One of the big rebuttals on the issue of private rail is that if it was feasible a private company would setup to do it. Instead, the best we have nationally is Amtrak and I use the term "best" loosely. Well, now something new is happening in Florida. A private rail company has set up shop with government permission to float bonds. It does not, to me, sound completely private, but as private as a private rail line can be. The intention is to run it between West Palm Beach and Miami, which can take up to five hours by car due to traffic congestion. It'll vastly cut the time from five hours to an hour.
The ambitious $3 billion Brightline express project will run along the state's densest population corridor with more than 6 million residents and a regular influx of tourists. The project, funded by All Aboard Florida, represents the first test into the long-awaited U.S. move into high-speed rail, says John Renne, director of the Center for Urban and Environmental Solutions at Florida Atlantic University.
I'm skeptical, but I kinda hope this will work. I'd love to see private rail be competitive. Here in Georgia, short of tunneling, we've nearly exhausted the ability to pave more roads without taking people's houses. But the traffic keeps growing. State attempts at light rail and street cars are non-starters and wastes of money. Atlanta could use a real subway system instead of MARTA, but there is a lot of public opposition. Private rail might be a way to move forward so it'll be interesting to see if Brightline can succeed.