Virgin Rail née Brightline/AAF Orlando - Miami FL FEC

This is a forum for all operations, both current and planned, of Virgin Rail USA formerly known as Brightline, and Virgin Worldwide Rail operations, past and present. Official Sites:
Current Brightline: https://gobrightline.com/
Virgin USA: https://www.virgin.com/richard-branson/ ... trains-usa
Virgin UK: https://www.virgintrains.co.uk/

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Re: Virgin Rail née Brightline/AAF Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Postby Rockingham Racer » Sun Dec 30, 2018 3:29 pm

As I pointed out earlier, they just voted to spend another 1 million. Ain't done yet, apparently.
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Re: Virgin Rail née Brightline/AAF Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Postby Jeff Smith » Wed Jan 02, 2019 11:18 pm

Reminder: viewtopic.php?f=137&t=168630 for discussion of IPO
Next stop, Willoughby
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Re: Virgin Rail née Brightline/AAF Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Postby Jeff Smith » Wed Jan 02, 2019 11:50 pm

Additional service: WPTV.com: Brightline expands train service during morning, evening rush hour

...
During the week, there will be additional train departures in the morning peak hours from West Palm Beach to Miami at 6 a.m., 6:30 a.m., 7 a.m. and 7:30 a.m.

The first train arriving in West Palm Beach in the morning peak will be before 8 a.m. with a Miami departure at 6:40 a.m., arriving in West Palm Beach at 7:55 a.m.

An additional train in the afternoon peak hours will leave from Miami to West Palm Beach with departures at 4:40 p.m., 5:10 p.m. and 5:40 p.m.

There is a later departure for the last train from West Palm Beach to Miami at 9:30 p.m. On weekends, departures are every two hours from West Palm Beach starting at 8 a.m., with additional trains from West Palm Beach at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. and from Miami at 1:10 p.m. and 5:10 p.m.
...
Next stop, Willoughby
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Re: Virgin Rail née Brightline/AAF Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Postby Jeff Smith » Fri Jan 04, 2019 2:55 am

Construction Start: SunSentinel.com

Brightline to start building rail from South Florida to Orlando in March while it rebrands as Virgin Trains

Brightline had long indicated that construction of rail from West Palm Beach to Orlando International Airport would start in late 2018.

But the company’s president, Patrick Goddard, told Central Florida transportation officials recently that his Miami-based company in March would issue a construction-start notice to contractors.

Work would take 30 to 36 months and Brightline trains would begin to operate from the Orlando airport train station by late 2021 or early 2022, Goddard said. A large building, with a soaring, distinctive roof, the train station just south of the airport terminal has been substantially complete, though unused for more than a year and now houses Brightline staffers.
...
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Re: Virgin Rail née Brightline/AAF Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Postby Arlington » Sat Jan 05, 2019 5:01 pm

I'm going to record these for posterity (like saving paper timetables)

SOUTHBOUND SCHEDULE
(bolding shows approximate position of the "new train" added in a schedule revision)

Early 2018 Southbound (11 trains per day)
West Palm Beach Fort Lauderdale Miami
Departs Arrives Departs Arrives
5:30 am 6:10 am 6:12 am 6:47 am
7:00 am 7:40 am 7:42 am 8:17 am
8:00 am 8:40 am 8:42 am 9:17 am
10:00 am 10:40 am 10:42 am 11:17 am
11:00 am 11:40 am 11:42 am 12:17 pm
12:00 pm 12:40 pm 12:42 pm 1:17 pm
2:00 pm 2:40 pm 2:42 pm 3:17 pm
3:00 pm 3:40 pm 3:42 pm 4:17 pm
4:00 pm 4:40 pm 4:42 pm 5:17 pm
6:00 pm 6:40 pm 6:42 pm 7:17 pm
7:00 pm 7:40 pm 7:42 pm 8:17 pm


