Brightline East update

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west point

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Siemens is going to need a lot of spare noses for the chargers. Palm Beach maintenance is going to become #1 for charger body work. Are they are doing more noses than the whole Amtrak people at Beech?
 

cirdan

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Has there been discussions about quad gates actually trapping cars on the tracks because the timing of the quads end up trapping cars on the rails ( and the driver doesn’t want to break the gate to get out)? Are they a greater safety or creating more danger? Why do I ask, many YouTube rail crossing fails with quads seem to follow this trend. The driver gets themselves trapped, they don’t want to run the gate to get out (really?) and end up getting smashed by the train.

Cameras and AI could provide a solution here, as could (where space allows) moving the gates away from the tracks so there is a "safe area"
 

railiner

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Seems to me that the only really safe solution would be the prohibitively expensive elevation of the FEC and total grade separation through densely developed areas.
The NEC has done that, but they had started it way back when it was financially and politically feasible…
 

west point

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Traffic light cameras at all crossing $1000.00 minimum fine. If a policeman catches you $5k. Maybe allow cops that are off regular duty be provided with OT to get drivers. Use fines to upgrade enforcement.
On other side, tickets must have camera enforcement.

There are locations where a parallel road to the tracks is too close to the tracks. That IMO requires a traffic light at that crossing. As well there must be a light before the crossing to stop traffic from crossing tracks until the traffic can get on parallel road. As well loops must be installed to require traffic light to give priority to any vehicle still fouling crossing.

Traffic turning off parallel must also be engineered for safety.
 
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joelkfla

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As well loops must be installed to require traffic light to give priority to any vehicle still fouling crossing.
Slightly off topic: Studies say that radar is preferrable over buried loops, for both accuracy and durability. I was surprised to read that loops are more likely to give a false indication for a vehicle in the adjoining lane.
 

neroden

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Yet another vehicle versus Brightline crash tonight

Brightline train collides with tractor-trailer in Lantana

The location is at another grade crossing that is next to an intersection with a road (in this case Dixie Highway) that parallels the tracks that has no traffic signals.

And this grade crossing is in a quiet zone that does not have quad gates. How is that allowed? I thought quiet zone crossings have to have quad gates? A quick Google maps check seems to show only the major road crossings in the area have quad gates.
It's quad gates or an unclimable divider in the median between the two directions of travel on the road. This has neither. You're right, the FRA does not normally give quiet zone authorization for this -- what's going on?

There is a process for determining that the risk in a particular quiet zone is much less than the national average risk for crossings where horns are blown, and authorizing it that way, but it has to get reapproved every year, and c'mon, this is Florida, there is no way they qualified that way.

There are options for "alternative safety measures" but I don't see anything special here.

It might be a "Pre-Rule" grandfathered quiet zone?

My question is, how did this intersection get approval for the quiet zone with the lack of quad gates and signalization at the adjacent intersection? The incident on Monday was at a similar crossing with stop signs at the parallel intersections and lacking quad gates.

I am now suspecting that safety has taken a back seat in South Florida as far as grade crossing designs there go on the FECR. Seems like a lot of safety devices were not installed in order to save money.
 
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I would support all of that but I think the bigger issue is that we set the bar too low for acquiring licenses when we’re young and keeping them when we're old.

Agreed, though a symptom of a larger problem: a car dependent society. Taking away licenses from these sizable groups would render too many immobile, and it would never fly in government, as they continue to push for car dependency.
 

cirdan

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Agreed, though a symptom of a larger problem: a car dependent society. Taking away licenses from these sizable groups would render too many immobile, and it would never fly in government, as they continue to push for car dependency.

It's a chicken and egg, or maybe carrot versus stick question.

As long as there is no viable alternative to driving, you cannot enact policies that dissuade driving.

On the other hand, outside of densely inhabited metroplex areas, said alternative systems suffer from inherently low ridership and thus cannot justify expansion.
 
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It's a chicken and egg, or maybe carrot versus stick question.

As long as there is no viable alternative to driving, you cannot enact policies that dissuade driving.

On the other hand, outside of densely inhabited metroplex areas, said alternative systems suffer from inherently low ridership and thus cannot justify expansion.
This is true, but the US will never have a truly viable alternative to driving in places other the biggest metro areas at least in the next 50 years.
 

jis

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The first train has apparently rolled into the Orlando Airport station from the maintenance facility there...

 

crescent-zephyr

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This is true, but the US will never have a truly viable alternative to driving in places other the biggest metro areas at least in the next 50 years.

While technically still driving, driverless cars as Uber/lyft’s could make some major changes to how get around.
 

Brian_tampa

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I had heard from a source recently that test trains will be running (eventually at MAS) on the new route between Cocoa and MCO Orlando airport in September, if all stays on schedule. I wonder if the base of operations for these test trains will be the VMF? Makes sense, as the next two trainsets are to be delivered to the VMF in July/August timeframe. That way they can build up a crew base in the Orlando area. Plus, it's more efficient as the new route to test is not hours of travel away.
 

Fenway

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I was crushed when the Tampa/Orlando high-speed project was canceled in 2011


But after the initial anger, I came to realize that Governor Scott had legitimate questions, especially on local transit options once arriving in Tampa, Orlando, and Lakeland. Orlando would have worked but the other 2 cities I am not sure.

Public transportation in Tampa Bay is arguably the worst of any major US metro region.

I think 10 years later Uber and Lyft have changed the equation somewhat as we have seen in Los Angeles.
 
