Virgin/Brightline Expansion - Jacksonville

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chaz
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Re: Brightline to Jacksonville

Post by chaz » Tue Sep 06, 2016 10:51 am

An obvious part of the Brightline business plan is to take advantage of the FEC right of way, to connect the business centers along the east coast, with comfortable, upscale, high speed, passenger service. Jacksonville easily qualifies. I don't know if St Augustine and Daytona Beach would qualify for stops. I imagine that 95 south of Jacksonville can get very busy, but I observe that a 6-lane, toll road next to 95...does not exist...is it does in the South. I'm sure there are lots of good reasons for stops in St Augustine and Daytona Beach. I'm just saying, they are not in the same business class as Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach.

P. Michael Rieninger, President of Brightline, commented that Brightline could adapt their business plan to operate on foreign tracks...specifically to Tampa...but not right away.
Chaz
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electricron
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Re: Brightline to Jacksonville

Post by electricron » Tue Sep 06, 2016 1:38 pm

Relative population of Florida metros:
Miami - Dade County = 2,496,436
Fort Lauderdale - Broward County = 1,898,425
West Palm Beach - Palm Beach County = 1,320,134
Orlando - Orange County = 1,145,956
Jacksonville - Duval County = 864,263
Daytona Beach - Volusia County = 494,593
St. Augustine - St. John's County = 190,039

And looking west of Orlando...........
Tampa - Hillsborough County = 1,229,226
St. Petersburg - Pinellas County = 916,542

If Brightline doesn't wish to lay tracks west to Tampa Bay's 2 million souls, I don't see them new laying tracks to Jacksonville. But they already have tracks in a corridor they own, so Jacksonville is a good possibility for future growth. But I don't believe 200,000 souls warrant train stations for this express train service, and 500,000 may not be enough. ;)

Bonevalleyrailfan
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Re: Brightline to Jacksonville

Post by Bonevalleyrailfan » Sat Sep 10, 2016 1:47 pm

Also don't forget Polk County in between Orlando and Tampa had around 1,000,000 residents mostly near I4.

The FDOT 2006 Passenger Rail Vision Plan has interesting total trip numbers between the regions of Florida. On page 3 you can see how much greater the number of trips made between Tampa Bay and Orlando/S Florida are compared to Jacksonville to Orlando/S Florida. 20.5M versus 6.5M trips.

This is why I have always thought Tampa will be the next place AAF expandstation to. Here is a link to the plan:

http://www.dot.state.fl.us/rail/Publica ... BB3n2359aQ" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Noel Weaver
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Re: Brightline to Jacksonville

Post by Noel Weaver » Sun Sep 11, 2016 12:28 pm

At this point the main objective of Brightline is Miami - Orlando. Jacksonville will probably follow. As far as Tampa and area is concerned, Florida East Coast does NOT own anything on the other coast and Tampa is very, very unlikely at least for a long time. I won't say never but most of us will not live to see anything in Tampa. Part of the picture with the coming service out of Miami/Fort Lauderdale and West Palm is REAL ESTATE of which the FEC owns a huge chunk. They are paying taxes on their huge chunk of property and to put it to some very productive use makes a huge amount of sense. They might not turn much profit on the passenger trains but they stand to turn a huge profit on the very valuable property that they own along their railroad. Other railroad lines exist between Tampa and the rest of Florida and maybe sometime in the future our "do nothing" state government will get their behinds in motion and decide that rail passenger service after all is a very good alternative to jammed highways and expensive airport expansion. Tampa might happen way down the road but for the time being we will have to be satisfied with the existing Amtrak service which covers a fair share of the state even if not very frequently.
Noel Weaver

Gilbert B Norman
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Re: Brightline to Jacksonville

Post by Gilbert B Norman » Sun Sep 11, 2016 1:38 pm

A very interesting analogy, Mr. Weaver.

Henry built the FEC to bring vacationers to undeveloped Florida, and to the resorts he developed. Now his latter day descendants (not necessarily Saints), will take the same playbook and deliver business people to the developments that they have in play about the train stations. If you are from out of town, just fly into McCoy (MCO), and AAF will take you right to the basement of, or at worst, X the street. No transfers from PBI, FLL, or MIA.

