Brightline finds funds for massive Florida expansion

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Formerly known as Brightline, Virgin Trains USA's potential footprint and reach throughout Florida continues to grow. Here's a look at where things are currently heading with the state's privately owned and operated intercity passenger rail system in 2019.

With permits and construction contracts already in place, Brightline (now known as Virgin Trains USA) has raised the funds necessary to expand the privately owned and operated intercity passenger rail system from South Florida to Orlando.

With Richard Branson on board, Virgin Trains USA has secured $1.75 billion in tax-free bonds from 67 investors over the past three weeks. This funding will be used on the construction of the rail line between West Palm Beach to Orlando International Airport over the next 30 to 36 months. In addition, in recent months, the intercity rail system has announced plans that have potential impact on the majority of the state. H

Here’s a look at what Virgin Trains USA has in store for the state of Florida at the moment.

South Florida

One year after the Brightline intercity passenger rail line unveiled its downtown MiamiCentral station, the system, and its grand central station have a new name. This month, the company has formally rebranded the station as Virgin MiamiCentral with British billionaire and Virgin Group founder Richard Branson attending the ceremony.

According to the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority, Tri-Rail commuter rail trains are scheduled to begin operation of the TriRail Downtown Miami Link along the Virgin rail corridor between West Palm Beach and Miami by the end of the year. $70 million is being invested to fund nine miles of new rail infrastructure and associated rolling stock for 26 daily Tri-Rail trips to and from Miami. The TriRail Downtown Miami link would run from Tri-Rail’s existing Mangonia Park station in Palm Beach County and terminate at Virgin MiamiCentral Station. In addition, a pilot station will be constructed along the new Tri-Rail alignment in the Design District/Midtown/Wynwood area of Miami.

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