Virgin Rail née Brightline/AAF Orlando - Miami FL FEC

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Jeff Smith
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Re: Brightline fka All Aboard Florida Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Post by Jeff Smith »

Sour grapes: TCPalm.com

Some good points, but is their coverage ever one-sided!
Brightline trains 'all over the country'? Say what?!
...
Whoa, big fella.

Let's first see if the Miami-to-Orlando project gets completed.

Toward this objective, it is critical for Brightline — originally branded All Aboard Florida — to sell $1.15 billion of tax-exempt bonds for Phase 2 (West Palm Beach to Orlando). And it must do so prior to the expiration of a rapidly approaching deadline: May 31.
...
Brightline was unable to sell the bonds.

In fall 2016, the company gained federal approval to offer separate allocations: $600 million for Phase 1 (Miami to West Palm Beach) and $1.15 billion for Phase 2.

Brightline successfully completed the sale of $600 million in bonds for Phase 1, according to a letter from Brightline general counsel Myles Tobin to U.S. Rep. Mark Meadows, R-North Carolina, chairman of the House Subcommittee on Government Operations.
...
The clock is ticking to sell the bonds. It remains to be seen whether Brightline can complete the current project, which was supposed to be up and running by 2016. Now, Brightline officials say trains won't be running through our region to Orlando before January 2021.

If ever.
...
Next stop, Willoughby
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Bonevalleyrailfan
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Re: Brightline fka All Aboard Florida Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Post by Bonevalleyrailfan »

Mr. Norman, feel free to quote my post over on 'another forum' as I am happy to have the information get out there in the public realm. The information was from the GOAA (Orlando Airport authority) monthly board meeting held two days ago. They so nicely provide a page to download meeting agendas and presentations that can come in very handy. I am uploading screenshots from the presentation document (pdf version of a powerpoint) with this post.
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Bonevalleyrailfan
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Re: Brightline fka All Aboard Florida Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Post by Bonevalleyrailfan »

Some more screenshots from the GOAA presentation. So as you can see, phase 2 work is almost here. Early prep work starts in July and track or roadbed work in October or maybe sooner. I assume the $200M already spent on phase 2 is mostly for the 5 new trainsets needed for Orlando service.
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Gilbert B Norman
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Re: Brightline fka All Aboard Florida Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Post by Gilbert B Norman »

Jeff Smith wrote:Sour grapes:

Some good points, but is their coverage ever one-sided!

Whoa, big fella.
I believe it imperative that we clearly identify Opinion as such. This Gannett news source is based on the Florida Treasure Coast, i.e. Martin, St Lucie, Indian River, and Brevard Counties, which will have the trains "tearing" through their communities, yet none are planned to stop.

So far as those communities are concerned: "Public Nuisance without public benefit". Hard as it may be to see such around here, I hold they have a point

Now so far as financing Phase II, we should look to Cox Palm Beach Post as a source. Now I admit I'm a "news snob", and something is not news until I have read it in the pages of The New York Times and/or the Wall Street Journal. But I think the Post has a heads up Business reporter named Jennifer Sorentrue. By email, she has shared with me that her editors will give her "leash" to pursue AAF financing stories. I await her reporting (unless some "Top 25" poaches her).

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

Post by NHV 669 »

Trains "tearing" through their communities that not only don't stop, but will pass through before most residents can blink an eye. We've all noted the pedestrian deaths that have occured, but save that one "fool" of a politician, everyone knows that a train isn't going to stop for idiot(s) trespassing on the rails. I understand the concern, but fail to note how lapses in common sense constitute a "public nuisance" unless one has deep enough pockets to keep any lawyer on retainer.
Casey
Avatar: NHVT 669 sits at the south end of the "Pompy" line in White River Jct., VT on 4/29/1993. Photo by Richard Roberg.

Is there a sight worse than a rabid foamer sprinting towards your clean angle with a tripod, so he can set up two feet from the rails?

