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. Official Sites:
Current Brightline: https://gobrightline.com/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Virgin USA: https://www.virgin.com/richard-branson/ ... trains-usa" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Virgin UK: https://www.virgintrains.co.uk/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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JasW
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Location: Currently SAL MP 1025.3; originally DL&W MP 21.1; formerly PRR MP 0.0

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

Post by JasW » Tue Apr 09, 2019 11:05 am

bostontrainguy wrote:Interestingly, the new info has a station called "Disney". The idea for a station on Disney property has been bantered around for a while and the last thing I remember is that WDW did not want a station on their property. Perhaps the new flashy image or Mr. Branson himself has changed their mind?
Actually, the proposal Brightline submitted to the Florida DOT called for a "Disney" station off Disney property, by the I-4 and SR 417 interchange in the northern tip of Celebration. I would imagine there would have to be car rental facilities there, unless they think people will just travel via Uber.

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

Post by bostontrainguy » Wed Apr 10, 2019 8:21 am

JasW wrote:
bostontrainguy wrote:Interestingly, the new info has a station called "Disney". The idea for a station on Disney property has been bantered around for a while and the last thing I remember is that WDW did not want a station on their property. Perhaps the new flashy image or Mr. Branson himself has changed their mind?
Actually, the proposal Brightline submitted to the Florida DOT called for a "Disney" station off Disney property, by the I-4 and SR 417 interchange in the northern tip of Celebration. I would imagine there would have to be car rental facilities there, unless they think people will just travel via Uber.
Yeah that would be pretty much useless for Universal and Seaworld. The airport would be closer then Celebration so that would pretty much just be a "Disney" station.

And there should be a shuttle. Why rent a car that is only going to sit in the hotel parking lot for three days? Also if you are going to rent a car you matter as well do that at the airport saving time and probably money since airports are often cheaper locations.

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

Post by Bob Roberts » Tue May 21, 2019 1:49 pm

Brightline / Virgin say that construction on the Orlando segment plus upgrading the existing FEC tracks to Class VI is now underway and the first load of rail is enroute from the Fort Wayne mill.

http://press.gobrightline.com/showPress ... /100061720" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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

Post by gokeefe » Tue May 21, 2019 6:34 pm

Never in my life did I think I would read the phrase, "60 track miles of class VII rail construction" in the context of private sector passenger rail service.

Mr. Norman,

Is it "for real" in your eyes yet? I know the financial metrics still aren't good but I have to wonder if this latest development begins to shift the perspective. We are a far cry from the early days of "bankrupt before they turn a wheel".
gokeefe

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

Post by Gilbert B Norman » Tue May 28, 2019 7:22 am

This article, appearing in Today's Wall Street Journal gives insight, as well as mention, regarding the successful underwriting of the "junk". Apparently, in search of yield, institutional investors are willing to take a high risk of default:

Fair Use:
Virgin Trains U.S.A., backed by Fortress Investment Group, has benefited from high demand for munis. Also known as Brightline, the train seeks to connect Orlando, Fla., to Miami.

But it didn’t fill up its trains with as many passengers as expected in 2018 after station opening delays, according to bond-offering and financial documents. The company also faced losses, financial records show. A spokesman for the train said it had always projected a “multiyear ramp-up” for revenue and ridership.

Even so, in April, muni investors lent Virgin about $1.8 billion to expand, marking the largest unrated muni bond deal over the past five years, according to calculations by MMA.

Brian Wynne, head of public finance at Morgan Stanley , which underwrote the bonds, said high demand enabled the railway to sell $250 million more in debt than initially planned, with yields roughly a fifth of a percentage point less than expected. Virgin could issue $950 million more in the coming months, according to the Florida Development Finance Corporation.

Such bonds “enable the private sector to deliver critical infrastructure projects,” said Wes Edens, co-chief executive of Fortress and Chairman of Virgin Trains..
Promise; you won't find these "puppies" in my portfolio.

gokeefe
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Location: Winthrop, Maine

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

Post by gokeefe » Tue May 28, 2019 6:21 pm

Mr. Norman,

I wondered if you would post this one. Agreed that the yield environment has made for some "interesting" choices lately. "Unrated"' isn't exactly a term one normally associates with yields as low as 7%.
gokeefe

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