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 Noel Weaver » Sat Jul 15, 2017 1:19 pm

I am in complete agreement with this. If you were using the roads on a regular basis you would understand the need for this. US-27 and/or the turnpike are not safe nor pleasure drives today with weather conditions, high speeds and crazy truck drivers, no thanks to this. I-95 is even worse with major accidents on a daily basis.
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Re: Brightline aka All Aboard Florida Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Postby chaz » Sun Jul 16, 2017 3:31 pm

TCPalm newspaper editors change their position about All Aboard Florida. The letters to the editor should be entertaining.

http://www.tcpalm.com/story/opinion/editorials/2017/07/13/time-pursue-brightline-train-stop-our-view/472634001/

Opening line...
This editorial will not be popular in many parts of the Treasure Coast. But we're compelled to raise a question that must be asked and answered: Is it time for our region to pursue an All Aboard Florida/Brightline train stop? Heresy, you say. Maybe just common sense.


Closing line...
Increasingly, the future looks like it could include passenger trains swooshing through the Treasure Coast. If so, it would be a shame if some of them didn't stop to pick up local residents. It's time to, at least, discuss the possibility.
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Re: Brightline aka All Aboard Florida Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Sun Jul 16, 2017 4:53 pm

Chaz, I've said it before; "public nuisance without public benefit".

If AAF is ever to get beyond the Miami-West Palm "Super Shuttle" (which won't last long, even though I had best concede it will run), they will have to offer on some of their trains, one stop in each of the objecting counties.
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Re: Brightline aka All Aboard Florida Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Postby gokeefe » Sun Jul 16, 2017 10:39 pm

Gilbert B Norman wrote:Chaz, I've said it before; "public nuisance without public benefit".


Mr. Norman,

I'm curious if you're saying this as a matter of politics or regulation. In the past I believe your position has been that the "public benefit" may be a statutory requirement.

I agree that this is so as a matter of politics. As a matter of regulation I think this might not be true at all. It's an interesting question to me because it has implications for the legal standing of railroads and their rights of way as a public utility.
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Re: Brightline aka All Aboard Florida Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Postby chaz » Mon Jul 17, 2017 2:26 pm

gokeefe stated

I'm curious if you're saying this as a matter of politics or regulation. In the past I believe your position has been that the "public benefit" may be a statutory requirement.


I don't know about the "public benefit", but here is an 2015 article from the TCPalm newspaper about the "public liability".

http://archive.tcpalm.com/news/shaping-our-future/all-aboard-florida/rail-crossings-could-cost-martin-county-millions-26e014b9-f454-3165-e053-0100007f764a-362866251.html

Martin County leases and maintains the crossings. The improvements for high speed freight and passenger service increases the maintenance.

Estimated annual costs associated with crossings over the existing Florida East Coast Railway tracks — including maintenance and land leases — would increase from this year's $323,300 to $1 million in 2020 and to $3 million in 2040, according to the county.


Of course, there are several industrial tracks supporting Martin County businesses, but nothing big enough to offset these increasing costs.
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Re: Brightline aka All Aboard Florida Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Postby Noel Weaver » Mon Jul 17, 2017 10:37 pm

Today, Monday, July 17th, I took a ride down to Miami and beyond. Construction is well underway at IRIS in the NE quadrant of the diamond. One track has been put in place but not yet connected at either end. I had understood the connection was to be two tracks but maybe it will be only one at least at the start. Downtown construction continues all over the place with most if not all of the bridge work appeared to be complete. Tri-Rail and Metro-Rail was on time and pleasant in both directions. A lot of passengers making a transfer between the two systems use Metro-Rail Transfer rather than MIA although MIA is easier and much more pleasant. Still a quality ride and the cost is very reasonable especially with the senior Easy Card. Often I introduce new riders to the local trains and without exception they are favorably impressed. We are fortunate to have this passenger rail system and it will be even better when Tri-Rail starts running to downtown and the new Brightline station where they will use two of the five tracks.
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Re: Brightline aka All Aboard Florida Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Postby Jeff Smith » Wed Jul 26, 2017 9:46 am

Brightline's first fatality: US News

Woman Killed After Being Struck by Brightline Train

BOCA RATON, Fla. (AP) — Authorities say a woman was struck and killed by a Brightline train in Florida.

The Palm Beach Post reports the woman was hit Monday as the train traveled through Boca Raton on the Florida East Coast Railway tracks.

