Brightline aka All Aboard Florida Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Discussion relating to the FEC operations, past and present. Includes Brightline. Official web site can be found here: FECRWY.COM.

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Re: Brightline aka All Aboard Florida Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Mon Dec 04, 2017 3:03 pm

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Re: Brightline aka All Aboard Florida Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Postby Arlington » Mon Dec 04, 2017 8:15 pm

Gilbert B Norman wrote:Anyone know what this is all about?
https://m.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1 ... =3&theater

If it is real, the "passengers" must either be hypothetical or company-selected or unticketed walk-ons, because I don't see anywhere that Brightline is selling tickets.
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Re: Brightline aka All Aboard Florida Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Postby gokeefe » Tue Dec 05, 2017 12:28 pm

Looks like a soft opening with a few days of non-revenue runs.
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Re: Brightline aka All Aboard Florida Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Tue Dec 05, 2017 3:17 pm

I've learned that AAF is planning to build a station at Cocoa-Rockledge, Brevard County. To me, if there is any foundation to this, means that AAF is compromising their business plan seeing a need to offer intermediate stops (others I'd bet would be Stuart in Martin County, Fort Pierce in St. Lucie, and Vero Beach in Indian River) or they realize that the Bee Line into MCO is a "non happen" and the best they can hope for is a bus operating along the Expressway. Again, let me reiterate I am not opposed to AAF; just skeptical.

Finally, it looks like my '18 Florida trip will be limited to a two nighter in Miami for a Cleveland Orchestra concert (Mahler's 9th) last weekend of January. It will be a fly down and back with no car rental. Looks like an AAF joyride will not be until '19 - if it's still running, instead of "suspended until full completion".
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Re: Brightline aka All Aboard Florida Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Postby Arlington » Tue Dec 05, 2017 5:42 pm

Gilbert B Norman wrote:I've learned that AAF is planning to build a station at Cocoa-Rockledge, Brevard County. To me, if there is any foundation to this, means that AAF is compromising their business plan seeing a need to offer intermediate stops (others I'd bet would be Stuart in Martin County, Fort Pierce in St. Lucie, and Vero Beach in Indian River) or they realize that the Bee Line into MCO is a "non happen" and the best they can hope for is a bus operating along the Expressway. Again, let me reiterate I am not opposed to AAF; just skeptical.

You present a new station for Cocoa-Rockledge as if it were a bad thing; somehow presaging impending failure. Yet the underlying business plan has its roots in 2009 studies, or earlier--how has the market changed in 10 years? How many businesses are still doing today what they did in the iPhone3G era? Or will be doing when (highway) self-driving cars arrive? Maybe the facts on the ground changed and their plan changed with it. That could just as easily be presented as "Brightline is moving to accommodate online demand and exploit FEC real estate" as can be spun as "Brightline's original plan is showing its flaws before they've even run their first train"

Seems to me I can spin Cocoa-Rockledge as:
- Good regional highway access
- A natural anchor for Merritt Island, Port Canaveral, KSC, and Bee Line users
- A decent demand point in itself
- An early northern anchor station with uncomplicated site-ownership
- A place where the tracks were going to have to turn to Orlando or Branch to Jacksonville

So why not see it as a sign of agility and a sign of the plenty of local demand (that perhaps presages a future mix of local and express trains, even)?

MCO is obviously a great connecting point (to air, bus, and rental car) but has no real estate development opportunity an lots of ROW headaches and investment to get there. If Cocoa can be pioneered as a regional bus connection with a little bit of housing and commercial real estate that's probably more on-plan for FEC/Flagler and way less risky.
Last edited by Arlington on Tue Dec 05, 2017 7:12 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Brightline aka All Aboard Florida Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Postby gokeefe » Tue Dec 05, 2017 5:59 pm

gokeefe wrote:Looks like a soft opening with a few days of non-revenue runs.


Confirmed.

All Aboard Florida’s Brightline will begin simulated service this week, running 10 round-trip trains a day along the Florida East Coast Railway tracks as it prepares for the launch of its passenger service later this year.
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Re: Brightline aka All Aboard Florida Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Postby ExCon90 » Wed Dec 06, 2017 4:08 pm

Interesting to note that that's what was done for a week or so before Penn Station opened in 1910; make sure everything works right before company comes. I think the IND in New York ran a full dummy service before the Eighth Avenue Subway opened; nothing like a real-world test.
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Re: Brightline aka All Aboard Florida Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Postby Noel Weaver » Wed Dec 06, 2017 8:41 pm

This week they cut in some trackage in Fort Lauderdale which allows the station here to be accessible for passenger trains. I am not sure that the work between Wilton Manors and the south end of Pompano is finished as yet but they put a new crossover in service north of the new station which allows it to be used. I think they are doing ten round trips on a dry run situation this week. I hope to do a trip up to WPB to look things over there but I understand both Fort Lauderdale and West Palm stations are ready for use. It won't be much longer now.
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I Will Concede...

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Thu Dec 07, 2017 9:18 am

.....there will be some kind of revenue service on AAF during 1st Q 2018:

https://www.google.com/amp/www.palmbeac ... I/amp.html

Fair Use:

.All Aboard Florida’s Brightline will begin simulated service this week, running 10 round-trip trains a day along the Florida East Coast Railway tracks as it prepares for the launch of its passenger service later this year.

