• Virgin Rail (Brightline) IPO, Bonds, Success, Branding

  • 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.
    Websites: Current Brightline
    Virgin USA
    Virgin UK
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.
Websites: Current Brightline
Virgin USA
Virgin UK

Moderator: CRail

  by EuroStar
 
The annual ridership is out https://www.palmbeachpost.com/business/ ... rojections
In a report to bond investors, Brightline, to be renamed VirginTrains USA, said it barely broke one million passengers for the year, less than half the count it projected. Revenue for 2019 was $22 million, less than a fifth of its projection.
The ridership is also out for TriRail https://www.railwayage.com/passenger/co ... annel=home
The South Florida Regional Transportation Authority (SFRTA) recently announced that Tri-Rail recorded a calendar year ridership record in 2019 with 4,495,039 passengers, which is a 1.8% increase from the previous year.
Leaving the promises to the bondholders aside, I find it very impressive that the Brightline has been able to get to about quarter of the Tri-Rail passengers while charging about double the fare. All their ridership is sort of "new" to the train given that Tri-Rail experienced a small bump. The Brightline is not cannibalizing the state run service to any detectable degree. While taking 1,000,000 trips off the highway is a tiny dent in South Florida traffic it is very positive and exciting, at least to me.
  by gokeefe
 
I think it's probably worth discussing whether or not Brightline's entry to the market appears to be supporting a ridership increase for Tri-Rail ...
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
From Marriott Biscayne Bay Miami--

Sunday January 19, it was off for a joyride. Leave Miami Central 350P to WP, early Dinner @Ruth's, return 740P.

$72; Select (Business).

Of interest, no mention of Virgin at the site. Is Sir Richard "still in"? Who knows what will be at either station.

Sorry Sir Richard, but with all the carefully crafted branding Brightline has done, shame to have it go to waste. But then, those with "Big egos" seem to have "thin skin".

So let's see.

First, I found the Brightline labels remaining at Miami Central, even if Sir Richard has horned in with some of his. At West Palm, you wouldn't know he had any connection whatever.

Both "Pink" and "Green" remain liveried as such. Can't speak for the other three sets.

But I really hold the best positive is the revamp of their site allowing passenger seat selection. When selecting, you will be shown a diagram of the car - including the direction of travel.

Amtrak, are you reading?

The only negative is they have downgraded their wine offerings. Last year, in both the Select lounge an on board, they were offering Ferrari-Carrno Chardonnay (upscale). This year Cupcake, for which at the liquor store, you bend low enough to have it hurt.

Everything was fine on the Northward trip, but the return....?

At 29th St in the Wynwood neighborhood, some "room temperature IQ idiot" made a right turn at the X-ing - and on to the ROW. There was no collision and cannot imagine any injuries. The train was able to clear, but there was still "head scratching time" between the cops and FEC people.

We were delayed about twenty minutes - big deal. All told, $72 well spent.
  by bostontrainguy
 
Trouble ahead?

(Bloomberg) -- Richard Branson is seeking a buyer for Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd. as he struggles to secure a 500 million pound ($618 million) government bailout, the Telegraph reported. Branson has set an end-of-May deadline to save the U.K. airline from collapse
  by BandA
 
Virgin Trains USA is supposedly owned by Fortress with Virgin Group as a minority partner. I haven't read anywhere what the actual relationship is, it might be laid out in bond sale documents or STB filings? Also the rebranding is taking a long time which is interesting. I see Virgin Trains USA LLC and Virgin Trains Florida LLC, so I bet they have a scheme to firewall different projects and phases.

Virgin's airlines - Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Australia are in the trouble, and are complicated because they are international companies so get less sympathy for bailout. But they are separate companies. The bottom line is Mr. Branson is being squeezed & cannot invest money into Virgin Trains USA but I assume Fortress still has access to lots of money.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
Sir Richard's timing is not the best. Sure picked a great time to enter the cruiseline industry.

I think "he's in deep". No cruiseline can expect too much in the way of "bailoutbux" from Congress.

disclaimer: author and cruises; "never again"
  by gokeefe
 
BandA wrote: Mon Apr 27, 2020 3:48 pmAlso the rebranding is taking a long time which is interesting.
I've noticed the same thing. I think Virgin is in trouble on that one.
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