MAGLEV from MCO to Orlando Sunrail

Discussion about Florida commuter rail operations including Miami/Dade Metrorail, Sunrail (Orlando), and Tri-County Commuter Rail Authority in southern Florida. All Aboard Florida (Brightline) is discussed here: Florida East Coast Railway).

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MAGLEV from MCO to Orlando Sunrail

Postby Jeff Smith » Wed Jun 27, 2012 9:49 am

We may touch on this tangentially in the All Aboard topic, or Sunrail topic, but thought I'd start a separate topic on the MAGLEV proposal. I find the competition for routes now (Disney, connection to Sunrail, etc.) very telling.

http://www.bizjournals.com/orlando/blog ... l?page=all

Morris, principal of Powder Springs, Ga.-based American Maglev Technology Inc., on June 26 formally presented his plan to commissioners for a 15-mile, $315.2 million, privately-funded magnetic-levitation commuter rail system. The rail line would look similar to Walt Disney World’s elevated monorail system, but runs on a cheaper, 60 percent more efficient technology that American Maglev Technology been testing in Georgia since 2006. American Maglev’s technology costs about $20 million per mile, while other maglev technologies run about $70 million per mile, Morris said.

...

Operating costs would reportedly run $9.1 million annually and also would be privately funded, mostly by investors who are lined up and awaiting an agreement between American Maglev Technology and the necessary government entities that would have to approve the project.

...

The system is promised as a missing transit link from Orlando International Airport to the 61-mile Central Florida commuter rail SunRail, as well as to major economic centers, such as the Orange County Convention Center , the International Drive Resort Area, Lake Nona’s Medical City and eventually to the Disney area in future phases. See the proposed route as well as more details from my story from last November.

Morris wants to start construction by May 2013 on the project’s first phase, which includes four passenger stations at Orlando International Airport, SunRail’s Sand Lake Road station, The Florida Mall and the Orange County Convention Center.


Here's a previous article with map on the route: http://www.bizjournals.com/orlando/prin ... -link.html

Central Florida appears poised to see several transit options spin off from the planned $1.3 billion, 61-mile SunRail commuter rail.

For example, a decades-old plan for a magnetic-levitation train system to connect Orlando International Airport to the tourist districts finally may have found its niche as SunRail’s missing link.

The Florida Department of Transportation in October began talks with Powder Springs, Ga.-based American Maglev Technology Inc. on studying a privately funded transit system that would start at the airport and travel along two routes: northwest to the Orange County Convention Center and southwest to the Walt Disney World Resort.
Next stop, Willoughby
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Re: MAGLEV from MCO to Orlando Sunrail

Postby Jeff Smith » Wed Dec 19, 2012 4:34 pm

Movement? Orlando Business Journal

MetroPlan board approves moving forward with planned Maglev project

The MetroPlan Orlando board gave the thumbs up on moving forward with more detailed studies on a planned $800 million magnetic-levitation passenger rail project that would tie into Central Florida’s commuter rail SunRail.
The regional transportation planning authority — which earlier this month received a staff recommendation to approve the project’s $315.2 million, 15-mile first phase from Orlando International Airport to the Orange County Convention Center with some stipulations — unanimously approved the proposal.
That approval sets the stage for the Florida Department of Transportation to solicit for competing bids, which would clear Powder Springs, Ga.-based American Maglev Technology Inc. to eventually move forward with the project if no other bids are received.
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Re: MAGLEV from MCO to Orlando Sunrail

Postby amtrakowitz » Thu Dec 20, 2012 4:26 am

$20 million per mile for maglev? Is it really that cheap? especially compared to the cost estimates for CAHSR and NEC HSR (both 200+ mph proposals)? That would put a NY-LA maglev in the ballpark of $56 billion, or (if you like) half of the cost of CAHSR for 350 percent of the route length. (Or if you like, a NY-Chicago maglev for $16 billion.)
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Re: MAGLEV from MCO to Orlando Sunrail

Postby djlong » Thu Dec 20, 2012 12:58 pm

From: http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/loc ... 2698.story

Morris said he would run five trains daily at 10-minute intervals, with a top speed of 50 mph. A one-way ticket from the airport to the convention center would cost $13 and would generate enough income to pay for construction costs, as well as operations and maintenance.


Color me unimpressed. Maglev technology for *50MPH*???
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Re: MAGLEV from MCO to Orlando Sunrail

Postby NE2 » Thu Dec 20, 2012 1:42 pm

That fare pretty much limits regular ridership to business travelers whose companies are paying (which, admittedly is probably a fair number of convention center visitors). But it'll be badly overpriced for a connection between the airport and SunRail.
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Re: MAGLEV from MCO to Orlando Sunrail

Postby Mr.T » Thu Dec 20, 2012 2:50 pm

This proposal reminds me a lot of the Las Vegas Monorail. The Monorail was also built with no public money, but it went bankrupt a few years ago. It had lower than expected ridership (likely due to high fares) and revenue was not enough to service the debt. I think it's construction went way overbudget too, but I'm not sure about that. They also had problems during testing that delayed the opening, not surprising when one uses a new, unproven design. The Monorail was to be built in 3 phases, but the low ridership of the first phase prevented the remaining phases (including one to the airport) from being built. I realize that Maglev and Monorail are two different things, and at least this has the airport connection in the first phase, but I think they're about to make a lot of the same mistakes that were made in Vegas.
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Re: MAGLEV from MCO to Orlando Sunrail

Postby djlong » Fri Dec 21, 2012 8:22 am

I know it's off topic, but that monorail "unproven technology" had been running in Disney parks for years. In fact, the specific model of train that runs in Las Vegas, the Mark VI, was built by Bombardier for Disney put in service in 1989. The Las Vegas Monorail company deliberately chose that model (with a new-look front-end, part of the deal when Disney sold the design to Bombardier - they didn't want them producing an identical-looking train) and service started in 2004. Even the free "start segment" that only went between two hotels used surplus Mark IV trains.
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Re: MAGLEV from MCO to Orlando Sunrail

Postby electricron » Fri Dec 21, 2012 1:04 pm

Mr.T wrote:This proposal reminds me a lot of the Las Vegas Monorail. The Monorail was also built with no public money, but it went bankrupt a few years ago. It had lower than expected ridership (likely due to high fares) and revenue was not enough to service the debt. I think it's construction went way overbudget too, but I'm not sure about that. They also had problems during testing that delayed the opening, not surprising when one uses a new, unproven design. The Monorail was to be built in 3 phases, but the low ridership of the first phase prevented the remaining phases (including one to the airport) from being built. I realize that Maglev and Monorail are two different things, and at least this has the airport connection in the first phase, but I think they're about to make a lot of the same mistakes that were made in Vegas.


The reason the Las Vegas Monorail used bankruptcy was to rid itself of it's high debt, the high debt required to build it. It's basically breaking even, if not making a small profit, operationally. Some investment banks lost their shirts on it.
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