• 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.
    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 Arlington
Gilbert B Norman wrote: Tue Jun 25, 2019 8:17 am Here is a compilation of ridership YTD 2019 and 2018

Source: Monthly revenue and ridership reports required by the FDFC - the bond issuer of record.
June will be the first month for which comparisons can be made as service from Miami was inaugurated May 19, 2018.
An offhand note; did they really need Branson to "horn in"?
Got a link to the source report(s)?

[EDIT] I overstated the case. I'll just say it this way: BL is more "behind schedule" than it is "below forecast" Clearly they can do this year about the 1.1m that they'd forecasted for 2018 (which was supposed to be Q2 thru Q5 of full operations)

As it is, Q2 thru Q5 of full operations is far delayed. Technically, given the first quarter of "full operations" began June 1, 2018, "Q2 thru Q5 of full ops" began Sept 1, 2018 (nearly 3 quarters late) and runs until Aug 31 2019, for which they'll probably do pretty close to the 1.1m they'd forecast for "those quarters"
  by Jeff Smith
Speaking of ridership: KPVI.com
As Virgin Trains USA moves forward with its $4 billion, 170-mile expansion linking West Palm Beach and Orlando, the private passenger service reported significant increases in ridership on its existing tracks and – as expected – operating losses.

According to Virgin Trains, its high-speed trains carried 244,178 riders on its 65-mile rail system between Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm during the first three months of 2019, a 2.5 percent increase over the last three months of 2018.

During the same first three months of 2019, it reported an operating loss of $23.7 million, a deficit anticipated as it launched its three-year Phase 2 expansion after securing $2.7 billion in private bonds to remove $600 million in bond debt from its Phase 1 construction of its Miami to West Palm Beach rail line.
  by Gilbert B Norman
If this trend continues, Virgin/Brightline could end up Tri-Rail on the FEC.

https://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/2019 ... s-usa-stop

Fair Use:
.Palm Beach Gardens Mayor Mark Marciano made a pitch Thursday night to Virgin Trains USA about adding a stop in Gardens as the privately owned passenger rail company, formerly known as Brightline, began construction on the link between West Palm Beach and Orlando.

“In our growing city, we have a proposal for a Tri-Rail station,” Marciano said. “We want to make sure you consider a possible station for Palm Beach Gardens.”..
I think the proposal to add a stop in each of the "aggrieved" Treasure Coast counties, is wise, as it goes a long way to obviate the "public nuisance without public benefit" line.

About becoming "FEC Tri-Rail"; remember every stop will add three minutes to the schedule. This factors in how overpowered (two SC-44, 8000hp) are the four car trains.

Finally, consider the upscale clientele Brightline hopes to attract are only happy if one stop is made - theirs!
  by gokeefe
Notable how quickly the conversation is shifting from "Your trains are/will be a nuisance" to "You should build a station here". Seems like people are beginning to adapt and having seen the service it is now deemed a credible offering.
  by Erie-Lackawanna
And another one....

https://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/2019 ... boca-raton

Fair Use:
Virgin Trains said Friday it wants to build a rail station in the parking lot of Boca Raton’s municipal library, a move that could bolster ridership numbers that have lagged the company’s projections.

“We would like to work with the City of Boca Raton to finalize an agreement in which we would deliver train service to Boca Raton in the immediate future,” Virgin Trains USA President Patrick Goddard wrote in a letter to Boca Raton Mayor Scott Singer.
I’m not sure how this will affect schedules...probably not much, but let’s not forget that all schedules pivot off the passing time at the New River Bridge in FTL. Each additional stop means a 3-5 minute earlier departure from the origin on that side of the river (so in this case, on departures from WPB). That kinda puts a twist in memory schedule patterns, but I guess that’s not such a big deal for the occasional, discretionary rider who looks up schedules online for each trip.

  by Arlington
That is a fabulous location, in the heart of Boca Raton and near-midway between WPB and FLL ( though I'm sure they wish they were on the east side of Route 1).
  by Nasadowsk
Gilbert B Norman wrote: Fri Jul 19, 2019 1:42 pm
About becoming "FEC Tri-Rail"; remember every stop will add three minutes to the schedule. This factors in how overpowered (two SC-44, 8000hp) are the four car trains.

Overpowered? Sounds more like they're just using a more European method of putting power onto the train. SBB puts about as much (electric, of course) power per 3-4 cars on the S Bahn Zurich. I've seen fairly short trains on DB get the full 6400 KW treatment.

Just because US passenger operators are content to throw 2000 HP at a 4 car train (Hi LIRR!) doesn't mean adding more is 'overpowered'....

Overpowered would be the pic that's floating around of an FS commuter train that's got one locomotive and one car....