December 2018 Southbound (16 Trains per day)
West Palm Beach Fort Lauderdale Miami
Departs Arrives Departs Arrives
5:30 am 6:07 am 6:09 am 6:44 am
6:00 am 6:37 am 6:39 am 7:14 am
7:00 am 7:37 am 7:39 am 8:14 am
8:00 am 8:37 am 8:39 am 9:14 am
9:00 am 9:37 am 9:39 am 10:14 am
10:00 am 10:37 am 10:39 am 11:14 am
11:00 am 11:37 am 11:39 am 12:14 pm
12:00 pm 12:37 pm 12:39 pm 1:14 pm
2:00 pm 2:37 pm 2:39 pm 3:14 pm
3:00 pm 3:37 pm 3:39 pm 4:14 pm
4:00 pm 4:37 pm 4:39 pm 5:14 pm
5:00 pm 5:37 pm 5:39 pm 6:14 pm
6:00 pm 6:37 pm 6:39 pm 7:14 pm
7:00 pm 7:37 pm 7:39 pm 8:14 pm
8:00 pm 8:37 pm 8:39 pm 9:14 pm
9:00 pm 9:37 pm 9:39 pm 10:14 pm


January 2019 Southbound (17 Trains per day)
West Palm Beach Fort Lauderdale Miami
Departs Arrives Departs Arrives
5:00 am 5:37 am 5:39 am 6:15 am
6:00 am 6:37 am 6:39 am 7:15 am
6:30 am 7:07 am 7:09 am 7:45 am
7:00 am 7:37 am 7:39 am 8:15 am
7:30 am 8:07 am 8:09 am 8:45 am
8:30 am 9:07 am 9:09 am 9:45 am
9:30 am 10:07 am 10:09 am 10:45 am
10:30 am 11:07 am 11:09 am 11:45 am
11:30 am 12:07 pm 12:09 pm 12:45 pm
1:30 pm 2:07 pm 2:09 pm 2:45 pm
2:30 pm 3:07 pm 3:09 pm 3:45 pm
3:30 pm 4:07 pm 4:09 pm 4:45 pm
4:30 pm 5:07 pm 5:09 pm 5:45 pm
5:30 pm 6:07 pm 6:09 pm 6:45 pm
6:30 pm 7:07 pm 7:09 pm 7:45 pm
7:30 pm 8:07 pm 8:09 pm 8:45 pm
9:30 pm 10:07 pm 10:09 pm 10:45 pm
Last edited by Arlington on Sat Jan 05, 2019 5:17 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Virgin Rail née Brightline/AAF Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Postby Arlington » Sat Jan 05, 2019 5:06 pm

NORTHBOUND SCHEDULE

Notional "new trains" are shown in bold at approximate the place that the schedule seems to have increased

Early-Mid 2018 (11 trains per day)
Miami Fort Lauderdale West Palm Beach
Departs Arrives Departs Arrives
7:10 am 7:43 am 7:45 am 8:25 am
9:10 am 9:43 am 9:45 am 10:25 am
10:10 am 10:43 am 10:45 am 11:25 am
12:10 pm 12:43 pm 12:45 pm 1:25 pm
1:10 pm 1:43 pm 1:45 pm 2:25 pm
2:10 pm 2:43 pm 2:45 pm 3:25 pm
4:10 pm 4:43 pm 4:45 pm 5:25 pm
5:10 pm 5:43 pm 5:45 pm 6:25 pm
6:10 pm 6:43 pm 6:45 pm 7:25 pm
8:10 pm 8:43 pm 8:45 pm 9:25 pm
9:10 pm 9:43 pm 9:45 pm 10:25 pm


