Wednesday afternoon rail news in brief:
Virgin Trains, Miami-Dade in talks on commuter operation
Virgin Trains USA is in talks with Miami-Dade County about creating a commuter-rail operation on the southern end of its existing Miami-West Palm Beach Brightline route, a $350 million proposal that would see the privately owned passenger operation build five stations between Miami and Aventura, Fla., a distance of about 14 miles. The Miami Herald reports the proposal — which is in addition to an already-agreed-upon $76 deal for a new Brightline station at Aventura — would add stops in Wynwood, the Miami Design District, El Portal, and Florida International University’s Biscayne Bay campus. Miami-Dade would also cover yearly operating costs of $30 million to $50 million, and pay a management fee plus $2 million a year for equipment. The project would be in place of a long-term proposal to have commuter rail system Tri-Rail operate on the route.
Former NYC subway head Byford named London transport commissioner
Andy Byford, who resigned in January as head of New York City’s subway and bus system, has been named as London’s new transport commissioner. Byford spent two well-received years as president of New York City Transit; under his leadership, subway performance improved significantly. He returns to the organization where he began his career more than 30 years ago before moving on to positions in Australia and Canada, as well as New York. “’I’m delighted to confirm Andy Byford as London’s new Transport Commissioner,” London Mayor Sadiq Khan said in a press release. “Covid-19 has had a profound impact on public transport in London but Andy brings with him a wealth of experience and expertise to lead [Transport for London] as it faces this unprecedented challenge.”
Bombardier to build 28-car order for Sound Transit
Bombardier Transportation has announced it will build 28 bilevel passenger cars for Sound Transit, the Seattle-area transportation authority. The $108 million contract is for eight cab cars and 20 coaches, with an option for 33 additional cars. It will be built by Bombardier at its Thunder Bay, Ontario, plant, with deliveries to begin in the fourth quarter of 2021.