Brightline fka 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 Feb 10, 2018 9:22 pm

I rode Brightline again today (Saturday) and I can truthfully say it is just as good as it was the first day. Equipment spotless, staff goes out of their way to be very pleasant, ride smooth and close to on time. We had to slow down in Wilton Manors where some jerk decided to lie between the two main tracks. He ended up with a broken arm so he survives to do this stunt again sometime in the future. I guess the police were still in the area doing their investigation. Other than that we pretty much held to 79 MPH all the way on a ride that was velvet smooth. I would venture to say that as of today these trains are probably the very best trains in all of North America. We rode smart on the northbound and select on the southbound. Drinks and snacks are part of the deal in select so I had a bag of chips, maybe the best chocolate chip cookie I have ever had a a diet soda although stronger drinks are available as part of the deal. They have spared nothing to make the trip as super as it can be and they have done an outstanding job. Many of the folks riding today said they couldn't wait until they go to Orlando. Brightline has a parking garage next to the Fort Lauderdale station and parking is free there at least for now. I strongly recommend this train ride to all who read this.
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Re: Brightline aka All Aboard Florida Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Postby Rockingham Racer » Sun Feb 11, 2018 7:30 am

Thanks, Noel, for the report.
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Re: Brightline aka All Aboard Florida Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:05 am

I have now been able to cancel one of the duplicate tickets Brightline "sold" me. So apparently, they have addressed the "bugs, glitches, programming errors" whatever.

Now let's see if American Express gets the word.

So at this time, or so far as they are concerned, it's one ticket for one me Feb 19 North at 355P in Select, return 7P in Smart.
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Re: Brightline aka All Aboard Florida Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Postby CentralValleyRail » Thu Feb 15, 2018 4:53 am

Tadman wrote:Given all the hype about trespasser and grade crossing incidents, I think it's worth noting that Denver RTD has stationed protect employees in front of all grade crossings on the new airport line. This is a complete new-build that runs up to 79mph. Perhaps this is prudent for Brightline to do for 90 days. Given that the gates are functioning, it's not legally a stop-and-protect so the gate workers could be hired traffic cone guys.


When I rode last friday there were several trucks with employees positioned at 15 or so gates and then another 5 gates had cone guys with flags standing in the middle of the road blocking the gates.
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Re: Brightline aka All Aboard Florida Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Postby CentralValleyRail » Thu Feb 15, 2018 4:54 am

Noel Weaver wrote:I rode Brightline again today (Saturday) and I can truthfully say it is just as good as it was the first day. Equipment spotless, staff goes out of their way to be very pleasant, ride smooth and close to on time. We had to slow down in Wilton Manors where some jerk decided to lie between the two main tracks. He ended up with a broken arm so he survives to do this stunt again sometime in the future. I guess the police were still in the area doing their investigation. Other than that we pretty much held to 79 MPH all the way on a ride that was velvet smooth. I would venture to say that as of today these trains are probably the very best trains in all of North America. We rode smart on the northbound and select on the southbound. Drinks and snacks are part of the deal in select so I had a bag of chips, maybe the best chocolate chip cookie I have ever had a a diet soda although stronger drinks are available as part of the deal. They have spared nothing to make the trip as super as it can be and they have done an outstanding job. Many of the folks riding today said they couldn't wait until they go to Orlando. Brightline has a parking garage next to the Fort Lauderdale station and parking is free there at least for now. I strongly recommend this train ride to all who read this.
Noel Weaver


One thing we can finally agree on. The service is phenomenal and while it's not the Acela Express in terms of speed the product from the second you walk in the station till you walk out blows it away by miles.
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Re: Brightline aka All Aboard Florida Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Postby gokeefe » Thu Feb 15, 2018 12:17 pm

Very healthy for Amtrak to finally have some competition.
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Re: Brightline aka All Aboard Florida Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Mon Feb 19, 2018 6:36 pm

From 7PM Southbound to Ft. Lauderdale--

The Northbound in Select is now in the books. The car was substantially full, and the trip was without incident. I still fear a WHACKAMOLE at Delray Beach - it will be some hotshot lawyer whose family will "take em for everything".

The Select Attendant, Miss Brooke, was exceptionally courteous - kind of like a Flight Attendant you remember for good reasons.

I realize this is an introductory period. The trains are new and the staff enthusiastic. But this enthusiasm does not translate into a sustainable private sector operation. Obviously no one can hold "they're making it" during this "intro" phase. While their fares planned "post intro" are a State secret", I think them to be double the "intros".

Now on the Southbound, I got this Smart Coach as good as to myself - the joyriders have moved on to other things. As I was returning walking North on Rosemary from Okeechobee, I met a couple with a young child "who was letting his presence known" in Select heading Northward. That turned out to be the return trip from their "excursion to Ft. Lauderdale".

