A startup tries to revive train travel in America

RAILWAYS played an integral role in the development of modern America. The first coast-to-coast line, finished in 1869, allowed the West to be settled. But after the second world war people abandoned trains for cars. After several rail lines went bust, in 1971 Congress nationalised the remnants as Amtrak to stop passenger services from ending completely. But Amtrak has not revived rail’s fortunes.

Brightline, a startup from Florida, thinks it can. Instead of being greeted by grey concrete and the whiff of urine, as at many Amtrak stations, Brightline’s Miami terminus looks like the lobby of a posh hotel. Early this year it opened its debut line, costing $3bn, between Miami and West Palm Beach in Florida, America’s first new privately-funded passenger line for over a century. On September 18th it announced plans to expand, starting with a new line between Los Angeles and Las Vegas.

Wes Edens of Fortress, a private-equity firm, is the founder of Brightline. He...

via Business Feeds

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