• Brightline Orlando Launch Discussion

  • This is a forum for all operations, both current and planned, of Brightline, formerly All Aboard Florida and Virgin Trains USA:
    Websites: Current Brightline
    Virgin USA
    Virgin UK
This is a forum for all operations, both current and planned, of Brightline, formerly All Aboard Florida and Virgin Trains USA:
Websites: Current Brightline
Virgin USA
Virgin UK

Moderator: CRail

  by Gilbert B Norman
 
Aboard Brightline #702 (just barely)--

Was it ever a photo finish. Traffic on Glades Road the worst I've seen in all the years I've been coming down here.

Nevertheless. the Attendant told me the train number; the set is Bright Pink, and it's windows are not obstructed with shrink wrap.

The Premium car is about 2/3 rds full. Now approaching West Palm.

Finally Bright Orange is in the WP station and is not shrink wrapped.

addendun: 16 Premium passengers going to McCoy.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
The divergence from the FEC to Brightline at Cocoa was totally seamless.

No "head scratching"; no "we're awaiting clearance from the Dispatcher".
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
Gilbert B Norman wrote: Thu Feb 22, 2024 10:46 am The divergence from the FEC to Brightline at Cocoa was totally seamless.

No "head scratching"; no "we're awaiting clearance from the Dispatcher".
addendum: 128mph on the new track to MCO.

Passing 'em on the Beeline like they're standing still.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
Now on a city bus taking a joyride into downtown Orlando. Bus is shrink wrapped advertising some injury lawyer.

Looking out? Sorry bout that.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
Aboard BL 729 (shrink wrapped Bright Orange plugging The Palm Beaches) Seat 5A forward riding--

24 PAX in Premium. Maybe I'll get in the mood to count in Coach.

But for right now, it's a Pinot Grigio and watching cars on the Bee Line Expy.(SR528) getting taken out.

At Cocoa, two SB FEC freight waiting for BL 729 to go ahead. Would it be nice if Class.I Train.Dispatchers afforded same courtesy to Amtral.

Did a walk thru: 99 in Coach.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
Delayed 30M at the St. Lucie bridge. Arrived WP 32ML.

I guess the Martin County Navy was "on manuvers".

But I'm at my favorite Italian restaurant, Il Felice, in WP and next train that makes Boca is 9P
  by Matt Johnson
 
Glad to see that you got to ride the entire route. What Brightline has accomplished is impressive, and I hope that the ridership continues to grow. My trips ran on-time but we did have to stop and wait for an inbound train shortly after departing MCO. The new right of way, including overpass structures, was built to accommodate eventual double tracking and I wonder where that falls on the priority list vs westward expansion toward Tampa. From my observations, coach/smart class looked at least 2/3 full but premium was pretty empty leaving Orlando. However, when I took the train from West Palm down to Miami the next day the trains were pretty full and some even sold out. The 4 car sets have a capacity of about 260 I'm guessing (without bothering to look it up) and I believe that the plan is to expand them to at least 6 cars, maybe 7 including a cafe car? Not sure if Siemens is building any additional Brightline rolling stock at this point.

Oh, and one more observation: I have relatives in the Melbourne and Cocoa areas who would love to have a stop nearby but alas, the train rolls through the entirety of Brevard County with not a single station. That to me is crazy! I have to think they'll end up serving the Space Coast eventually.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
From Hilton Suites Boca Raton--

Unfortunately. things got worse with the 9P WPB to BOC. (never could find out its # so it's just Bright Pink wrapped to plug the Bahamas).

82 ML leaving WP and arriving Boca
It was 1130P when I got back here.

The Saint Lucie bridge delayed the NB train and added to that delay South.

You would think the FEC, with its timetabled freight, would be in the corner with Brightline, but who knows if the private sector could fund a fixed bridge. All it needs is 50ft MHW clearance, as that is what US 1 appears to be.

