Brightline (FEC) Update

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cirdan

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and would potentially utilize its existing South Florida Rail Corridor for the approximate three mile north-south portion that connects into Miami International Airport’s already built intermodal center’s rail platform and station.
I think there is no doubt that it would be technically feasible to run a Brigfhtline train into Miami Airport.

I don't think anybody who knows anything about how trains work ever doubted that.

The more pertinent question would be, how would that fit in with service patterns?

Would alternative trains branch off and go to the airport instead of Miami Central? Or would trains run a dog leg to the airport before or after arriving at Miami Central? Would resulting travel times still be attractive?
 

jis

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I think there is no doubt that it would be technically feasible to run a Brigfhtline train into Miami Airport.
It would be feasible without involving a direction reversal after the southeast quadrant connector at Iris is built. That involves condemnation of several properties which will take its usual time. It is more or less unlikely to happen until then.
 

VentureForth

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So long as there is contiguous standard gauge track, anything is possible. But will Brightline want to mess with getting rights on the various tracks it takes to get there? I dont think they share with anyone else at the moment... Would they want to?
 

jis

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So long as there is contiguous standard gauge track, anything is possible. But will Brightline want to mess with getting rights on the various tracks it takes to get there? I dont think they share with anyone else at the moment... Would they want to?
Brightline runs on FECR tracks. So of course they pretty much share most of the track they run on.

To get to the airport they would run on FECR (dispatched by jointly owned FDC) to Iris and then on TriRail to the airport. Getting access should not be difficult at all. The biggest impediment is the a connection facing in the correct direction at Iris.
 

VentureForth

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Okay - so they share with FECR because they split up a few years ago, but the original concept was running FEC trains on FEC track. I understand that relationship is severed and stitched, but my intent was that Brightline currently only uses one company's tracks.

Where is Iris?

It does look like a pain in the butt to take Miami Dade Transit from Miami Central to the Airport. Another connection is required and an uncomfortable 15 minute wait at Earlington Heights. This seems to be something that Miami should fix.
 

chrsjrcj

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There's also a bottle neck between the Miami Airport and Hialeah Market stations where trains have to cross a single tracked 95 year old drawbridge over the Miami River (err canal). It's supposed to be replaced/an additional track added, but I doubt Tri-Rail will be too eager to add additional trains to that section until then.

Okay - so they share with FECR because they split up a few years ago, but the original concept was running FEC trains on FEC track. I understand that relationship is severed and stitched, but my intent was that Brightline currently only uses one company's tracks.

Where is Iris?

It does look like a pain in the butt to take Miami Dade Transit from Miami Central to the Airport. Another connection is required and an uncomfortable 15 minute wait at Earlington Heights. This seems to be something that Miami should fix.
Iris is just south of the Metrorail transfer station at 79th Street.



Hopefully as Miami-Dade Transit service returns to normal, they'll reinstate the entire Orange Line and it will be a 1 seat ride.
 

jis

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Okay - so they share with FECR because they split up a few years ago, but the original concept was running FEC trains on FEC track. I understand that relationship is severed and stitched, but my intent was that Brightline currently only uses one company's tracks.
Brightline happened after FECR was separated from FECI, of which AAF was a subsidiary, never of FECR. They have always been separate companies which organizationally met at the top at the Fortress Group. But somehow railfans are forever confused about it.

Since Tri-Rail uses Brightline tracks to get to Miami Central, it should be no problem for Brightline to get access to Tr-Rail tracks to get to Miami Airport MIC, specially should Miami Dade want it.
Where is Iris?
Where FECR main line to Hialeah Yard crosses TriRail
It does look like a pain in the butt to take Miami Dade Transit from Miami Central to the Airport. Another connection is required and an uncomfortable 15 minute wait at Earlington Heights. This seems to be something that Miami should fix.
Why would you not take the direct Metro ride from Miami Central (Metro: Historic Overtown/Arean right next to the Brightline Miami Central station) to the Airport? There is nothing to fix really as far as getting to the Airport from Brightline Miami Central goes. If they are running just a shuttle to the Airport, they should perhaps restore the direct service.
 

blueman271

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There's also a bottle neck between the Miami Airport and Hialeah Market stations where trains have to cross a single tracked 95 year old drawbridge over the Miami River (err canal). It's supposed to be replaced/an additional track added, but I doubt Tri-Rail will be too eager to add additional trains to that section until then.



Iris is just south of the Metrorail transfer station at 79th Street.



Hopefully as Miami-Dade Transit service returns to normal, they'll reinstate the entire Orange Line and it will be a 1 seat ride.
As Jis said the Orange Line has never actually run, it’s still a plan on paper. And MDT doesn’t have any real say on when or if it ever starts. Tri-Rail is run by the South Florida Regional Transit Authority, which is made up of representatives from the three counties it serves. It has a governing board which is distinct from the transportstion agencies within the three counties.
 

chrsjrcj

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The Orange line certainly did exist pre-pandemic. I've taken it numerous times between Miami Airport and Government Center (and further south) without having to change at Earlington Heights.