Late 2018 (Dec) (16 Trains per day)
Miami Fort Lauderdale West Palm Beach
Departs Arrives Departs Arrives
7:13 am 7:41 am 7:43 am 8:27 am
8:13 am 8:41 am 8:43 am 9:27 am
9:13 am 9:41 am 9:43 am 10:27 am
10:13 am 10:41 am 10:43 am 11:27 am
11:13 am 11:41 am 11:43 am 12:27 pm
12:13 pm 12:41 pm 12:43 pm 1:27 pm
1:13 pm 1:41 pm 1:43 pm 2:27 pm
2:13 pm 2:41 pm 2:43 pm 3:27 pm
4:13 pm 4:41 pm 4:43 pm 5:27 pm
5:13 pm 5:41 pm 5:43 pm 6:27 pm
6:13 pm 6:41 pm 6:43 pm 7:27 pm
7:13 pm 7:41 pm 7:43 pm 8:27 pm
8:13 pm 8:41 pm 8:43 pm 9:27 pm
9:13 pm 9:41 pm 9:43 pm 10:27 pm
10:13 pm 10:41 pm 10:43 pm 11:27 pm
11:13 pm 11:41 pm 11:43 pm 12:27 am



Early 2019 (Jan) (17 Trains per day)
Miami Fort Lauderdale West Palm Beach
Departs Arrives Departs Arrives
6:40 am 7:10 am 7:12 am 7:55 am
7:40 am 8:10 am 8:12 am 8:55 am
8:40 am 9:10 am 9:12 am 9:55 am
9:40 am 10:10 am 10:12 am 10:55 am
10:40 am 11:10 am 11:12 am 11:55 am
11:40 am 12:10 pm 12:12 pm 12:55 pm
12:40 pm 1:10 pm 1:12 pm 1:55 pm
1:40 pm 2:10 pm 2:12 pm 2:55 pm
3:40 pm 4:10 pm 4:12 pm 4:55 pm
4:40 pm 5:10 pm 5:12 pm 5:55 pm
5:10 pm 5:45 pm 5:47 pm 6:30 pm
5:40 pm 6:10 pm 6:12 pm 6:55 pm
6:40 pm 7:10 pm 7:12 pm 7:55 pm
7:40 pm 8:10 pm 8:12 pm 8:55 pm
8:40 pm 9:10 pm 9:12 pm 9:55 pm
9:40 pm 10:10 pm 10:12 pm 10:55 pm
11:10 pm 11:40 pm 11:42 pm 12:25 am
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Re: Virgin Rail née Brightline/AAF Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Postby gokeefe » Sat Jan 05, 2019 5:25 pm

Just curious ... Anyone know when (if ever) these locations last saw a similar frequency of service? I'm guessing sometime in the 1920's ...
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Re: Virgin Rail née Brightline/AAF Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Postby Arlington » Sat Jan 05, 2019 5:55 pm

gokeefe wrote:Just curious ... Anyone know when (if ever) these locations last saw a similar frequency of service? I'm guessing sometime in the 1920's ...

I'd guess "never"

Given that the FEC, as passenger railroad, was focused on "migratory" customers who'd "flown" 1000+ miles down the coast, the value of importing migratory customers was that they'd turned "worthless" sand dunes into valuable oceanfront leisure real estate, not that they commuted like mid-century "rat race" suburbanites who'd ridden the B&O, Reading, Pennsy/LIRR or NYC to work.

My supporting hypotheses:
1) The dominant 1920s population were generally the Leisure Class (not workaday commuters) and only seasonally
2) To the extent that people commuted, it'd have been very urban-local (mostly not interurban)
3) The villa-and-highrise set would have generally traveled very locally for social obligations, not work*, since they''d taken home or apartment near their social friends from wherever they'd come from (NYC WASPs clustered separately from, say, NJ Jews)

*I can only picture agricultural work...citrus and "hotel" work at scale in the 1920s. Factories and offices would not become "doable" until "post war" ubiquity of air conditioning, by which time the car would've predominated.
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Re: Virgin Rail née Brightline/AAF Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Postby Ridgefielder » Mon Jan 07, 2019 12:55 pm

gokeefe wrote:Just curious ... Anyone know when (if ever) these locations last saw a similar frequency of service? I'm guessing sometime in the 1920's ...

The answer might well be "never." Check out the population figures from the 1920 census:

Palm Beach County: 18,654
Broward County: 5,134
Dade County: 42,753
TOTAL: 66,541

That just doesn't seem like enough people to support many trains a day, even in the pre-automobile age.

