Virgin Trains has commenced construction of a 125 mph passenger railroad, connecting Orlando to Disney World and Miami. Service is set to begin by 2022, sparking a renaissance in short-leg train products which could see similar products pop up around the country.
Virgin Trains USA executives have publicly stated their interest in bringing their newly re-branded service to Las Vegas and Los Angeles, providing a high-speed, and high quality transportation option.
Wes Edens, CEO of Fortress Investment Group and chairman of Virgin Trains USA, hopes to duplicate their early success to dozens of other locations around the country, including Dallas-to-Houston and Chicago-to-St. Louis. Atlanta-to-Charlotte is also in the planning stages.
“There’s not a lot of oceans and rivers out there to cross, so actually building it is quite a bit simpler,” Edens said about the Vegas-LA connection..
“Even though it’s starting behind,” Edens added, “it could finish at about the same time.”
Edens will meet with Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak to discuss early planning and impact. The logistics of the passenger service are straightforward, and would connect Southern California to the Las Vegas Strip like never before.
Some suggest the project could be fully financed by the end of this year, and break ground in Q2 of 2020.
Brightline, before it was rebranded Virgin Trains in a 20-year partnership with Richard Branson, has acquired the land for the planned route. The 75 minute travel time would connect LA to Vegas for the economical price of $60 per passenger, though higher class tickets may cost substantially more.