It’s Officially Underway: Virgin Trains Holds Groundbreaking Ceremony For Miami-Orlando High Speed Rail

Miami’s high speed rail link to Orlando is now officially under construction.

Virgin Trains USA (formerly Brightline) held a ceremony today to mark the milestone.

Investors have been “wowed” by the Virgin concept and purchased $1.75 billion in bonds during April, with an additional $950 million expected to price June 12, according to Bond Buyer.

The trip from Miami to Orlando will take 3 hours 15 minutes at speeds as high as 125 MPH, at an average ticket cost of $100. Service is expected to begin in 2022.

A connection to Tampa is also being planned.

Virgin also reiterated last week that they are in advanced negotiations to add new stations in the south segment between Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach. A ridership boost is expected once the new stations come online.

For the month ended May 31, 2019, Virgin carried 85,740 passengers on the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach segment and generated total revenue of approximately $1.7 million. Year-over-year, compared to May 2018, ridership grew 151% and total revenue grew 291% for the month. On a 2019 year-to-date basis, Virgin carried a total of 401,226 passengers and recognized $9.4 million of total revenues, an increase of 203% and 537%, respectively, over the prior year period. The strong year over year results are due to the addition of service to Miami in May 2018 as well as the rapid adoption of service by repeat customers over the past 12 months, Virgin said.

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Anonymous

Just build the Coastal Link already. Geeze. Let’s have some real impact for local people!

Anonymous

How do people not understand that coastal link has NOTHING to do with Brightline? FFS.

Anonymous

Ah, but it does. Coastal Link would share the same corridor and take advantage of the unused capacity of the existing tracks.
Basic commuter rail platforms could be built relatively fast and cheaply at non-Virgin stations.

suomynona

Coastal Link would be a special Brightline/Virgin line that has numerous stops.

Ffs.

Anonymous

Wait, I am a little confused. They said it is a $100 per ticket, is that a one-way ticket or a round-trip ticket? By the way it is written I will assume it is one way. So let me get this straight, for my wife, my two kids (both over 18) and my self, I am looking at $800 bucks! Get the hell outta here! I rather drive and spend the $800 on a much better hotel and food. These people are out of their minds

Anonymous

But you get snacks on Brightline

Anonymous

Why are you confused? Of course it is $100 round trip for 8 people Miami to Orlando. Why would you think anything other than that?

Anonymous

I agree for certain situations it is better to drive. But this is a great option for executives who instead of spending 3 – 4 hours wasted driving, they can go on the train and work. Also great for those who want to start partying as they travel from Orlando to Miami. Trust me there are going to be PLENTY of people using this service. But I agree, I have a Hybrid car… I had to drive to Orlando a few weeks ago and it only cost me a bit over $20 to travel from Miami to Orlando and back.

Anonymous

It takes 3 hours and 24 minutes to drive to Orlando from Miami on Florida’s Turnpike. And it wouldnt cost $100 each person, each way. That’s unfortunate 🙁

Anonymous

But don’t get caught drinking and driving.

Anonymous

honestly with more self driving cars I think D&D will increase alot.

Anonymous

This train is a transportation service akin to flying. Its not meant to be a substitute to flying or driving for that matter, or a substitute
to the (lesser) cost of driving. It is just an alternative. Think of a scenario where you cram 7 people in a minivan which would cost about $50-$70 total for a one way trip (assuming you take the turnpike), which turns out to be less than $10 pp. Do you think youre going to pay the same pp price to ride the train or fly to Orlando??? You have to be realistic regarding the price points of these services.

Anonymous

But on Brightline you get snacks and it’s just $800.00 round trip for a family pf four.

Anonymous

Do you think that airline RT tickets for the same family of 4 will be any cheaper? These are alternatives and not the only means of getting to Orlando. Keep dreaming for $25 pp tickets to Orlando on Brightline. You dont even pay fares like that in european rail systems that are heavily subsidized by the govt.

Anonymous

Yes $800 r/t is AWESOME for family of four when they can rent a car for way way less and not have to pay hundreds more on Uber! Smart consumers will choose this rip off every time.

Anonymous

100 dollars one way is laughable.

Anonymous

That is normal.
Train Milano-Florenze EU 89.

Anonymous

Fact, took this train. Though it was only about 70 USD for Highclass ticket purchase day of.

Anonymous

Comparable or better than flying.

Anonymous

If flying is half for coach or low-cost (except JetBlue), the opportunity cost might be worth it without going through all the metal detectors, takeoff and landing delays, and experience the colorful walks of life you see in the next YouTube viral video.

Anonymous

To get to Orlando, I arrive at FLL 30 minutes preflight and am leaving Orlando AP in an Uber 90 minutes later and at much lower cost. How is Brightline comparable to flying?

Anonymous

Yep. A round trip flight to Orlando is a little more.

