• 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 west point
Here is an operations question still to be answered. Brightline has just 6 round trips at first but when selecting October it goes to 8. Is Brightline still short of qualified operating crews? Including various needs including vacations would expect that 1-1/2 to 2 operating crews per round trip is needed. Maybe not all the ~ 60 mechanical personnel being transferred from Palm Beach to Orlando is complete?

What will be interesting if some trains have more than the standard 4 cars on these trips in this month? There may be a shortage of OBS personnel as well? Anyone know if OBS persons are also used in stations?

I find the ~ 0430 departure from Orlando very interesting. Also the late MIA departure as well. This in October.
  by JohnFromJersey
Maybe they don't have enough crews, or maybe they are going to give the service a bit of time to "teeth" before they start adding more and more trains.

As for the super early and late departure times, I'd imagine those times are catering to tourists, especially international ones, where their flights arrive and depart at times we would consider bizarre. One of my friends flew back from Italy earlier this year, and the flight arrived at Newark at 1am on a Tuesday - and the pickup areas were PACKED.
  by markhb
RandallW wrote: Wed Sep 13, 2023 4:31 pm That video shows the first train accelerating to speed during testing and was taken by Roaming Railfan during the test events. I don't think his drone could keep up with it.
This is key. As accommodating as Brightline and FEC have been to Roaming Railfan during the construction process, this isn't an official marketing video.
Best of luck to Brightline on this expansion! Hopefully, on to Tampa and Vegas!
  by JohnFromJersey
Today's the day!
  by Gilbert B Norman
https://www.wesh.com/article/brightline ... o/45227586

First step; will there be public acceptance?

Second: Will there be sufficient public acceptance to constitute a "going concern"?

Third: If Second is negative, will some public agency "step up and bail out" the bondholders?

Time will tell.

But today, enjoy the euphoria. tomorrow, start thinking about points Two and Three.
  by Gilbert B Norman
The Times has given good national coverage to the event:

Fair Use:
The fastest train in the country outside of the Northeast began service between Miami and Orlando on Friday, connecting two major cities in car-loving Florida and testing whether private passenger rail can thrive in the United States.

Brightline will make the trip in three and a half hours, about 30 minutes faster than the average car ride, reaching speeds of 125 miles per hour. Tickets from Miami to Orlando start at $158 round trip for business class and $298 for first class, with discounts for families and larger groups.

Brightline became the nation’s first private passenger rail to launch in a century when it started its service between Miami and West Palm Beach, where the company’s trains do not reach such high speeds, in 2018.

If Brightline proves profitable in Florida, it could represent a turning point for American passenger rail. The last private intercity passenger train — the Rio Grande Zephyr, which connected Denver and Salt Lake City — shut down four decades ago. Since then, domestic rail travel has mainly been limited to Amtrak, the publicly funded but privately operated corporation, and a smattering of regional commuter and transit lines.
Once again, when I took a ride from Miami during January, guess what was playing on the audio in the station.
Last edited by Gilbert B Norman on Fri Sep 22, 2023 7:06 pm, edited 2 times in total.
  by Erie-Lackawanna
I rode the first northbound available to the unwashed masses (the actual first northbound was for press and invited guests). I was pleasantly surprised by the number of riders who apparently were there because they needed to get somewhere, not just for an inaugural day joyride, like me. The train was sold out. Yes, there were a lot of us joyriders, but many more seemed to be riding for a productive purpose. Lots of suitcases, some families with small children (and some with small pets), a lot of disinterested faces, and few taking photos on board and on the platforms.. The same was true of the 14:54 southbound departure, which, while not sold out, was pleasantly well-occupied and again, with lots of people who seemed to be riding because they needed to get somewhere.

Hopefully this bodes well for the service.

  by Gilbert B Norman
I have two Florida trips set during '24. First is Miami during January - and all of two nights (fly).

The second, however, is in February with six nights in Boca (ten night road trip). That is likely from where I'll take a joyride to McCoy and return.

McCoy, once McCoy AFB, now Orlando International. Hence the IATA code MCO (ICAO KMCO), from which a latter day traveler or two have certainly wondered "where did that come from?".
  by Gilbert B Norman
Points Guy was given a "comp" seat, but so he says, Brightline did not interfere with the posting of his thoughts.

"We report, you decide".

Of course, we must be mindful that this site lives on airline and hotel "freebies". You don't keep them coming by being critical.
  by Gilbert B Norman
Today's Times print edition gave the Brightline article posted above "pretty good" exposure.

It appears as the lead article in the National section with four photographs, and no "continued on...."

The Journal remains "a church mouse".
  by Jeff Smith
Gilbert B Norman wrote: Mon Sep 25, 2023 5:34 am The Journal remains "a church mouse".
That’s surprising given it’s a private, for-profit venture doing this. Of course there remains the argument of whether this operation will turn a profit (I know you’re skeptical), or if it was a real estate venture all along.
  by JohnFromJersey
Real estate is how the private railroads of yesteryear also survived. Many railroads owned the land around their stations, which in turn gave them an extra revenue source.

If Brightline was truly just a real estate scheme, they wouldn't be putting this much effort into providing stellar service.
  by TurningOfTheWheel
The business model is based on the fact that their service is going to make the land around their stations much, much more valuable, which is the same principle behind "value capture" mechanisms for funding public transit. Whether or not the service itself generates a profit is less important than the positive externalities it generates.
  by west point
Wonder if the number of baggage and checked bags was a surprise to Brightline?
  by Gilbert B Norman
Mr. Wheel, I do note your immediate point and am in agreement with such.

Brightline wisely located their stations in "high value" areas of the four that exist (unlike some "latter day" stations both the railroads and Amtrak have built). I note the construction around both West Palm and Boca. Miami is already there. Who knows to what extent SoftBank/FECI interests are involved.

Now Orlando is a horse of a different color; the FAA does "not exactly" appreciate high rises around an airport's perimeter.
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