The private operator’s parent company, Fortress Investment Group, began selling the bonds, worth $US 3.2bn, at the end of September, under a bond arrangement agreed with California and Nevada state agencies. This sum was subsequently reduced to $US 2.4bn, according to a report by BloombergQuint.

Under the arrangement, Fortress had to sell the bonds by December 1, or the state of California would return the funding it had allocated to the project to the state’s affordable housing fund.

However, despite Brightline’s failure to sell the bonds, the project will continue.

“I’ll confirm that we postponed our bond sale, but we will continue to move our project forward,” one Brightline representative told IRJ’s sister publication Railway Age. “We will continue this project. This does not stop us but rather causes us to shift our funding goals until the market improves. We will continue the project and focus on raising equity.”

A construction schedule, with a potential to start work on the 217km California line and 54km Nevada line by the end of the year was released on a new website in October, with a current completion date of 2024.

Brightline operated as Virgin Trains USA since 2019, but reverted to its former name following the end of its partnership with Virgin Enterprises on July 29.

Brightline also operates on the 108km line between Miami and West Palm Beach, Florida, which has closed temporarily due to the pandemic. A spokesman told Railway Age last month that a planned expansion to Orlando was nearly 50% complete.

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