Boca Raton police spokeswoman Jessica Desir says the death is being investigated as an apparent suicide. Desir says she didn't know which direction the train was traveling when it struck the woman. The woman's identity hasn't been released.
...
Next stop, Willoughby
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Re: Brightline aka All Aboard Florida Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Postby Jeff Smith » Wed Jul 26, 2017 10:00 am

Phase II pushed to 2020: MyPalm BeachPost.com

Pretty long article; fair-use SNIPS:

Brightline’s Orlando leg delayed to 2020; focus now on local commuters
...
All Aboard Florida’s Brightline is on the verge of launching its passenger train service between West Palm Beach and Miami on Henry Flagler’s historic railroad corridor, but officials say it could be three years before the company starts shuttling passengers north to Orlando.

All Aboard, which originally billed the Brightline project as a faster and safer way for millions of tourists and business workers to travel between South and Central Florida, has yet to begin construction on its West Palm Beach-to-Orlando leg.
...
Brightline says studies have shown strong demand for express train service connecting South Florida’s three main business districts — West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale and Miami. The service will appeal to a broad base of customers including commuters, business travelers and residents traveling for leisure, the company said.
...
Phillip Brown, executive director of the Orlando International Airport, which houses Brightline’s northernmost station, said airport officials have been told the company’s trains won’t start carrying passengers to Orlando until “late summer or fall” of 2020.

Construction on the airport’s $221 million transportation hub, which includes Brightline’s station, is nearing completion. The building is slated to open for ground transportation this fall, at which point Brightline will be required to start paying rent, Brown said. Brightline has pledged $10 million for the facility.
...
In an April 11 letter to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Brightline CEO Dave Howard said the company intended to “submit promptly” an application for a Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing loan, adding that it planned to use the proceeds to complete its service between Miami and Orlando.
...
Next stop, Willoughby
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Re: Brightline aka All Aboard Florida Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Wed Jul 26, 2017 10:27 am

A pertinent quote (disclaimer: note who the attorney works for):

Steve Ryan, a Washington, D.C.-based attorney representing Citizens Against Rail Expansion, also known as CARE-FL, called the loan a “huge concern” for U.S. taxpayers, saying it could leave the government on the hook if Brightline can’t pay its bills.

“This railroad will not be built without government subsidies,” Ryan said Friday. “The subsidies they are seeking don’t make sense for the taxpayers.”


Sooner or later, "El Chapo", or whoever is the Groupo CEO will say "suficiente" to this project where the launch date keeps receding and is hardly a "no brainer" with the expectation of financial success.

I will always hold that AAF was born as a means to "fatten up the cattle" for the possible sale of FEC to the State. While I acknowledge being mistaken regarding the acquiring party, it means that the incentive to get AAF up and running has greatly diminished.

Might they be thinking in Ciudad Mexico that now is time to "cut losses"? The restoration of the double tracking along the Gold Coast will help handle the hoped for Neo-PANAMAX traffic that just because it really hasn't developed to date does not mean it won't in the future, and that some rail passenger agency will find a home for the equipment.

Finally lest anyone at Groupo be interested in.our discussion:

Tarde o temprano, "El Chapo", o quien es el CEO de Groupo dirá "suficiente" para este proyecto donde la fecha de lanzamiento se mantiene estancado, y no es un "no brainer" con la expectativa de éxito financiero.

Siempre voy a sostener que la AAF nació como un medio para engordar el ganado" para la posible venta de FEC para el Estado. Aunque reconozco ser confundido con respecto a la parte adquirente, significa que el incentivo para obtener AAF en marcha ha disminuido considerablemente.

Podrían estar pensando en Ciudad de México que ahora es el momento de "cortar las pérdidas"? La restauración del rastreo de doble a lo largo de la costa de oro ayudará a manejar la espera para Neo-panamax tráfico que simplemente porque realmente no ha desarrollado hasta la fecha no significa que no en el futuro, y que algunos de los pasajeros del transporte ferroviario agencia va a encontrar un hogar para el equipo
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Re: Brightline aka All Aboard Florida Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Postby Matt Johnson » Thu Jul 27, 2017 11:17 am

Gilbert B Norman wrote:
Sooner or later, "El Chapo", or whoever is the Groupo CEO will say "suficiente" to this project where the launch date keeps receding and is hardly a "no brainer" with the expectation of financial success.