Getting to Downtown Orlando was real sport riding with the Peasants on the city bus to the Sun Rail/Lynx station. Only a buck each way for Seniors. I mainly had four hours to kill and. I wanted to see if any structure was there today that was during '56 when I was first there (think I noted the one time Greyhound station).
  by RandallW
 
The FEC goes under the US 1 bridge on both sides of the river, so rebuilding that rail line to be the height of the US bridge would either involve building over US 1 (twice), or rebuilding US 1 to be higher first, and then building a lllloooonnnngggg embankment through Stuart or accepting that the low hp/ton ratio FEC currently enjoys can't be sustained. Either way it will be very expensive and likely fought hard by locals.
  by west point
 
Why not a Brightline only fixed bridge that would have a significant slope? FEC trains continue to use the old bridge. This much like the fixed Tri Rail bridge at FLL over the New River. CSX uses the old draw bridge although once on Tri Rail we used the draw bridge.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
Well, Brightline sent me two vouchers one for $10 and the other $24. This was for the late trains noted.

But they expire during May - and I'm going down until next year.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
"Thinking it over", I hope the extension to McCOy works out. Maybe it's too early to be concerned, but I do have some after my Thursday Feb 22 joyride.

While I never got to make a head count on the 840A Boca departure (can't you simply share your train numbers with the public, Brightline?), I did on the 4P departure from MCO - 99 passengers.

That loading is indicative of I know not what, but it seemed "light" to me. Apparently, the additional stops at both Aventura and Boca "pull well". Can't speak for Aventura, but I concur regarding Boca. Towards that end, I think Brightline should establish Treasure Coast stops such as Hobe Sound in Martin (CR 707 & Dixie Hwy looks good to me), Stuart in St. Lucie, Vero Beach in Indian River, and wherever in Brevard. One thing all have in common is "smell the money", which means people flying in and out. This could get Brightline in the game for handling passengers to these moneyed localities from MCO. True, the schedule will need be lengthened, but these are fare paying bodies being handled by "limos" or family.

I'm not sure to what extent the Brightline station located in the Satellite Terminal C with its collection of "what's THAT airline" neighbors hurts business. All the ground transportation options appear to use the original Terminals A&B. That's a "hike", albeit well marked and a people mover ride away. Now to what extent will people "do the theme parks" without an auto, I know not. All I know is that for me and the three hours between trains, I rode "peasant" (only a buck for Seniors; two otherwise) down to the Lynx/Sun Rail station where I saw #91(21) going by. Also wanted to see if I recognized any structures from when I was in Orlando during '56. I did; one-time Greyhound Bus and the Grand Bohemian Hotel, but not much more.

Finally staffing. I can't believe the number of people they have - including security and platform guards to message "don't even THINK about railfanning here (I'm not "hard core"; just wanted a photo of the engine)". How long will it be until the station concessions fold up, as they didn't seem all that busy?

So I wish Brightline well; it's here to stay, but the open question is for how long in the private sector? All told, this joyride cost me $376, but from what I understand, one could easily go through that, per head, in a day - considering all the "extras" they reportedly now have - at a theme park.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
An additional thought should Brightline choose to establish stops along the Treasure Coast.

Why not do as Lufthansa apparently does.in Germany and make the train into the plane?

Such would involve code sharing with whatever airline they partner with and offer, say, a Newark to Vero Beach ticket and an inclusive rate? This is much the same as Lufthansa offering a JFK-Koblenz rate, which.is actually fly into FRA (EDDF) thence DB to Koblenz (Coblence after Versailles and during the Weimar Republic).

I believe Amtrak has had similar partnerships with several airlines, but the transfer hardly as seamless as would an airline-Brightline at MCO be.
  by west point
 
Gilbert B Norman wrote: Thu Mar 07, 2024 10:37 am
Why not do as Lufthansa apparently does.in Germany and make the train into the plane?

Such would involve code sharing with whatever airline they partner with and offer,
Probably not a good idea. If Brightline involved with any carrier outside Florida including international then the STB can get involved. That may be why no interlining yet with Amtrak? Even though Brightline west i between 2 states the actual company Brightline West appears to be financially and corporate structurally isolated from Brightline Florida.
That is sort of like CN and CPKC are two different RR companies in the USA.
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