• COVID-19 Impact on Brightline

  • This is a forum for all operations, both current and planned, of Brightline, formerly All Aboard Florida and Virgin Trains USA:
    Websites: Current Brightline
    Virgin USA
    Virgin UK
This is a forum for all operations, both current and planned, of Brightline, formerly All Aboard Florida and Virgin Trains USA:
Websites: Current Brightline
Virgin USA
Virgin UK

Moderator: CRail

  by daybeers
The schedule has been reduced to 9 southbound and 8 northbound trains on weekdays and 7 in each direction on weekends since Wednesday, March 18. Frankly I don't see how they're supporting even that many trains! Wonder what the numbers are, anyone know?
  by bostontrainguy
Just announced: "It is for this reason that we have decided to temporarily suspend service until this situation subsides, and it becomes feasible for us to service the community again."
  by Ranger762
Makes sense, better safe than sorry, and I'm fairly sure they'll lose less money by suspending the service than by keeping it and having to pay for lawsuits and insurance issues as people get sick on/around their trains.
Still, I do hope the company's employees will keep their jobs...
  by Jeff Smith
daybeers wrote: Thu Mar 26, 2020 2:16 am Makes sense. Here's a link: https://www.wptv.com/news/coronavirus/b ... s-pandemic
ADMIN: Brief, fair-use quote as required by railroad.net policy:
MIAMI, Fla. — Brightline announced Wednesday that services are temporarily suspended as of Wednesday, March 25, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The final northbound train departure from Miami was at 5:50 p.m.
Last edited by Jeff Smith on Thu Mar 26, 2020 5:14 pm, edited 1 time in total. Reason: Added fair-use quote
what's being reported, and what's actually happening, are two different things. the entire operating department was fired, without notice. they were called into a meeting, and terminated. not furloughed, laid-off, etc. i'm currently training two of their road foremen, and their rules examiner, as well as a trainmaster on the property i'm at.

i suggested they were fired, as a means for them to be allowed to collect unemployment, although a kinder, more tactful way could have been used. the operating managers i have here, have been told that "we're all stood down, until we reach orlando". this means, until trains can actually operate all the way from miami to orlando airport, brightline is dead. at some point, they'll have to bring back a crew or two, just to operate test trains, but until then, all operating employees (t&e, mechanical, pax support, etc) are gone.

tri-rail continues to support the same corridor, with a larger amount of stations to serve the remaining commuters. the rfe's related to me, that the last two days of service saw 2-4 riders, per train. they had less than 200 total riders on the last day of service. this move "saves" the equipment until it's able to be used fully, and stops (to a degree) the operating losses that have been mounting. the actual number of people terminated is over 325, according to the rules examiner & rfe.
  by Jeff Smith
Dang, that hurts. But financially I suppose it makes sense as harsh as it is. Always kind of wondered about the logic of operating before Orlando came on line. Good news on other fronts, though, in Vegas in particular.
  by daybeers
Yikes, that's not good news. I'm hopeful for both Vegas and Orlando, but this is a huge hit for them. They still have a while until trains are arriving in Orlando.
  by Gilbert B Norman
Will Sir Richard and Brightline be parting wsys?https://www.wsj.com/articles/richard-br ... lewebshare

Fair Use:
LONDON—Two months ago, Richard Branson launched the Scarlet Lady, the first cruise ship in a globe-spanning travel and tourism empire bearing his Virgin Group brand.

Today, the cruise ship business is on hold. One of his airlines, Virgin Australia, filed for bankruptcy Tuesday. Another, Virgin Atlantic, the high-profile trans-Atlantic shuttle, is asking for financial assistance from the U.K. government.

Mr. Branson, 69 years old, became one of Britain’s best-known billionaires by putting his Virgin brand on an array of businesses, including planes and trains, cola and bridal gowns, often taking an equity stake and licensing fees in exchange. Several of his biggest forays are focused on travel and tourism. Amid the new coronavirus pandemic, he now finds himself at the epicenter of the meltdown in those industries. “This is the moment of truth” for Mr. Branson, said Tom Bower, an author who has written a book about him.
  by Jeff Smith
I haven't seen any rumblings... Mr. Branson (we fought a war to NOT call him Sir :P) is the consummate showman/public relations type; he'll be back, just as others whose ventures have foundered.
  by Gilbert B Norman
Now that Gov. DeSantis has declared "Florida is open for business" and that all government COVID restrictions have been lifted (private businesses may still impose some such as mask wearing, and commercial transportation is under a Federal ruling still in place), one must wonder "where's Brightline"?

I guess what Mr. Golden Arm noted that they will not resume until the entire Miami-Orlando/McCoy route is available will stand. I'm already planning a Jan '22 trip to Miami (Cleveland Orchestra) but unlike previous years, looks like no Brightline joyride.

Even though I have not been overly optimistic about a private sector passenger train, and during their Miami-West Palm phase "they never made numbers", one can hope that running to Orlando will make for a change. On the six joyrides I have taken, I have been exceptionally impressed with their station and on-board "product".

Even though I acknowledge being mistaken that Brightline was a "ploy" to sell the FEC to the State to ensure an "open gateway" at JAX, I guess the ultimate sale to the Mexican concern accomplished the same purpose.

Finally, let's hope it's "good riddance to Sir Richard". He only muddied things up with his monkeying with an impeccably branded product, and contributed little else. Oh, but he wants $250M for his troubles. Anyone care to wish him luck?
  by Erie-Lackawanna
Brightline has told various news organizations and public officials that they intend to restart service between WPB and Miami in 4Q2021.

They are currently performing PTC testing with Brightline equipment between WPB and Miami, in preparation for the late 2021 restart.

  by Gilbert B Norman
Here's more from two recognized South Florida newssources:

https://www.miamiherald.com/news/busine ... 54417.html

Fair Use:
The news came as a shock: Brightline, Florida’s most ambitious rail project since the Flagler era, said it planned to ditch the Virgin brand.

It was an abrupt turnaround given the fanfare with which the original partnership was greeted just last year.

But the announcement reflects how the coronavirus outbreak has sparked a global financial shakeup, one that has seen Brightline push forward on its route to Disney World while the Virgin brand struggles to regain its footing in South Florida and around the world.

In a filing Friday, express rail operator Brightline Trains LLC said it was seeking to sever its licensing agreement with Richard Branson’s Virgin Enterprises. Virgin is disputing the termination; a Virgin spokesman declined to comment.
Apparently, Sir Richard thinks "his troubles" are worth £250 (Quid):

https://www.sun-sentinel.com/coronaviru ... story.html

Fair Use:
Brightline’s decision to offload Richard Branson’s Virgin Group as a marketing partner is now before a London court, with the British billionaire’s company seeking more than $250 million in damages from the South Florida-based railroad.

Amid considerable fanfare, the now idled high speed railroad entered into a royalty agreement with the flamboyant entrepreneur in 2018 as it ramped up passenger service among the downtowns of Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and Miami.
  by Bob Roberts
Brightline has tweeted that they plan to resume service in "November"