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Brightline to remain shut down for months NEWSWIRE

By | May 22, 2020

In social media posts, Florida passenger service offers no indication when service might resume

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A Brightline train departs West Palm Beach, Fla., in January 2019. The passenger operator, shut down since late March, says service will remain suspended for “the coming months.”
TRAINS: David Lassen

Virgin Trains USA says its Brightline passenger service in Florida will remain suspended for months, giving no indication when service might resume. In a series of Twitter posts on Wednesday, the passenger railroad said it is “evaluating scenarios for providing passenger service,” but “we do not anticipate resuming operations in the coming months.”

The company says it is expected to take “a long period of time” for service demands to return to pre-COVID-19 levels, and that it remains focused on construction to Orlando as well as the previously announced addition of stations in Boca Raton, Aventura, and at PortMiami. [See “Virgin Trains plans port station, new bridge in Florida,” Trains News Wire, Oct. 30, 2019]. The company has been planning to rebrand Brightline as Virgin Trains USA, but has yet to indicate when that changeover will occur.

It said it will “look forward to welcoming you back on board when the time is right.” Brightline suspended operations and laid off 250 workers on March 25 [see “News Wire Digest for Thursday, March 26”]. It had reduced service because of the coronavirus outbreak a week earlier.





10 thoughts on “Brightline to remain shut down for months NEWSWIRE

  1. I miss riding Brightline to Miami and certainly hope that once restaurants and other venues reopen on SouFlo, that Brightline will quickly resume service, regardless of the branding. I’m happy to see all the construction going on north of West Palm and can’t wait for the service expansions.

  2. I’ve wondered if Brightline/VT couldn’t run some sort of shuttle, between the port and the MIA station. I’d think it would be cheaper than their existing trains going there, they could no charge going from cruise to train, or visa versa, to maybe getting some fare income for any wanting non-connection rides.

  3. Very unfortunate… Brightline was off to a very promising start. I’ll be optimistic though. Once this malware clears up people will be anxious to get away, causing a surge in travel amongst all modes of transport.. Give it some time..

  4. @Braden. I hope you are correct. Unlike the economic experts warning of a slow recovery, I believe there is much pent up momentum waiting to be released upon markets and things will take off again once restrictions are abated.

  5. Meanwhile, Virgin Trains USA may want to consider entering the 50 mile Houston – Galveston market which would relieve congestion on the Gulf Freeway (I-45). And, give Texas Central a rail competition between Downtown Houston and Dallas. If it follows the I-45 alignment, it could serve The Woodlands and make Huntsville, Texas a station stop for Sam Houston State University [while Huntsville, Alabama (met. pop.: over 400,000), founded first by the same pioneers, remains devoid of passenger train service].

  6. I honestly don’t see any good reason for them to open before the Orlando segment opens. Opening the existing segments was great practice and verification of projections, and it probably helped get funding for the Orlando segment, but I can’t imagine it was a profitable service on its own. I’m betting the Brightline brand is done too – when it comes back it will be fully rebranded and will run all the way to Orlando.

  7. I’m a resident of Huntsville (Madison, to be specific); just because we’ve over 400,000 in population doesn’t mean that we need passenger service. A Huntsville-Chattanooga-Atlanta service would be very hard to sell to CSX and NS given the tonnage they haul over their Chattanooga-Atlanta lines. A Huntsville-Birmingham-Montgomery-Mobile intrastate service connecting with the CRESENT at Birmingham and a future New Orleans-Jacksonville extension of the SUNSET LIMITED in Mobile might be double. However someone would have to come up with money for CSX to add capacity to their mainline.

  8. So what is really going on here? Will Virgin Trains reopen or not? Florida is not under lockdown.

  9. Florida is all about tourists and they aren’t travelling. Many families don’t have the money. Nobody wants to get on an aircraft. Americans who travel to Florida will go by car and not need a train. Many countries are still under lockdown and their borders are closed.The trains will only run when enough people start travelling again. No private company is going to run empty trains. Then there is the whole problem of Virgin in the airline business and the massive hit they have already taken from a lack of travel. Brightline may have bond money to build track but little to run empty trains.

  10. This is so true. We are living in very harsh and unususal times and everything and everybody is affected in some

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