Gilbert B Norman
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Re: Brightline fka All Aboard Florida Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Post by Gilbert B Norman »

Mr. NHV, I wholly agree with you; but let us note that there are headline grubbing "libby" lawyers out there, such as that woman lawyer who seems to be at the side of every "Metoo" victim out there.

Finally, one encouraging development reported in the June TRAINS AAF article. I note that Delray Beach has fenced at city expense, the ROW along its entertainment district (the incident occurring there was well South of Atlantic Avenue - the x-roads of such district. Other municipalities having "gin joints with a view" ought to follow suit.

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

Post by Noel Weaver »

Here is a link to an article in today's paper.

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/transp ... story.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Unfortunately I was not able to participate, I am still having problems with side effects of 8 weeks of treatments for "C". The weather was bad and all of the trains were sold out. I will try to do it this coming weeks when things are a bit quieter. I think I read they estimated passenger counts today around 8000, not bad for a start up.
Noel Weaver

Gilbert B Norman
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Re: Brightline fka All Aboard Florida Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Post by Gilbert B Norman »

Next stop, Orlando:

https://www.mypalmbeachpost.com/news/lo ... 6yJaD9WwK/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Fair Use:
..Brightline trains transported riders from West Palm Beach to Miami on Saturday, marking the first time in 50 years that the Florida East Coast Railway has been used to bring passengers to the Magic City.
The historic trip, capped off by a celebratory grand opening of the MiamiCentral station, signaled a milestone achievement for the Florida company, which has endured a turbulent first four months of operations.
If you give it away, they will come.

Mr. Weaver, many here hold you in thought and prayer.

Gilbert B Norman
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Re: Brightline fka All Aboard Florida Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Post by Gilbert B Norman »

"There could be something" to the contention that AAF, even if it in itself is not profitable, is to be a "feed" for enhanced development by FECI:

Miami Herald

Fair Use:
Call it one of the most expensive secrets in County Hall: The company behind Brightline has submitted a detailed proposal to build Miami-Dade a new civil courthouse next to the existing one on Miami’s Flagler Street. But the company demanded that the mayor not share key details — including the potential cost to the public.

“This confidentiality request severely limits the Administration’s ability to transparently inform the Board of the impact of pursuing the unsolicited proposal,” Mayor Carlos Gimenez wrote in an April 4 memo urging commissioners to reject the plan to replace the 1928 courthouse with one built next door.

“Critical information pertaining to the financial impact of this unsolicited proposal cannot be communicated in this report for the benefit of the Board or Miami-Dade County taxpayers,” Gimenez said.
Now what I believe will be of great interest to the real estate community will be to what extent AAF can influence redevelopment within Overtown. To be polite and politically correct, let's just say Overtown is a "no man's land", which starts immediately West of Miami Central.

AAF made, I think, bold start when they chose to locate their HQ to the West of Miami Central. The potential is certainly there, but the minority residents will be quick to howl "gentrification" (interesting scripted series now being aired on Starz is "Vida", which is set behind that issue in East LA), but let's note that FECI, Japanese ownership notwithstanding, seems to get their way up in Tallahassee.

Finally, while I "knew about Overtown", I was checking out the construction during '17. While I had no intention of venturing West of Miami Central, this tow truck operator standing under the overpass into MCS "strongly suggested" I stay out of there. "Half the stabbings, robberies, and killings in there are never investigated", said he.

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

Post by Jeff Smith »

Gilbert B Norman wrote:SNIP:

Mr. Weaver, many here hold you in thought and prayer.
(One post that I will not object to nesting). Mr. Weaver, I concur. As a fellow survivor, I hope your recovery goes well.
Next stop, Willoughby
~el Jefe ("Jeff Smith Rules") :: RAILROAD.NET Site Administrator/Co-Owner

Jeff Smith
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Re: Brightline fka All Aboard Florida Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Post by Jeff Smith »

Gilbert B Norman wrote:Now what I believe will be of great interest to the real estate community will be to what extent AAF can influence redevelopment within Overtown. To be polite and politically correct, let's just say Overtown is a "no man's land", which starts immediately West of Miami Central.