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I was crushed when the Tampa/Orlando high-speed project was canceled in 2011


But after the initial anger, I came to realize that Governor Scott had legitimate questions, especially on local transit options once arriving in Tampa, Orlando, and Lakeland. Orlando would have worked but the other 2 cities I am not sure.

Public transportation in Tampa Bay is arguably the worst of any major US metro region.

I think 10 years later Uber and Lyft have changed the equation somewhat as we have seen in Los Angeles.
Agreed. When in St. P, I was shocked to see that the bus route I was closest to only came twice a day.
A funny anecdote and back on topic, I promise:
Upon this poor bus-performance realization, my wife and I rented a car. The first question I was asked was regarding car insurance (to which he was shocked to find out I didn't own a car or have insurance). He was subsequently even more shocked when he found out subways existed outside of NYC, specifically Boston; he was excited to ride one one day. And finally, I was shocked when he asked me where I would be placing my firearm; he was surprised when he found out I was not carrying one.

Back to on topic:
I genuinely think there is much to be learned from the work Brightline has done in the last decade. The fact that for the first time in in decades we will be seeing a true HrSR service, in FL of all places, is nothing short of extraordinary, and bodes well for the future of rail and transit in this country. In a way the CAHSR project has failed, Brightline is now a proof of concept for "fast, frequent trains." The ridership numbers alone make Brightline rival the Surfliner, and thats without an Orlando extension yet. Connecting a major class B hub will certainly change things as well.

I wouldn't be surprised if the service hits 2 million a year in 5 years.
 
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jis

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It is not quite High Speed Rail by world standards, but nevertheless it will be conveient for those that are able to use it. They just have to capture a few percent of the Miami - Orlando market to do well financially. Although it should be noted that their equipment order suggests that they have lowered their sights somewhat from the original 10 car trains plan.
 
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It is not quite High Speed Rail by world standards, but nevertheless it will be conveient for those that are able to use it. They just have to capture a few percent of the Miami - Orlando market to do well financially. Although it should be noted that their equipment order suggests that they have lowered their sights somewhat from the original 10 car trains plan.
Notice I wrote “HrSR,” instead of HSR
By that I mean 110-125.
 

Brian_tampa

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It is not quite High Speed Rail by world standards, but nevertheless it will be conveient for those that are able to use it. They just have to capture a few percent of the Miami - Orlando market to do well financially. Although it should be noted that their equipment order suggests that they have lowered their sights somewhat from the original 10 car trains plan.
If I recall correctly from some years ago, they always spoke of a 3 to 5 year ramp up schedule before they could utilize the 10 car trainsets. Covid has delayed that schedule. The one difference I can think of from the early (pre-2016) plans is the lack of a Cafe car. Even now, no one I have talked to at Brightline will commit to them having them in service with or after the start of full service to Orlando in the next few years. The subsequent order for the 5 additional trainsets was agreed upon back in 2016/17 or so as an option to the original 5 trainset order. This agreement with Siemens was an attachment to one of the PAB investor solicitation documents. From what I recall it never has been set in stone for the 10 car trainset order once they finalized on the manufacturer in 2014.

From recent conversations I have had, they will add cars to trains as demand increases. Once demand hits a certain level (such as sold out trains limiting revenue or new requests for special event trains), expect to see new orders for more coach cars in the next year or so. I expect to see 5 or 6 car trainsets in the next 2 years based on year 2022 ridership trends.
 

Brian_tampa

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Agreed. When in St. P, I was shocked to see that the bus route I was closest to only came twice a day.
A funny anecdote and back on topic, I promise:
Upon this poor bus-performance realization, my wife and I rented a car. The first question I was asked was regarding car insurance (to which he was shocked to find out I didn't own a car or have insurance). He was subsequently even more shocked when he found out subways existed outside of NYC, specifically Boston; he was excited to ride one one day. And finally, I was shocked when he asked me where I would be placing my firearm; he was surprised when he found out I was not carrying one.

Back to on topic:
I genuinely think there is much to be learned from the work Brightline has done in the last decade. The fact that for the first time in in decades we will be seeing a true HrSR service, in FL of all places, is nothing short of extraordinary, and bodes well for the future of rail and transit in this country. In a way the CAHSR project has failed, Brightline is now a proof of concept for "fast, frequent trains." The ridership numbers alone make Brightline rival the Surfliner, and thats without an Orlando extension yet. Connecting a major class B hub will certainly change things as well.

I wouldn't be surprised if the service hits 2 million a year in 5 years.
I think that once Orlando opens, the first year (2023) will see 2 million. Ridership trends are very strong so far this year. They will soon hit a limit based on available seats (4 car trainsets versus longer trainsets).
 

Brian_tampa

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Do we have any way of knowing what kind of RASM they are getting so far?
I have never seen or been told that number (revenue per available seat mile). They only provide average fare per passenger. The latest numbers for April were released yesterday and are increasing even compared to April 2019 (ridership up 32% and average fare per passenger up 4% over 4/2019).
 

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Brian_tampa

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Since Brightline sets fares based on demand, much like the airlines, I would imagine their RASM number might not be as meaningful as compared to transit systems that have a set fare structure. We do know their maximum number of seats available per day (or month) and even train. From that and the total ridership and average revenue numbers, we might determine how much potential revenue is available even on a per train basis. That way they know when to add additional trains and what revenue to expect from the new trains.
 

Brian_tampa

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RASM and CASM are always meaningful no matter how convoluted the fare structure is. That is why all airlines publish those two numbers regularly.
I'm admittedly a bit out of the loop with these numbers. Could you explain more why they are useful even with not straight forward fare structures?
 
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