Brightline Targets New Markets

March 22, 2017

Brightline's second trainset, BrightPink, arrived in Florida earlier this month. Revenue service is set to begin between Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach in July before service is expanded to Miami in late August, when Miami Central is complete.

Even before Florida service starts, All Aboard Florida (AAF), which will operate Brightline, is setting their sights on other markets. AAF’s former CEO Michael Reininger recently spoke about their interest in expansion.

“Florida is not the only area where there are overcrowded roads and interstates. We are fulfilling our vision here in Florida, but we are not exclusively bound by the state borders. We have a belief that major cities that are 500 to 600 km apart set themselves up as prime candidates for express passenger rail, and can be made to work. We want to apply that throughout the USA.”

Brightline is creating a new model for high-frequency service on a heavy haul railroad. They have worked with the track owner, the Florida East Coast (FEC) railroad, to establish an agreement that the FEC feels compensates them fairly. AAF has also found an effective solution for level boarding and worked with Siemens on a high performance train set with a high-level of amenities.

A key member of All Aboard Florida’s success will be the featured speaker at our Annual Meeting. Eugene Skoropowski, former Senior Vice President of Passenger Rail Development at AAF, will share his experience and provide insights into the development of Brightline. We believe there are lessons to be learned from All Aboard Florida that can be applied to improving passenger rail in the Midwest.


Dylan Hayward
Program Manager

Last Week at MHSRA:

We provided a sneak preview of the Phased Network Model to the 20th Century Railroad Club. Stay tuned for a white paper in the near future.

President Trump proposed eliminating Amtrak operating funding and capital grants to transit. Please call your elected officials and let them know that Americans need investments in fast, frequent and dependable passenger trains.

Articles We Enjoyed:

Trump’s Budget Hits Transit Hard
“In spite of previous statements in favor of a major infrastructure bill and support for transit, Donald Trump’s budget proposal would decimate the federal government’s commitment to aiding cities build new transit lines.”

In Silicon Valley, Caltrain Upgrade Is Imperiled As Trump Withholds Funds
“We have said no more federal dollars will go to California high-speed rail,” said Representative Jeff Denham, a Republican who is chairman of the House Subcommittee on Railroads. 'We’re very strong on that position.'”

A Silicon Valley Train Gets Stuck
“This doesn’t send a good signal about the Trump administration’s commitment to infrastructure investment.”

Brightline Targets Inter-City Opportunities
Inter-city passenger promoter All Aboard Florida is expanding its horizon to focus on other potential markets across the country.

Texas Company Hopes Dallas-Houston Train Line Is Bound for Glory
"In an age when passenger rail is severely limited across the US, Texas Central aims to succeed where public efforts have struggled – but it faces local resistance."

Siemens Rolls Out First Cascades Charger Locomotive
"The first of eight SC-44 Siemens Charger diesel-electric locomotives...The locomotives are to be used with Talgo coaches on the Cascades service from Eugene, Oregon, to Vancouver in Canada"

How High-Speed Rail Can Boost The Economy
"Apparently, several sectors are beginning to replace, or have replaced, manufacturing and exports as the growth drivers. Among those sectors is the 'high-speed railway economy' – all the business opportunities China can create by expanding its high-speed rail network."

Amtrak Committed To Gulf Coast Service Restoration
"Amtrak CEO Wick Moorman reiterated his railroad's commitment in a letter to seeing rail service restored along the Gulf Coast."

Upcoming Events:

2017 MHSRA Annual Meeting

We have an exciting agenda scheduled that will include discussions on Brightline, a Midwest passenger rail update, the importance of frequent service, and more.

When: Saturday April 1, 2017 - 9:00am to 3:00pm (Check in will start at 8:30am)

Where: Maggiano's Little Italy, 516 N. Clark St., Chicago, IL 60654

Cost: Single Ticket: $60.00
    Student Ticket: $20.00
    *Cost includes lunch

Register Here

Speakers Include:

  • Derrick James, Director of Government Affairs, Amtrak

  • Tim Hoeffner, Director - Office of Rail, Michigan Department of Transportation

  • Katie England, Director of Multimodal Planning & Programs, Indiana Department of Transportation

  • Mark Walbrun, Vice President, Practice Leader - Rail & Transit, US East, Mott MacDonald
  • Eugene Skoropowski, Former Senior Vice President of Passenger Rail Development, All Aboard Florida

The 58th Transportation Research Forum - Annual Conference

The Midwest High Speed Rail Association is excited to be part of an important national conference – the 58th Transportation Research Forum, at the University of Illinois – Chicago campus on April 20 – 21. This is a great opportunity to deepen your understanding of the latest policy issues surrounding rail, air and highway travel and network with national experts.

The event includes a Friday Awards Luncheon with keynote Samuel K. Skinner, former US Transportation Secretary, at which our Association will be represented. There are free Saturday morning tours, including Union & Ogilvie stations and CTA rapid-transit plans.

To learn more or register, click here. Questions?  Email Dana Yanocha at

Dylan Hayward
Program Manager
Midwest High Speed Rail Association
4765 N. Lincoln Ave.
Chicago, IL 60625