Lack of Transparency

NO MORE RAILROAD BOONDOGGLES!

WE DON'T NEED ANOTHER CALIFORNIA BOONDOGGLE, states Florida Alliance for Safe Trains Coordinator and Communications Director Susan Mehiel in a recent Sunshine State News article. Susan is referring to the now-defunct California high-speed rail project.

Tune in as Mehiel highlights the comparable deception and experimentation of the California and All Aboard Florida Virgin Trains' rail project, and how the Virgin Trains' project is going to fail like its predecessor.

VIRGIN TRAINS USA NAME WILL MAKE ITS FIRST MUNI MARKET APPEARANCE

VIRGIN TRAINS USA WILL BE ISSUING $1.5 BILLION IN PRIVATE ACTIVITY BONDS TO BE PURCHASED NEXT WEEK. These bonds will pay for the 236-mile passenger rail line between Miami and Orlando, refund the $600 million of PABs issued in 2017 and more.

This high-speed passenger train is not entirely supported. Safety advocates such as Susan Mehiel of the Florida Alliance for Safe Trains are concerned about having trains (that will run up to 100 mph) barreling through the Treasure Coast's densely-populated downtowns.

THE FUTURE OF HIGH SPEED RAIL

FULL SPEED AHEAD, SAYS VIRGIN TRAIN USA SAYS (FORMERLY BRIGHTLINE) DESPITE FRESH CONCERNS WHETHER THE PROJECT WILL HAVE ENOUGH FUNDS TO PAY FOR ITS EXPANSION. According to financial documents, Virgin Trains USA is at an $82 million loss in nine months and have recently decided to abandon a $500 million stock sale.

"They're bleeding money like crazy," commented Richard Rampell, CPA with MBAF in Palm Beach. "Based on the results that have happened so far, they've got a long way to go before they become profitable."

VIRGIN TRAINS USA SIDETRACKS PLANNED $538 MILLION IPO

As background, Indian River County has appealed Federal Judge Cooper’s decision in favor of Brightline at a cost of $400,000 to IRC. One of their claims is that the PABs are designed as highway bonds and not rail bonds. If the Judge’s decision is overturned and the $1.7B Private Activity Bonds (PAB) have been sold, these bonds will be recalled.  

If they have not been purchased, bondholders will have to factor in the possibility that these bonds may be recalled at a future date.

BRIGHTLINE GOES VIRGINAL. WHAT PRICE VIRGINITY?

NEW DEVELOPMENTS ARE BEING MADE AFTER BRIGHTLINE BEING PURCHASED BY VIRGIN LAST MONTH, reports David Peter Alan of the Railway Age. These developments include an IPO for stock and a possible additional station near Disney World.

TRAIN WRECK TIMES - CELEBRATE GREAT NEWS

WE ARE CELEBRATING GREAT NEWS. Our Call to Action sent out Nov. 18 to attend a special meeting of the IRC commissioners on Nov. 20th turned out to be critical. At 7:45 p.m. the night before the meeting, we received notice that the meeting would focus on a deal negotiated between Martin and Indian River Counties and CARE with the representatives of AAF/Virgin. The attorneys for the respective counties circulated the deal to their commissioners.

THIS RAPID LINE WAS PRIVATELY FINANCED AND BUILT. CAN THE STATE REGULATE IT?

SEN. DEBBIE MAYFIELD PLANS TO PUSH FOR MORE STATE OVERSIGHT OF ALL ABOARD FLORIDA’S BRIGHTLINE HIGH-SPEED PASSENGER RAIL SERVICE. This bill was founded by troubling issues found from reading an Oct. 31 report from the Legislature’s Office of Program Poly Analysis and Government Accountability.

GOVENOR SCOTT'S HUGE, HIDDEN STAKE IN CHINESE COMPANY SUPPLYING MAKER OF BRIGHTLINE TRAINS

THE SCOTTS HAD AN GARGANTUAN FINANCIAL STAKE IN A CHINESE RAILWAY COMPANY THAT SO HAPPENS TO SUPPLY COMPONENTS TO THE U.S. CONTRACTOR BUILDING BRIGHTLINE, a high-speed passenger rail project that Gov. Rick Scott strongly backed.

The company Quingdao Victall Railway Group Co. Ltd. became an interest in October 2014 when it partnered with Scott's company, Continental Structural Plastics (CSP) to form a 50-50 joint venture. In January of 2017, CSP was sold to the Japanese conglomerate Teijin for $825 million.

CARE FL - RICK SCOTT KILLS ONE TRAIN FOR ANOTHER - A MUST-READ ARTICLE REGARDING ALL ABOARD FLORIDA

Dear Loblolly members,
below is an interesting, must-read article taken from the Miami Herald and Tamps Bay Times regarding All Aboard Florida.  

TALLAHASSEE

As one of his first acts in office in 2011, Gov. Rick Scott canceled a $2.4 billion federally funded and shovel-ready bullet train from Orlando to Tampa because it carried “an extremely high risk of overspending taxpayer dollars with no guarantee of economic growth.’’