Virgin Trains USA has broken ground on the project to expand passenger rail service from Miami to Orlando. Virgin Trains USA, formerly Brightline, is reinventing rail service in America by providing a fast, efficient rail service that will be a pleasure to travel on.
There is a great opportunity to connect cities that are too close to fly and too long to drive. Passenger service is expected to begin in 2022. Orlando is the nation’s most-visited city and there is huge demand, with Virgin Trains USA expecting to transport six million passengers a year, generate around $6.4bn in direct economic impact to Florida and bring more than 10,000 jobs.
“This is a historic milestone on the path to reinvent passenger rail in America and clearly demonstrates the leadership role that the private sector can play in revitalising our nation’s infrastructure,” said Virgin Trains USA Chairman and co-founder of Fortress Investment Group Wes Edens.
“Virgin Trains service between Orlando and Miami will launch an American passenger rail renaissance. We expect that this will be the first of many passenger lines in the US that follow this model for connecting city pairs that are too close to fly and too far to drive.”
It is a huge undertaking – laying 170 miles of new track, using 225 million pounds of American steel, and hammering around two million spikes and bolts into place over the next 36 months.
“Officially launching construction to Orlando marks a huge milestone for Virgin Trains and the realisation of our vision to reinvent passenger rail in America,” said Virgin Trains President Patrick Goddard. “Connecting Orlando and Miami, two of our nation’s greatest cities, will provide tremendous economic and environmental benefits that will be an asset to Florida for generations.”
It’s an exciting time for Virgin Trains USA. In September 2018, Virgin Trains USA also announced that it will construct and operate a new service connecting Las Vegas and Southern California.