AAF made, I think, bold start when they chose to locate their HQ to the West of Miami Central. The potential is certainly there, but the minority residents will be quick to howl "gentrification" (interesting scripted series now being aired on Starz is "Vida", which is set behind that issue in East LA), but let's note that FECI, Japanese ownership notwithstanding, seems to get their way up in Tallahassee.

Finally, while I "knew about Overtown", I was checking out the construction during '17. While I had no intention of venturing West of Miami Central, this tow truck operator standing under the overpass into MCS "strongly suggested" I stay out of there. "Half the stabbings, robberies, and killings in there are never investigated", said he.
Reminds me of the "Bonfire of the Vanities", written by the recently departed Tom Wolfe.
Next stop, Willoughby
~el Jefe ("Jeff Smith Rules") :: RAILROAD.NET Site Administrator/Co-Owner

Noel Weaver
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Re: Brightline fka All Aboard Florida Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Post by Noel Weaver »

Jeff Smith wrote:
Gilbert B Norman wrote:SNIP:

Mr. Weaver, many here hold you in thought and prayer.
(One post that I will not object to nesting). Mr. Weaver, I concur. As a fellow survivor, I hope your recovery goes well.
JS and GBN thanks very much for you kind remarks, I appreciate them very much.
Noel Weaver

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

Post by CentralValleyRail »

I rode BL from Miami to West Palm Beach and then flew to Newark with my GF on Sunday, the Miami Station is BEAUTIFUL! State of the art, can't wait till the central market opens up it'll be the modern Grand Central Station of the south.

Rode in Select, checked my luggage since I was using the BL service to test out how easy it would be to fly out of West Palm Beach the short answer, easier than getting to MIA.

Took a Lyft from the Mandarin Oriental in Brickell to the station, (a few roads by the station closed but our Lyft driver knew how to get around the closures), with the Brightline Lyft promo it was a whopping $2.59.

Walked into the station with our bags, greeted at the check in counter, bags checked (for FREE) 2 bags go free in select) received our boarding passes ($4.50 per person with the opening weekend promotion) got two coupons for free (alc) drinks to be redeemed in station. proceeded to walk up stairs, checked out the select lounge, got a drink and then headed up to the platform. Got right on the train and it left moments later. Advertised running time was 1 Hour and 20 minutes we did it in 1 hour and 10 minutes (with a 4 minute stop in FLL). Arrived at PBI went downstairs out bags were waiting for us (however we left them there to go get a bite to eat at Cheesecake Factory) came back an hour later picked up the bags and simultaneously picked up an Uber to PBI. The uber took a whopping 7 minutes to be curbside at the check in at PBI airport. All in all a success. Next time we do it, it will be more expensive $25 for select, $15 for coach but it's well worth it. The service is 10x better than the Acela. If only it traveled as fast.

Noel Weaver
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Re: Brightline fka All Aboard Florida Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Post by Noel Weaver »

I rode from Fort Lauderdale to Miami and back today (Wednesday, May 23rd) and it was a great trip. The speeds are generally not as high as they are north of Fort Lauderdale to West Palm but it was a smooth and fast ride in any event. Rode Smart southbound and Select northbound and there was a decent number of folks riding this midday trip. The new station in Miami is huge and beautiful. The Brightline portion appears to be finished but they are still working on other parts of this facility. There will be a food courts, lots of stores and restaurants and most like the station will be a destination in itself. Apparently a drag for the Port of Miami followed us downtown as he went by shortly after we got there with a long drag or IM for the port. It was a great day.
Noel Weaver

electricron
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Re: Brightline fka All Aboard Florida Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Post by electricron »

Really happy you enjoyed the ride! Of course the ride was slower.
Just as a reminder, Brightline stated the maximum speeds would be:
60 mph MIA to FTL
79 mph FTL to WPB
110 mph WPB to Coco
125 mph Coco to ORL

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