Rail née Brightline/AAF Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Post by gokeefe » Wed Dec 26, 2018 9:53 pm

A few more million in legal fees and they'll throw in the towel. What's the tab up to so far?
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Re: Virgin Rail née Brightline/AAF Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Post by Rockingham Racer » Thu Dec 27, 2018 8:26 am

gokeefe wrote:A few more million in legal fees and they'll throw in the towel. What's the tab up to so far?

Martin County, 4 million [and the battle is over]

Indian River County, 3 million [and the battle continues with another million authorized]

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