Wall Street exec backs train service for mini trips

Key Points
  • The railway Brightline opens a new service between Miami and West Palm Beach, Florida, and sells out for its opening weekend.
  • The service is perfect for those trips that are "too long to drive, too short to fly," says co-founder Wesley Edens.
  • He says there are other cities around the country that could benefit from this service.
Fortress' Wes Edens on Brightline rail project

Travelers going between Miami and West Palm Beach, Florida, just got more options: a rail service.

Brightline, the only privately owned and operated passenger rail in the U.S., opened its second travel route in Florida on May 19.

The company's owner, Wesley Edens, told CNBC that the railway is perfect for those trips that are "too long to drive, too short to fly."

"We think there are other city pairs that have similar characteristics," he said on "Squawk Alley" Friday. He mentioned possible routes that included Atlanta to Charlotte, North Carolina; Houston to Dallas and St. Louis to Chicago.

"There's many [cities] we think are viable," said Edens, who is also co-founder, co-CEO and principal of Wall Street private equity firm Fortress Investment Group.

"And we think economics are compelling," he said. He said tickets sold out on the new route for its first weekend.

Travel between Miami and West Palm Beach aboard Brightline is beginning with eight daily weekend round trips.

The first leg of service — between West Palm Beach and Ft. Lauderdale, Florida — opened in January 2018. Edens said he envisions the service going all the way from Orlando to Miami, two major travel hubs in the U.S.

"We're really excited," Edens said.