Anonymous

Yup.

anonymous

+ 15 mins (at least) drive from downtown to airport
+ 30 mins security / buffer time at airport
+ 45 mins boarding/taxi/deplane
+ 15 mins (at least) baggage claim
+ 15 mins (at least) drive from airport to downtown
= ~same 3hrs as train

Anonymous

not to mention every inter-city train experience I have had was better than a flight

Anonymous

So funny! Your math equals 2 hours. And no one checks bags going Miami to Orlando for business. So really your (inflated) math equals 1 hour 45 minutes vs Brightline’s 3 and a half hours. Plus if you add all your bullsh1t times you added to air travel, to Brightline then Brightline is 4 hours and 30 minutes. Does anyone ever believe your nonsense reasoning? What kink of idiots are they?

Anonymous

So funny! Your math equals 2 hours. And no one checks bags going Miami to Orlando for business. So really your (inflated) math equals 1 hour 45 minutes vs Brightline’s 3 and a half hours. Plus if you add all your bullsh1t times you added to air travel, to Brightline then Brightline is 4 hours and 30 minutes. Does anyone ever believe your nonsense reasoning? What kink of idiots are they?

Azarius

A flight is cheaper

Anonymous

The underwriters laughed it right out of the capital markets.

Anonymous

At $700.00 round trip for a family of four this is much smarter than driving. A tank of gas is about $40 nowadays.

Anonymous

Think of a business traveler going to Orlando round trip in one day. Productive the whole day and no hotel cost. It really makes sense. Looking forward to Brightline and a big thank you to their leaders.

Compare what they have accomplished in 5 years to our government. Government has not put down 1 foot of track in any direction and is waiting on another study. Government should just resign.

Anonymous

Exactly, people think the ONLY folks going to Orlando are people going to the parks. They forget there are a lot of executives that have to travel all throughout Florida for work. This is a great alternative. Flying from Miami to Orlando is usually more expensive because every time I book a flight, it is usually a few days, sometimes 24 hours before I have to leave. I travel throughout Florida for work. In addition, I would rather take the train (pay a bit more) because I get to work on the train vs having to drive and waste all those hours driving. I just did the round trip from Miami to Orlando a few weeks ago and it was exhausting. I look forward to the train extending ALL throughout Florida.

Anonymous

I’ll be happy when it’s extended up to Jacksonville.

Anonymous

I forgot Jacksonville was apart of Flordia.

Anonymous

not apart but a part.

Anonymous

Now do Tampa.

Anonymous

Great news!

Azarius

Where’s the hyperloop!!! We need a MIA ..MCO… ATL connect

Anonymous

Be for real.. only someone like you would think that just because that pipe dream was once mentioned, it should already be up and running.

Anonymous

The $100 fare, if indeed is one-way, could be geared more towards foreign or out of state tourists. I am thinking of European or Asian tourists that fly into Miami or Orlando and want to visit both without having to deal with renting a car. Both Orlando and Miami are major tourist hubs that would benefit immensely from a rail linkage that taps into the large market for end users wanting to take advantage of Orlando’s Disney/Universal and Miami’s attractions and transportation linkages. Plus, if the line turns out to be profitable prices would eventually become cheaper if new competition emerges and/or if Brightline wishes to capture more of the local market. I can also imagine that there would be some sort of arrangements between Brightline and Disney where Disney would incentivize rail usage in an attempt to capture and lock-in visitors in their parks. I guess we will have to wait and see.

Anonymous

Yes because European and Asian tourists love to get ripped off!

Anonymous

Ripped off? Is Starbucks ripping people off with their prices for coffee? I personally think so but I recognize that others might enjoy what I may consider a “rip-off”. Take a look at the heavily subsidized passenger train system in Spain where one-way fares between their two largest cities, Madrid and Barcelona, on the Renfe ave trains average around 130€ or a bit over that depending on the time slot. Floridians may not find it economical but a family from overseas flying into Orlando to visit the parks and then out from Miami after a cruise might find it to be a good option.

Anonymous

Love!!!

Anonymous

I like this idea, particularly after coming back from Italy and using trains to get between Milan/Venice/Florence/Rome, but I travel between Fort Lauderdale and Orlando 2-3x a month. I don’t see the economics of this ever working out for me personally.

And what do you do when you get to sprawling Orlando without a car?

Anonymous

The twenty first century is really boggling your mind huh?

Anonymous

Stop being a troll, the man or woman made some good points. The cost makes no sense at all specially with the gas prices being south of $3. I hate to drive but I am not going to be spending so much just to get there and have to get a rental car once I’m there anyway.

Anonymous

“And what do you do when you get to sprawling Orlando without a car?”

Only someone who is as clueless as he is like you seem to be would think that they have no options for transportation once they arrive to their destination in Orlando.

Now please get back in your hole, mole.

Anonymous

Are you that un-traveled that you compare Brightline to Eurorail? What are you a child?