Maybe, I will be eating that hat after all; that X'd my mind after I walked by the bakery area a few days ago of this "quite upscale" food emporium a mile from my house - and where my Little Red Lex, "is allowed", but must accept to be surrounded by Bimmers, Bennies, Mas'es, and Rovers.

lpetrich
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Re: Brightline Expansion: Jacksonville, Tampa, etc.

Post by lpetrich » Wed Jan 24, 2018 11:49 am

I've found Brightline - Wikipedia

I've calculated distances using Google Maps: Miami - West Palm Beach: 72 mi, Miami - Orlando: 240 mi, Orlando - Jacksonville: 140 mi, Orlando - Tampa: 84 mi.

So the FEC's lack of Orlando - Tampa trackage will make Jacksonville more likely than Tampa, despite being farther away from Orlando.

I thought of an extension to Florida's capital, Tallahassee, but that city is too small and it is too far from the state's most populous cities. Tallahassee's metro-area population: 0.38 m. Jacksonville: 1.6 m, Orlando: 2.4 m, Miami: 5.6 m. Tallahassee's distance from Jax: 170 mi, Orlando: 240 mi, Miami: 470 mi.

I've thought of another possibility. With all the urban-rail and regional-rail and intercity-passenger lines extended to airports, it might be possible to extend the Brightline system to a spaceport: the Kennedy Space Center on Cape Canaveral. Or at least to nearby Titusville. But space travel is still far from being as routine as air travel is, let alone rail travel. So I suspect that it would essentially be a tourist shuttle.

scratchy
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Re: Brightline Expansion: Jacksonville, Tampa, etc.

Post by scratchy » Wed Jan 24, 2018 12:57 pm

yeah, a bit too soon to be riding Galaxy Express 999.

lpetrich
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Re: Brightline Expansion: Jacksonville, Tampa, etc.

Post by lpetrich » Wed Jan 24, 2018 10:51 pm

I think that the Kennedy Space Center is the world's most accessible spaceport (List of rocket launch sites - Wikipedia). Most others are in much more out-of-the-way locations. It's like airports but much worse.

The closest town to the KSC is Titusville, with population 44 thousand. It's also on the coast between Miami and Jacksonville, while Orlando is inland. Distances: Titusville: 13 mi, Orlando: 46 mi, Jacksonville: 150 mi, Miami: 220 mi (20 km, 74 km, 240 km, 350 km).

Orlando's SunRail commuter-rail system currently runs between Sand Lake Road and DeBary, a distance of about 32 mi. It is being extended southward to Poinciana (Southern Expansion), will make it extend 61 mi. Adding a planned station to the north, DeLong, gives about 71 mi. This means that the line will extend about 30 - 35 mi north and south from Orlando. Titusville is 40 mi east of Orlando, and I don't know what rail lines might be available for that.

So SunRail is also a possibility for the KSC.

Bonevalleyrailfan
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Re: Brightline Expansion: Jacksonville, Tampa, etc.

Post by Bonevalleyrailfan » Tue May 08, 2018 6:37 pm

lpetrich wrote:I've found Brightline - Wikipedia

I've calculated distances using Google Maps: Miami - West Palm Beach: 72 mi, Miami - Orlando: 240 mi, Orlando - Jacksonville: 140 mi, Orlando - Tampa: 84 mi.

So the FEC's lack of Orlando - Tampa trackage will make Jacksonville more likely than Tampa, despite being farther away from Orlando.

I thought of an extension to Florida's capital, Tallahassee, but that city is too small and it is too far from the state's most populous cities. Tallahassee's metro-area population: 0.38 m. Jacksonville: 1.6 m, Orlando: 2.4 m, Miami: 5.6 m. Tallahassee's distance from Jax: 170 mi, Orlando: 240 mi, Miami: 470 mi.

I've thought of another possibility. With all the urban-rail and regional-rail and intercity-passenger lines extended to airports, it might be possible to extend the Brightline system to a spaceport: the Kennedy Space Center on Cape Canaveral. Or at least to nearby Titusville. But space travel is still far from being as routine as air travel is, let alone rail travel. So I suspect that it would essentially be a tourist shuttle.
Interesting numbers quoted to make a point for expanding to Jacksonville first before Tampa.