If there ever were 17+ a day, they'd have mostly been overnight LD runs from the North heading in/out of Miami. Probably clustered southbound in the morning and northbound in the evening. Probably Receive/Discharge only at West Palm and Fort Lauderdale. Local traffic was probably limited to 3-4 trains a day. Mind you I haven't looked at historical FEC timetables, I'm just guessing based on what I know of pre-WW2 passenger ops elsewhere.
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Re: Virgin Rail née Brightline/AAF Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Postby gokeefe » Mon Jan 07, 2019 7:05 pm

I have yet to find one but the winter timetable for 1926 should be pretty close to the previous all time high for the FEC service.

I'm really curious to see what the comparison looks like. A schedule from the 1957 was showing "eight a day each way".
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Re: Virgin Rail née Brightline/AAF Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Postby gokeefe » Mon Jan 07, 2019 7:24 pm

Ridgefielder wrote:The answer might well be "never."


Indeed. The population statistics in particular and, as Arlington noted, the clientele (mostly overnight sleeper passengers) make one quickly realize how light travel demand would have been for intrastate service.

In this respect Brightline (soon to be Virgin Rail) is in uncharted waters. There simply isn't any available data from historic operations for us to understand what's going to happen and what might exist is from the pre-interstate highway era.
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Re: Virgin Rail née Brightline/AAF Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Postby Jadebenn » Sun Jan 20, 2019 10:31 pm

According to Brightline's most recent ridership release, they carried 98,076 passengers in the month of December with a revenue of $2.2M. Ridership has increased 22% since November, and revenue has increased 47% since that time. Their ridership growth is still impressive, given that their Q4 figures alone make up ~41% of their total ridership this whole year. In total, they've carried over 579,000 passengers since the beginning of the year.

I'm curious. If you treated Brightline as an Amtrak service and compared its passenger numbers to the other Amtrak trains, where would it stack up? Less than the NEC for sure... but I feel like it'd be in the top ten routes as far as ridership goes. And this is only it's first full year of operation!
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Re: Virgin Rail née Brightline/AAF Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Postby benboston » Mon Jan 21, 2019 12:42 am

That's the power of private companies.
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Reason: Immediately preceding quote
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Re: Virgin Rail née Brightline/AAF Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Mon Jan 21, 2019 11:49 am

The power of private companies is generated by their capacity to make a return for their investors. Even though the ridership growth is impressive, that December "statement" is mighty scant regarding Financial results.

It is highly doubtful if there is any Net Income at this time, but then, many a new venture has been same, yet has turned to be highly profitable (AMZN).

In order to have any chance at profitability, they will have to "build out" to MCO, in order to do that, they must float some $1.3B of Private Activity Bonds. Even if the mechanics to do so appear to be in place, they still must float the bonds at an effective interest rate in order to realize profitability. Last word is that a rating agency considers any such bonds as below investment grade, or junk.

But be all that as it may, I'm looking forward to a planned joyride this weekend. This year starting in Miami.
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Re: Virgin Rail née Brightline/AAF Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Postby Jadebenn » Mon Jan 21, 2019 12:51 pm

Oh, I don't mean to overstate myself; they're still very much in the red; but the speed at which the gap is closing is promising. Of course, the danger of a ridership plateau on the Miami - WPB segment still lurks. Hopefully the Orlando segment will successful enough to counteract that if it occurs before profitability does.

I believe the current Brightline service just barely edges out the ridership of Amtrak's Lincoln Service (though I'm going by FY2016 figures, so take that with a grain of salt). If so, that would make it the tenth highest ridership corridor in the US passenger rail network. If Brightline's projections are met (5M/yr) however, they'll be the second. Though I'm not certain how fair a comparison would be at that point, considering that figure represents a fully built-out and mature Brightline network (and I can't remember whether it includes the Tampa - Orlando segment or not) and not just a single route or service.
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