Co-founder of Fortress Investment Group, Wes Edens, recently announced a partnership with Richard Branson’s Virgin Group, regarding his privately-held intercity passenger railroad, Brightline. Virgin Group, which has run the UK-based, Virgin Trains, for over twenty years, is currently considered “one of the world’s most recognizable brands in travel and hospitality,” and through their strategic partnership with Brightline, plans to utilize their established visibility to create a new brand with industry-disrupting potential. According to Wes Edens, Brightline, which will soon be rebranded as Virgin Trains USA, implemented its services in West Palm Beach, Ft. Lauderdale, and Miami, with plans to expand to Tampa and Orlando, as well as Las Vegas and Southern California.
Wes Edens recently discussed the new role of Brightline, emphasizing the collective effort of their union with Virgin Trains, to reshape the American passenger rail service within the private sector. Read this on cnbc.com
Today, Virgin Group holds upwards of 50 companies within various sectors, such as telecommunication, music, entertainment, and travel, whose success has been consistently backed by their innovative approach to progress. According to the founder of Virgin, Richard Branson, an opportunity such as that presented by the new partnership with Wes Edens, is the solution to a longstanding issue – finding a way to provide the American population with a railway service on par with the standards set by Virgin America regarding the air travel. Although specific details concerning the partnership between Brightline and Virgin Trains have yet to be fully disclosed, the greater portion of Brightline will remain with an affiliate of Fortress Investment Group LLC, and in the future, an affiliate of Virgin Group will make a minority investment. Brightline’s official rebranding to Virgin Trains USA will take place in 2019, and the existing management team will continue overseeing aspects of the company, such as business development, strategy, and daily operations for the foreseeable future.