Hello and welcome to the The Atlantic Update for Wednesday 19 September 2018, our weekly bulletin on transatlantic travel between Europe and North America.
The US continues to recover from the aftermath of Hurricane Florence.
The airport currently most affected is Jacksonville North Carolina which at the time of writing is without power.
American Airlines has restored operations at all but two airports. The airline expects to restore operations at Jacksonville today and Greenville North Carolina tomorrow, Thursday 20 September 2018.
Delta has almost restored operations to normal. A travel waiver remains in place for Jacksonville and Wilmington North Carolina.
United has resumed near normal operations. The one exception is Wilmington which is expected to resume operations on Thursday 20 September 2018.
New Rail Link from Las Vegas to Southern California
Brightline, which operates a privately owned railway in Florida, has acquired the rights to develop a new railway from Las Vegas to Southern California.
It has bought a company called XpressWest which has Government approved rights to develop a railway line between Las Vegas and Southern California.
The first phase will connect Las Vegas to Victorville with future plans to expand to Los Angeles. The 185 mile line will be constructed on land adjacent to Interstate 15. Construction is expected to begin next year and the line will open in 2022.
Brightline is acquiring 38 acres of land adjacent to the Las Vegas strip to construct the railway station and a new mixed use development. From a cursory scan of XpressWest’s history this project has been a long time in the making so it will be interesting to see how it can start construction so quickly.
Brightline currently operates between Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach, with plans to expand to Orlando.
From European perspective where rail investments are Government funded and operations are subsidised, it is a mystery as to how a new railway line can be constructed and operated entirely with private funding. It seems that the associated property development opportunities that arise as a consequence play a signifiant part.
Given how public US infrastructure projects with even the most blindingly obvious business cases can be mired in toxic federal/state/city politics and be subject to intense corporate lobbying, it will be interesting to see how this plays out.
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