(Most of FS's stuff seems to be rated 3000 to 5500 KW, a bit overkill for a one car train....)
  by Gilbert B Norman
The Palm Beach Post has now reported regarding AAF/BL/VT June revenue and ridership, but did not provide the comparative June 18 data:

https://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/2019 ... d-revenues

Fair Use:
..Virgin Trains launched last year amid fanfare and criticism, and ridership and revenue have lagged the company’s projections. Through the first half of 2019, Virgin Trains reported ridership of 481,320 and revenue of $11 million. In a document issued to bond investors in late 2017, Virgin Trains predicted its 2019 ridership in South Florida would top 2.3 million, while revenue would eclipse $112 million.

Critics point to the numbers as proof that the for-profit rail service isn’t viable. Indian River County Attorney Dylan Reingold, who opposes Virgin Trains’ plan to travel through Vero Beach on the way to Orlando, says the additional stops will put Virgin Trains in direct competition with Tri-Rail, the government-funded commuter service.

“The ridership and revenue for Virgin Trains has hit a wall only 18 months after beginning operations,” Reingold said. “Instead of continuing its predicted ramp up, Virgin Trains has plateaued well below its lofty projections.”

To reach its 2019 projection of 2.3 million riders, Virgin Trains would need to carry an average of nearly 200,000 passengers a month. The service has yet to break the 100,000 mark.

And to achieve $112 million in annual revenue, the former Brightline would need to bring in an average of more than $9 million a month. Its best month so far is $2.3 million.
Here is everything I can gather from published sources regarding monthly ridership data:

----- 2018 2019
Jan 17,783 73,568--313.7%
Feb 24,098 78,707--226.6%
Mar 32,899 91,903--179.4%
Apr 23,320 71,308--205.8%
May 34,100 85,740--151.4%
Jun ?????? 80,094--????
Oct 60,013
Nov 80,660
Dec 98,076

Same for monthly Revenue:

---------- 2018 2019 2020
Jan ---------- $1.7m
Feb ---------- $1.9m
Mar ---------- $2.3m
Apr ---------- $1.8m
May ---------- $1.7m
Jun ----------- $1.6m
Oct $1.0m
Nov $1.5m
Dec $2.2m

The absence of June 2018 data means that no comparison is available for the first full month of Miami-West Palm operation. Quite disconcerting is the reported June over May decrease for both Revenue and Ridership. At such time that June 2018 "numbers" can be located and reported, a meaningful comparasion can be made.
  by chrsjrcj
The June 2018 numbers are reported in the June 2019 document - https://emma.msrb.org/ES1292024-ES1011003-ES1412346.pdf

June 2018:

Ridership - 48,619
Average fare per passenger - $12.85 ($15.12 in 2019)

Ticket Revenue: $600,000
Ancillary Revenue: $200,000
Total Revenue: $800,000

Looks like revenue is rounded to $100k. I have 48,619 passengers @ an average fare of $12.85 equaling $624,754.15 in ticket revenue. Close enough I guess.

Edit to add: For those interested, Virgin Trains USA have been posting their monthly financial disclosure statements here (under the 'Continuing Disclosure' tab): https://emma.msrb.org//IssueView/Details/ER389501

They are normally released around the 20th of each month.

You can find Brightline's (up to March 2019) here (under 'Disclosure Documents'): https://emma.msrb.org/Security/Details/ ... 795ACCCD3B
  by gokeefe
My read from the above results is that a desire for more ridership may be driving the Boca Raton station proposal. I write this in the specific sense that Virgin is reacting somewhat to current results and may want to "juice" them a little more. Could be that they were planning this "infill" proposal all along but now those plans have accelerated somewhat ...

Almost no way to know for sure but the timing is interesting. I would have imagined that they were going to wait until after the Orlando extension was complete before looking again at the Treasure Coast.
  by Gilbert B Norman
chrsjrcj wrote: Mon Jul 29, 2019 9:20 pm The June 2018 numbers are reported in the June 2019 document
Mr. Chrsjrc, that EMMA site is "navigating through the rocky shoals...."

Using all three "engines" I have - IE, Edge, Chrome - I was able to locate the documents you have linked. But my heartfelt gratitude goes out to you. Word of advice to all: "forget it on an Android phone", Maybe on IOS, but I defer to those who use those particular contraptions.
  by Arlington
Infill stations can have great payback. Boca Raton is a little odd in that they don't already own the station land, but maybe through a mix of and development of the site they acquire and development nearby they can get the usual real estate payback.

For ridership the station seems well located.
  by Jeff Smith
Work in Brevard County: WESH.com
Virgin Train railway to Miami met with cool reception from Brevard residents

Acres and acres of trees are disappearing under the bulldozer’s blade in Central Brevard County as a new passenger railway line takes shape.
For miles along the BeachLine Expressway, trees have been removed where new train tracks will go.
The Virgin Trains line, formerly called BrightLine, will follow the BeachLine from Orlando before curving to meet existing train tracks along US 1. The company is staging 490,000 railroad ties for the job and preparing to employ 225-million pounds of steel.

No stops are currently planned for Brevard County though, part of why the project’s getting a cool reception there.

Orlando to Miami trains start rolling in 2022.
  by gokeefe
No one minds buying land next to a highway until they actually have to look at it.

Very impressive quantities of materials on hand already.
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