One train company has high hopes of bringing high-speed rail travel to America. Brightline Trains, which bills itself as “America’s first new major private intercity passenger railroad in over a century,” has just gotten a major vote of confidence from Richard Branson’s Virgin Group.
The Virgin Group has taken a minority financial stake in Brightline, which will officially rebrand as Virgin Trains USA in January 2019.
Currently, the company has focused on Florida, running high-speed passenger trains between Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach.
In 2019, Virgin Trains USA hopes to launch routes connecting Orlando and Tampa, and then work on an ambitious project to link Los Angeles and Las Vegas via the same high-speed trains.
“Tens of millions of Americans travel on the railways every day, and we have tried for over a decade to find an opportunity to provide them with that same excellent service experience,” said Sir Richard Branson, founder of Virgin, in a statement to the press.