All Aboard Florida

STATE SUSPENDS BRIGHTLINE'S NEGOTIATIONS FOR ORLANDO TO TAMPA RIGHT-OF-WAY

THE RIGHT-OF-WAY LEASE THAT BRIGHTLINE/VIRGIN TRAINS USA NEEDS TO CONNECT ORLANDO WITH TAMPA IS ON HOLD. The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) has extended the negotiation deadline for this lease due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The FDOT and Brightline have extended the negotiation deadlines regarding this lease five times before.

Read more about this article here.

VIRGIN TRAINS USA/BRIGHTLINE SUSPENDS SERVICE 250 WORKERS LOSE JOBS

Virgin Trains USA, the parent company of the Brightline higher-speed passenger rail has stopped train service between Miami and West Palm Beach as of Wednesday evening due to the Coronavirus.

The company also confirmed it has laid off 250 out of more than 300 South Florida workers. The layoffs were not limited to local station and track workers: Among those laid off was Bob O’Malley, Vice President of Corporate Development.

RESIDENTS POOL $200K SO FLORIDA COUNTY CAN TAKE SUIT AGAINST VIRGIN TRAINS TO SUPREME COURT

THE ALLIANCE FOR SAFE TRAINS NONPROFIT GROUP HAS RAISED $200K IN PRIVATE MONEY. This money has been raised for Indian River County to pursue its case against the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Federal Railroad Administration.

Indian River County had previously sued the U.S. DOT and FRA for wrongly issuing $2.7B in tax-exempt bonds, but both a federal court and a federal appeals court ruled the bonds were permissable. After $3M fighting the case, the Indian River County Commission voted in January to end further appeals.

FRA: EIGHT RAILROADS AT RISK OF MISSING PTC DEADLINE

THE FEDERAL RAILROAD ADMINSTRATION RELEASED A FOURTH-QUARTER 2019 REPORT FEB 27, highlighting the status on railroads' progress in implementing positive train control (PTC) systems as required by Congress.

According to the report, eight host railroads, including Florida East Coast Railway—and their tenant railroad, Brightline/Virgin Trains USA— are at risk of not fully implementing a PTC systems by the Dec 31, 2020 deadline.

Read more here.

FLORIDA'S BRIGHTLINE RAILROAD IS NATION'S DEADLIEST AFTER HIGH RATE OF TRACK DEATHS

FLORIDA OFFICIALS ARE CONSIDERING LEGISLATION TO CURB HIGH NUMBER OF DEATHS ON THE TRACKS OF THE BRIGHTLINE/VIRGIN TRAINS USA PASSENGER RAIL. Since Brightline's launch, an average of more than one person a month has been killed, designating it as the "nation's deadliest railroad."

During a news conference, Brightline stated that 75% of the incidents were results of suicide or drugs, but a U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) study reveals that suicides only account for 30% of all rail fatalities.

BRIGHTLINE PASSENGER COUNTS, REVENUE REMAIN WELL BELOW COMPANY'S OWN PROJECTIONS

BRIGHTLINE/VIRGIN TRAINS USA REPORT FINDS THAT 2019 PASSENGER COUNT AND REVENUES WERE FAR BELOW ITS OWN FORECASTS. Passengers count barely broke one million, less than half the count originally projected, and revenue was $22 million, less than a fifth.

BEFORE BRIGHTLINE BECAME NATION'S DEADLIEST RAILROAD, ITS OWNER REJECTED SAFETY FIXES

IN APRIL 2014, FLORIDA BULLDOG REPORTED THAT BRIGHTLINE (NOW VIRGIN TRAINS, USA) REJECTED RECOMMENDATIONS FOR MORE SUFFICIENT SAFETY FEATURES AT PLANNED RAIL CROSSINGS, where their train would be running up to speeds of 79 mph. These safety measures were recommended by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), which included sealed corridors at 31 crossings as well as fenced bridges and underpasses.

COURT REJECTS INDIAN RIVER COUNTY'S CHALLENGE AGAINST BRIGHTLINE/VIRGIN TRAINS USA

THE U.S. COURT OF APPEALS REJECTED INDIAN RIVER COUNTY'S CLAIMS OF IMPROPERLY APPROVED FUNDS FOR BRIGHTLINE/VIRGIN TRAINS USA FRIDAY.

However, this is not the end to the fight.

PEDESTRIAN STRUCK AND KILLED BY TRAIN IN LAKE WORTH BEACH

A MAN WAS KILLED AFTER BEING STRUCK BY A TRAIN FRIDAY NIGHT. The Palm Beach County Fire Rescue reported that the man died at the scene.

Read more here.

Original article written by Sabrina Lolo of the 12 News.

RIDERSHIP IS DOWN AND REVENUES ARE DOWN AND FLAT | VIRGIN TRAINS MONTHLY RIDERSHIP REVENUE REPORT

VIRGIN TRAINS USA RELEASED THEIR MONTHLY RIDERSHIP AND REVENUE REPORT FOR SEPTEMBER 2019 ON FRIDAY. Ridership is down, and revenues are down and flat.

Attached is a spreadsheet showing the quarterly ridership numbers since beginning service in the first quarter of 2018 and monthly ridership numbers for the past 12 months.

Below is a chart of the monthly revenue since March 2019.