Florida luxury train operator Brightline is dropping plans to rebrand as Virgin Trains USA and ending its relationship
with Richard Branson’s Virgin Enterprises.
The company had entered into a branding deal with Virgin in advance of a planned initial public offering, which was scrapped indefinitely on pricing day in February 2019.
At the time, the companies touted synergies between the luxury, higher-speed trains and Virgin’s other travel brands, including Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd., which was granted US bankruptcy protection. But in a filing, the train company said it is cutting ties for unexplained reasons.
The company said its name will be Brightline Trains LLC and that Virgin had no remaining
equity ownership or affiliation.
It said it delivered a termination notice on July 29, which Virgin is disputing.
A Virgin spokesman didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
The train, which goes between Miami and West Palm Beach, has had its operations suspended since March 25 amid the Covid-19 pandemic. It plans to eventually reach Orlando, home of Disney World. It also intends to develop train service to Las Vegas from a desert town in Southern California called Apple Valley, 90 miles northeast of Los Angeles.