I will always hold that AAF was born as a means to "fatten up the cattle" for the possible sale of FEC to the State. While I acknowledge being mistaken regarding the acquiring party, it means that the incentive to get AAF up and running has greatly diminished.


I've always been a skeptic but on the other hand I'm shocked that the venture has gotten as far as it has. The trains are total overkill for a glorified commuter operation, however, and without the Orlando extension it's really tough to see the justification for them, expecially with Tri-Rail already in place. Would I pay to ride Amtrak from, say, Princeton Junction to New York every day if I could commute aboard NJ Transit? Well, I suppose once upon a time people did using the Clocker service, but of course, that was ultimately replaced by ordinary NJ Transit express service. I just hope these fancy new trainsets don't end up like this.
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Re: Brightline aka All Aboard Florida Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Postby bostontrainguy » Thu Jul 27, 2017 1:17 pm

Things have been going too well I guess.

http://www.masstransitmag.com/news/1235 ... 1781501H5T
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Re: Brightline aka All Aboard Florida Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Postby chrsjrcj » Thu Jul 27, 2017 1:33 pm

Because an opposition group that brings very little (if any facts) to their arguments says they will default? Yesterday, they sent a letter to the USDOT, saying Brightline would negatively impact Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate. These people are delusional, and won't let reality stand in the way of their agenda.
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Re: Brightline aka All Aboard Florida Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Thu Jul 27, 2017 3:11 pm

Mr. CHRS, it is 1.5mi from Mar-a-Lago to the FEC tracks, POTUS has a helipad at Mar; apparently he does motorcade up A1A to the golf club he owns.

In short, the opposition group is trying to grasp at straws.

But my skepticism that I have held since '12 when AAF was unveiled holds. AAF and Tri-Rail at its existing frequency will be "overservice". Tri-Rail doubling it's frequency to serve both Downtown and the Airport would be "Doubled Spades".

Now all can be sure that next.February when I "come on down", I'll take a joyride. But simply because the railfan community follows suit, as well as a cadre' that want a "Luxomute", Miami - WPB "won't make it".

If ever completed "McCoy to Miami", it could conceivably be a "commercial success" much as in same manner as Amtrak Acela can be considered. But does that mean the investors were without better opportunities to deploy their capital?

Somehow, I doubt that.
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Re: Brightline aka All Aboard Florida Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Postby Noel Weaver » Thu Jul 27, 2017 5:21 pm

Some of them are making a big deal of deaths along the tracks. The train did not go and get these folks, they went to the tracks whether it was a shortcut to someplace or whether they intended to end their lives there. Suicides are difficult for all concerned whether it be 1. the train crew who were simply doing their jobs and minding their business, 2. authorities who would rather be doing something else connected with their jobs, 3. railroad companies that are not in business to aid those who want to end their lives in the most miserable way possible or 4. families who grieve over the loss of a loved one (at least in most cases a loved one). Unfortunately here in south Florida our railroad lines are just about everywhere at ground level in otherwords not on an elevated or embankment or in a deep cut where such actions while possible are not nearly as easily done which results in persons have too easy access to the ROW of two fairly busy rail lines. We read about this stuff just about every day and riders on Tri-Rail are affected by such actions all too frequently. Unfortunately not too much can be done to stop this stuff effectively. A fence will have holes in it the day after it is erected. Signs, people pay no attention to them. Cops, not enough of them and courts take this stuff too lightly. Lots more. Alcohol, head phones, not paying attention and a lot more as well. Many sad stories all too frequent. Should all of this affect Brightline? It should not but one never knows how stupid some government leaders and the press can be. Scumbag lawyers looking for an easy buck add to an already bad mix. Here is a link to an article in our local rag for more on this.

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/local/browa ... story.html

Some think getting rid of the railroads is the solution but it will add to a lot of already existing problems. The tracks are there and we should be using them more and not less and this means Brightline too.
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Re: Brightline aka All Aboard Florida Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Postby chrsjrcj » Thu Jul 27, 2017 8:06 pm

No doubt any monies to be made would be MCO to Miami. As a life long Florida native, and raifan, I am hopeful that the Phase 2 becomes a reality and is quite successful.

Now on the other hand, Fort Pierce is becoming serious about pursuing a stop. Note that the city never funded any opposition efforts, and I seem to remember St. Lucie County backing down early.

http://www.tcpalm.com/story/opinion/col ... 509444001/
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