Brightline launched services between Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach in May 2018 and currently has plans to expand to Orlando and Tampa.The company is also developing plans for a high-speed line between California and Las Vegas after its recent takeover of the Xpress West project.
Brightline says it will transition to Virgin Trains USA branding in 2019. As part of the agreement an affiliate of Virgin group will make a minority investment in Brightline, with an affiliate of Fortress Investment Group retaining a majority stake.
“Our private sector-led effort to reinvent passenger rail service in America is taking another leap forward with the addition of the Virgin team,” says Mr Wes Edens, chairman of Brightline and co-founder of Fortress Investment Group. “Virgin has built a respected and trusted brand in travel and hospitality. With our shared focus on customer experience, powered by a culture of innovation and disruption, we are well positioned to build on our success.”
“We have had a lot of fun and success creating innovative transport businesses that shake up markets and establish loyal followings,” says Virgin founder, Sir Richard Branson. “We transformed domestic air travel with Virgin America. Tens of millions of Americans travel on the railways every day, and we have tried for over a decade to find an opportunity to provide them with that same excellent service experience.
“Brightline is at the forefront of innovation in this market, and the ideal partner for Virgin to work with to alter perceptions and traveling habits across the United States.”