Virgin Trains looks to expand quickly in U.S.

Written by Bill Wilson, Editor-in-Chief
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Virgin Trains wants to be established in at least a dozen cities in the near future.
Virgin Trains

Today Disney World, tomorrow Disneyland.

No, it’s not backwards motivation. It is the vision of Virgin Trains USA, which is eyeing a high-speed rail route between Las Vegas and Los Angeles now that its Orlando-Miami project is underway.

The vision does not stop there, either. Wes Edens, CEO of Fortress Investment Group and chairman of Virgin Trains, said on June 24 the high-speed network could reach a dozen or so cities, including Dallas-to-Houston and Chicago-to-St. Louis.

The Orlando-to-Miami route is expected to be complete by 2022 and will reach speeds of 125 mph. The 235-mile project is estimated to cost $4.1 billion, and service between Miami and West Palm Beach began in early 2018.

Edens is expected to meet with Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak on June 25 to discuss specifics about the southern California line. The route was purchased last September and would connect Los Angeles to the Las Vegas strip with a 75-minute ride.

Over half of the cost of the Miami line is being covered by private activity bonds, which could also be used for the southern California endeavor.

Categories: Commuter/Regional, Passenger
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