Access to Miami will certainly give them business beyond joyrides. With the Miami location right with the Miami judiciary, some Palm Beach attorneys will find it convenient.

I continue to hold the only "prayer" they have for private sector operation is to complete the route to MCO. They could well have a B-School Model showing "them ma king it", but did such contemplate the funding they would need and the "junk bond" rating translating to higher debt service costs than anyicipated.

Even if they choose not to lay the 40 miles of track and offer a bus transfer in it's place, will that cut it?

Sure I've enjoyed these joyrides on an outfit that puts customer service on a plateau with air travel during the '50's, but I still say "get on down and get your joyrides in".
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Re: Brightline aka All Aboard Florida Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Postby chrsjrcj » Tue Feb 27, 2018 11:24 pm

Gilbert B Norman wrote:Now that I'm "back in the barn" and no longer having a "Lady in Blue" giving me a "no-no stare" for being on my phone, I have to say the joyride was worth every penny of the $22.50 I spent on it. I have not seen this article posted here yet:

http://floridapolitics.com/archives/254 ... vement-tab

Fair Use:

Brightline, the high-speed passenger train now running between Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach, could have to spend about $349 million on safety improvements.

That’s after lawmakers and others, upset over the railway’s dangers, leveraged recent train-related deaths to push for more safety measures.

Republicans Sen. Debbie Mayfield of Melbourne and Rep. Erin Grall of Vero Beach held a press conference Tuesday to express sympathy for those who died and to further stress the need for Brightline to comply with federal train regulations at the expense of the company—and not taxpayers.

The train has been involved in four fatal accidents in which pedestrians or bicyclists were killed. Three accidents occurred during Brightline’s promotional runs, one of which was ruled a suicide.


For the second year in a row, this bill has died at the end of Florida's legislative session.

https://www.tcpalm.com/story/news/polit ... 372419002/
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Re: Brightline aka All Aboard Florida Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Postby ExCon90 » Wed Feb 28, 2018 3:02 pm

Looks like a good outcome all round. The Treasure Coast politicians get credit from the homefolks--"we were in there fighting for you"--without any harm being done, at least for another year.
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Re: Brightline aka All Aboard Florida Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Postby gokeefe » Wed Feb 28, 2018 4:08 pm

Potentially that's all that was ever intended anyways.
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Re: Brightline aka All Aboard Florida Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Postby Noel Weaver » Thu Mar 01, 2018 7:44 pm

A lot of local money was wasted by the political leaders along the Treasure Coast fighting this train. It will get the same way that efforts in Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey and other states, nowhere with a lot of costs to be borne by the taxpayers. Shame on the political leaders in this case.
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Massachusetts - The Greenbush Branch
New Jersey - When the Susquehanna re-opened the line west of Butler, it didn't matter to them that the NYS&W went from broke and paying no taxes to profitable and paying property and other taxes.
New York - The locals in the area fought the Penn Central when they decided to run through freight trains on the former New Haven Beacon Branch, I ran a lot of them over that scenic and interesting branch.
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Re: Brightline aka All Aboard Florida Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Postby ExCon90 » Sun Mar 04, 2018 2:53 pm

I remember that when service was restored on the Beacon Branch many adjoining property owners were outraged because the real-estate agent assured them that the line was going to be abandoned. Maybe they didn't realize that the real-estate agent represents the seller, not the buyer.

Edit: I neglected to add that they were outraged at Penn Central, not the real-estate agent.
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Re: Brightline aka All Aboard Florida Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Postby Noel Weaver » Thu Mar 08, 2018 3:14 pm

Here is another article about Brightline, I liked reading this one.

https://www.bizjournals.com/southflorid ... ected.html

They are saying April to Miami in that one, I sure hope it happens in April.
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Re: Brightline aka All Aboard Florida Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Postby Jeff Smith » Fri Mar 09, 2018 1:26 pm

I agree, great article. Can't wait until I get down there to ride it. Here's a snip:

...He did not disclose specific ridership figures but said Brightline is running an average of 11 roundtrips per day between Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale. At capacity, each train can hold up to 240 passengers.

“People are excited to be off I-95,” the executive said. “We’ve gotten people out of traffic.”

Service to Miami is expected to begin by end of April, he said.

On Brightline, passengers can travel between each of its South Florida stops in about 35 minutes, with trains speeding along at about 75 miles per hour. The same trip by car can often take as long as two hours.

In his comments, Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce chairman Gene Schaefer said that while the passenger rail service has experienced pedestrian fatalities, Brightline is a boon to the South Florida community. Several pedestrians have been hit by the train after ignoring armguards and signals.
...
Next stop, Willoughby
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News Item: Brightline Ridership 3x expected

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