eolesen wrote: ↑Tue Jan 17, 2023 9:37 pm
I also disagree with Prof. Norman that this will become a ward of the State. FEC seems in it for the long haul.
Yes, Mr. Olesen, FEC is in it for the long haul.
However, they are not the Brightline operator; they make tracks available over which Brightline trains are operated by FEC Rules Qualified employees. FEC receives remuneration for the use of their tracks; the basis of the remuneration is covered by a bilateral agreement and not subject to any kind of public disclosure. I would also think likely that where Brightline "ostensibly private" funding has re-laid the double track that King Henry always touted, and an FEC train operates over such, some kind of credit is afforded Brightline.
I'm astounded that the project ever got off the ground; I thought it was simply a ploy to sell the FEC to the party that was "most in interest" which was the State. The State invested much $$$ in several maritime ports, and one of which was Miami. Both shippers and maritime operators like having two railroads serving them. Miami has only one; but it would be in the interest that Jacksonville was an open gateway through which CSX and NS could make rates. Quite evidently, I was mistaken when the FEC was sold to Mexican interests.
But Brightline has never "made numbers" operating as a Disneyland joyride. Possibly this will change; the additional stops at Aventura and Boca are reported to be doing well and maybe all that is needed to turn the venture around is to serve McCoy. It seems like there are many a barrier to serve the Orlando theme parks (I have an unused one day ticket from '83 to Disneyland sitting around; apparently it never expires. Maybe I just might test it on my Feb Florida road trip) and if you serve Disneyland, it would not be practical to also serve Universal - and somehow, I don't think either overlord - Disney or Comcast - would be all too happy about that!
So at this time, I think Brightline will stay, but not in the private sector. Come this Sunday, when I plan a joyride, we shall see if my thoughts have reason to change.