Discussion about Florida passenger rail operations including proposals. Official web-sites:
Miami/Dade Metrorail, Sunrail (Orlando), and Tri-County Commuter Rail Authority
For Virgin Rail/Brightline: Virgin Trains Worldwide (includes Brightline)

Moderator: Kurt-Trirail

  by Jeff Smith
Orlando Weekly

Brief, fair-use quote:
Why is SunRail ridership stalling out?

On July 25, the SunRail riders blog posted a frustrated-sounding plea to its readers: Stand up for SunRail.

The service, which has only been in place since May 1, 2014, has not maintained the 4,300+ average daily ridership goal officials hoped to meet in 2015. Instead, ridership has dipped down to about 3,700 people per day, according to SunRail riders, and ridership on the nighttime train, which was added in December, has been weak. The SunRail riders are asking people using the service to "make it a personal goal to encourage one friend, neighbor or coworker to try SunRail" and engage in a little guerrilla marketing, via social media, to build interest in the service.
when we run trains on the weekend, we get standing room only capacity, in every car, on every train. problem is, they don't collect fares on these trains, and contractually, sunrail is prohibited from running revenue trains in weekend service. mid-day service and weekend service could easily double rider numbers, maybe even triple it. deland is a dead issue now, but poincianna is still moving forward.
  by The EGE
Why is SunRail prohibited from revenue trains in weekend service? Condition of the sale from CSX?
terms of service contract between bombardier and fdot. fwiw, there will be a test train running this weekend, to poincianna, to test some new circuits and signals... :wink:
  by Tadman
* are you running trains for Sunrail?
  by Rockingham Racer
According to reports, there is a request for weekend service on a couple of fronts. And the idea of running it is being given consideration. Good news.
Tadman wrote:Golden-Arm are you running trains for Sunrail?
that is an affirmative. :wink:
  by Jeff Smith
Orlando Sentinel
SunRail may drop late night service in favor of mid-afternoon run

SunRail project director Tawny Olore Wednesday released statistics showing that ridership on the night train, which started in December, has fallen from an average of nearly 120 people per run to fewer than 50 in August.

That nightly service, she said, might be discontinued and replaced with a train that could leave the south terminus of Sand Lake Road about 3:15 p.m. and the northernmost stop in DeBary about 2:30 p.m. That's about an hour earlier than the current schedule. Jeffery Morris, who lives in Volusia County and chairs the SunRail rider committee, said commuters have told him they need an earlier train.

Parents trying to get their children out of day care and early morning workers who would like to return home sooner would use the run, Morris said.

The lack of an earlier train, he said, "is a deterrent to ridership for these folks."
  by Jeff Smith
Dumping the late night train: Orlando Sentinel
Say goodbye to the SunRail late-night train

SunRail officials have decided to dump the late night train in favor of a mid-afternoon ride, starting Monday, Dec. 21.

The late train, which started off with strong ridership but lagged in recent months, goes away Friday, Dec. 18. It will be re-slotted to 1 pm out of DeBary.

The existing 12:30 p.m. train from DeBary will be moved up to noon, SunRail managers said Wednesday during a meeting of government agencies supporting the commuter train.

The idea is for the trains to pick up more fun travelers, especially those who are doing lunch in downtown Winter Park or Orlando, SunRail project manager Miguel Torres said Wednesday
it's a done deal. the late train is now a mid-day train. the advertisements for the modified jobs are open for bidding now.
getting off work the other night, the conductor nudges me and says "hey look, the perfect foamer shot". so, here is the perfect foamer shot, from the vsmf in sanford. :-D

  by Jeff Smith
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Emphasis added by me; fair-use:
When Gov. Rick Scott approved SunRail in 2011, the system was projected to carry 4,300 passengers daily in its inaugural year, which started in May 2014. But as The News-Journal’s Dustin Wyatt reports, the train has drawn an average daily ridership of 3,573 in its first three years, and this year the average has fallen to 3,516.

That hurts SunRail’s bottom line. Virtually no mass-transit system is self-sustainable through rider fares; most require a taxpayer subsidy to cover shortfalls in revenues. And although SunRail was never promoted any differently, it nevertheless has vastly underperformed in that area. Whereas the industry standard is that about a third of operating costs are recovered through fares, SunRail’s ridership covers only 5 percent of the system’s expenses. Amazingly, ticket revenue hasn’t even covered the cost of selling tickets.
One of SunRail’s biggest problems is that it still doesn’t travel to Orlando International Airport. Next is that it operates at times that are inconvenient for many potential riders, such as hospital and service-industry employees who work late nights. That also includes people who live outside Orlando who want to attend a concert or sporting event downtown. Lynx Central Station is convenient to the Amway Center and the Bob Carr Theater, among other venues, but that makes no difference when the last train leaves there at 9:28 p.m. — usually too early for events that don’t end until after 10 p.m. Regular weekend and late-night service would make trains more attractive.
The Xerox contract, ticket sales and associated costs are about $1.3 million a year. This number surpasses the approximate $1.1 million dollars in actual ticket revenues collected. So yes, it actually costs more to sell the tickets, than the tickets themselves bring in. We wonder if the Counties can actually keep this place running, once the State hands over the reins, around the end of 2020. :(
  by phillyrube
So what's it like working for Sunrail? Retired from up north, looking for something part time, conductor sounds like it would be fun.
  by Noel Weaver
Make sure any railroad job you take is not covered by Railroad Retirement or you will lose your whole pension for that month. Otherwise it is not a bad idea. On Tri-Rail the conductor's biggest job is opening and closing the doors and handling the handicap bridge plates when needed which is fairly often. I suspect this one works about the same way.
Noel Weaver