My Internet search came up 190 miles from MCO to Cocoa to Jacksonvile. Over double the distance from MCO to Tampa.

Also, the population of the Tampa Bay metro area is estimated to be at 3.1 million by end of 2018 versus 1.6 million for Jacksonville metro.

http://www.tampabay.com/news/business/T ... _165732637

There is no way that AAF will build to Jacksonville before Tampa. There is also over $4 Billion of real estate under development taking place just in downtown Tampa alone.

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Re: Brightline Expansion: Jacksonville, Tampa, etc.

Post by Jeff Smith » Wed May 09, 2018 10:32 am

I think JAX-Miami would be a huge success, running close to the Atlantic, on existing FEC track, along the lines of the previously contemplated Amtrak service over the FEC. What's missing is the I-4 corridor/connection, as the MIA-MCO connection is farther south. But a straight FEC only shot along the east coast is a definite possibility.
Next stop, Willoughby
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Bonevalleyrailfan
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Re: Brightline Expansion: Jacksonville, Tampa, etc.

Post by Bonevalleyrailfan » Thu May 10, 2018 3:33 pm

Jacksonville will probably eventually happen. But because AAF is more of a real estate development company that happens to operate a passenger rail service, my thought is that they will expand to cities that offer the most potential for RE development. Orlando happened because the airport was willing to build the station and associated infrastructure to integrate it into the airport. Plus, you have to go to Orlando if you want to have successful service in Florida!

Tampa will happen first because of the much greater potential for RE development near the station. Downtown Tampa is second to Miami in Florida for planned and current development. And RE is the main reason that Fortress/FECI created AAF. They didn't want just to run trains as that does not justify the investment needed. It is all about ROI, not just the initial cost to build.

Another reason for Tampa being built first is that the overall numbers of trips made between Tampa and Orlando, and from Tampa to South Florida is significantly more than between those two areas and Jacksonville. See the 2006/2010 Florida Rail Vision Plan by FDOT for the complete data.

Gilbert B Norman
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Re: Brightline Expansion: Jacksonville, Tampa, etc.

Post by Gilbert B Norman » Thu May 10, 2018 9:49 pm

Mr. Bone Valley, I do not dispute a word of what you immediately say. AAF is a "tool" to enhance the rental value of real estate properties FECI/Softbank has, or intend to acquire, along their service route.

As a result, we likely will never know if AAF is a profitable "stand alone" venture.

Over at the original AAF topic, I've been mistaken about everything to date other than that FECI wanted to sell the FEC Ry. I never envisioned it would come this far. But again I csution, we will likely never know if the venture standing alone is or is not profitable.

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Re: Brightline Expansion: Jacksonville, Tampa, etc.

Post by Jeff Smith » Fri May 11, 2018 8:57 am

Doesn't Ferromex own FEC now?
Next stop, Willoughby
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Ridgefielder
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Re: Brightline Expansion: Jacksonville, Tampa, etc.

Post by Ridgefielder » Fri May 11, 2018 11:21 am

The FEC is owned by Grupo México SA de CV, a Mexican mining and transportation conglomerate. Grupo México also owns Ferromex but my understanding is that FEC will be operated as a stand-alone subsidiary.

electricron
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Re: Brightline to Jacksonville

Post by electricron » Sat May 19, 2018 8:17 pm

Noel Weaver wrote: The Florida East Coast owns no ROW or track to Tampa or anyplace else on the other coast so any Brightline service to Tampa is very, very unlikely. Here is a good opportunity for Amtrak if we ever get state government officials who want to get involved with rail passenger service. The direct routes from Tampa to any direction whether it be north, south or east would involve CSX and not the FEC. Maybe in the future and maybe not in the future, we'll have to wait and see on this one.
Noel Weaver
FEC didn’t own any ROW into Orlando, yet they found one. IH 4 median has space reserved for HSR Brightline could use to get into Tampa from Orlando. Admittingly not accessed yet for railroads, but it is not entirely impossible to gain access to.

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