The trains will not be carrying passengers. The company said the simulated service includes 10 northbound and 10 southbound trains running daily along the FEC line between 15th Street in West Palm Beach and Broward Boulevard in Ft. Lauderdale.

Brightline trains are expected to start shuttling passengers between West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale this month, with service to Miami set to begin in the first quarter of 2018, according to an analysis of a $600 million bond issue the company plans to use to help pay for the project.


But I'm hardly about to do same regarding anything North. I haven't placed my order with Standard Market's bakery as that will only happen should service be extended to MCO as planned and is operating without public operating funds (if they float some Private Activity Bonds, OK as those are available to the private sector).

Once again, I'm not opposed to AAF; I'm just skeptical. If it's running when I "come on down" during '18, I will take a joyride.
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Re: Brightline aka All Aboard Florida Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Fri Dec 08, 2017 9:40 am

Tronc's Sun Sentinel, normally a mite bit more upbeat than the columnists that write for Gannett's "Treasure" up the line, does a bit of opinionating regarding the public nuisance Brightline's "sim" will create within their reporting of the event:

https://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/trans ... story.html

Fair Use:

South Florida drivers will face something new in traffic this week: Brightline high-speed passenger trains will be running up to 20 times per day between Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach.

These are test runs for training crews, so no passengers will be aboard.

Brightline officials have said service between the new Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach train stations would begin before the end of the year and service to the MiamiCentral station would be added early in the new year.

No exact start date or ticket pricing has been revealed.


For the "sim", the many X-ings are being guarded by sworn peace officers. Once regular operations start, that Law Enforcement presence cannot be expected to be maintained. Safe bet is somebody will get "clipped".

Finally "they're talkin' '20" for "all the way".
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Re: Brightline aka All Aboard Florida Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Postby deathtopumpkins » Fri Dec 08, 2017 1:09 pm

Gilbert B Norman wrote:
For the "sim", the many X-ings are being guarded by sworn peace officers. Once regular operations start, that Law Enforcement presence cannot be expected to be maintained. Safe bet is somebody will get "clipped".


And what makes these grade crossings any more dangerous than the hundreds of thousands of other ones?

I don't see how it's a "safe bet" that someone will get hit by a train there unless they're a police presence. Are you advocating for a police detail at every grade crossing in the country?

Honestly this clamoring for an excuse to oppose AAF is getting rather ridiculous.
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Just Skeptical

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Fri Dec 08, 2017 1:20 pm

Gilbert B Norman wrote:Once again, I'm not opposed to AAF; I'm just skeptical. If it's running when I "come on down" during '18, I will take a joyride.


Mr. Pumpkins, let me reiterate I am NOT opposed to AAF, but I am admittedly skeptical, which means I hardly have the enthusiasm that some around here hold for the initiative.

So far as my comment of someone will get clipped. It is a sad commentary on our times how people can walk around depriving themselves of the sense of sound and some even the sense of sight, but as you note the police presence cannot be there forever.

Sorry to report we had an incident here two months ago in Clarendon Hills; the MAS on the Aurora Sub is 70.
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Re: Brightline aka All Aboard Florida Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Postby Arlington » Fri Dec 08, 2017 1:28 pm

And these are intersections that all have always had FEC freights.

Yet every crossing gate cycle is a chance for a motorist to be a heedless idiot. 10 daily round trips is 20 more chances per crossing--thats naturally going to increase the odds of a crash.

And motorists are proven bad at judging the speed of trains, so faster trains are more likely to be catastrophically misjudged.

None of this is a good reason for locals to oppose Brightline, but local opponents aren't looking for good reasons, they are looking for any reason that makes their fears look justified, and Brightline is right to get out it's "we are doing everything we can" message

[And I am not including Mr Norman in "opponents"]
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Re: Brightline aka All Aboard Florida Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Postby Noel Weaver » Fri Dec 08, 2017 2:19 pm

Naysayers notwithstanding Brightline will be running revenue service before much longer period. IT IS GOING TO HAPPEN!!! The first private enterprise passenger rail service in the US in a long, long time. A lot of money has already been spent, much track work, improvements, expansions has already taken place and more and more is being finished as I type this up. This service will provide a very useful alternative to the existing transportation network. Item in parts of Broward County I-95 is already six lanes wide in each direction, how many more lanes can be built here? Do nothing with the existing rail systems and for transportation we will be nothing but a concrete jungle. Even now smart motorists avoid east-west streets that interchange with either I-95 or the turnpike because these interchanges add to the traffic woes. Tri-Rail is doing quite well with their three and four car trains that can haul the same number of passengers that a lot of the longer trains up north can haul and comfortably at that. Brightline will not really compete with Tri-Rail but will offer a great alternative to driving up to Orlando which can be a huge pain no matter what road one decides to use. Here is a link to some more on this. I still hope to be on the first train very soon.

https://www.npr.org/2017/12/07/56918342 ... in-service

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Re: Brightline aka All Aboard Florida Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Postby dowlingm » Mon Dec 11, 2017 7:26 am

Gilbert B Norman wrote:For the "sim", the many X-ings are being guarded by sworn peace officers. Once regular operations start, that Law Enforcement presence cannot be expected to be maintained. Safe bet is somebody will get "clipped"
Bring on Positive Car Control... but since that won't happen for decades, chicanes instead.
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