Reinstate? There has been no Orange Line before the pandemic except on paper. It will get started maybe late this year, maybe early next.
As Jis said the Orange Line has never actually run, it’s still a plan on paper. And MDT doesn’t have any real say on when or if it ever starts. Tri-Rail is run by the South Florida Regional Transit Authority, which is made up of representatives from the three counties it serves. It has a governing board which is distinct from the transportstion agencies within the three counties.
I'm well aware of Tri-Rail and the SFRTA. The holdup to MiamiCentral is Brightline implementing PTC.

I think the confusion here is y'all think I'm referring to the map, when I was quoting VentureForth regarding Metrorail to the Airport. The map was intended as a visual for where the Tri-Rail branches off to downtown.
 

west point

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The pandemic certainly saved Brightline from having to announce service postponed due to inoperative PTC.. Did any of the first attempt remain or did all have to be removed first then install the replacement. ?
 

neroden

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Maybe this evening I can go back and look and see if there is any rail positioned leading to the constructed bridge. I think that it would be logical to keep the current alignment. That new bridge could be just for construction, but in this case, I don't think they are raising the level of the tracks.
The newer bridges have shallower decks than the old ones. So they can keep the track at the same level but raise the overhead clearance for boats.

The main effect of this is that when they rebuild the bridges on the same alignment, they are completely replacing the foundations, which requires the "temporary bridges" on the side both to reroute rail traffic while rebuilding, and also as an access point for cranes.
 
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neroden

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There's also a bottle neck between the Miami Airport and Hialeah Market stations where trains have to cross a single tracked 95 year old drawbridge over the Miami River (err canal). It's supposed to be replaced/an additional track added, but I doubt Tri-Rail will be too eager to add additional trains to that section until then.
Unlike the freight railroads, Tri-Rail are not jerks. They'll happily add the trains and just line up the schedule carefully.
 

neroden

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The pandemic certainly saved Brightline from having to announce service postponed due to inoperative PTC.. Did any of the first attempt remain or did all have to be removed first then install the replacement. ?
I believe the very basic signalling systems which underlie both PTC systems remain in place but basically they had to remove the first attempt.
 

west point

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Last time there the draw bridge only raised occasionally. Just one customer west of draw left. Maybe TriRail hopping the need for draw will pass.
 

jis

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The Orange line certainly did exist pre-pandemic. I've taken it numerous times between Miami Airport and Government Center (and further south) without having to change at Earlington Heights.

I'm well aware of Tri-Rail and the SFRTA. The holdup to MiamiCentral is Brightline implementing PTC.

I think the confusion here is y'all think I'm referring to the map, when I was quoting VentureForth regarding Metrorail to the Airport. The map was intended as a visual for where the Tri-Rail branches off to downtown.
So you post a map that shows an Orange Line and Blue Line and then talk about some other Orange?

You are correct about the confusion caused by your post. We were all talking about the Tri-Rail lines as shown in the map you posted, and in that context we were correct in stating that the Orange Line shown on the map did not exist. And none of us contested that the Metro Airport Line existed, since none of us were talking about it. So I guess you love to argue with yourself :D

Doesn't CSX still own most if not all the track Tri-Rail operates on?
No. It is owned by SFRTA/FDOT and at least initially it was dispatched under contract by Amtrak. I don't know its current status as far as dispatching goes.
 

VentureForth

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I think i have it figured out now. Tri-Rail has no spurs. Airport to Magnolia. Metrorail has a green line and an orange line. Orange line is essentially same as green line except spurs from Earlington Heights to the airport. Since Covid, it ONLY runs between Earlington Heights and the airport, leaving only the Greenline for the rest of the system. Therefore, all trips to the airport require a transfer. This can add up to 15 minutes to what would have otherwise been about a 15 minute single seat ride from downtown to the airport. Don't know why Covid necessitated this change, but Metrorail doesn't have any end in sight to this modification.

Back to the Tri-Rail/Brightline partnership. I think the intent is for Tri-Rail to use Brightline track, not the other way around, right? So there would really be no incentive for Brightline to go up past Iris then back up to MIA just to serve the airport. the 15 minute transfer at Miami Central is still the most logical connection in my opinion.
 

jis

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Back to the Tri-Rail/Brightline partnership. I think the intent is for Tri-Rail to use Brightline track, not the other way around, right? So there would really be no incentive for Brightline to go up past Iris then back up to MIA just to serve the airport. the 15 minute transfer at Miami Central is still the most logical connection in my opinion.
Yes.
  • Currently there is no plan for Brightline to venture onto Tri-Rail tracks.
  • There are plans actively being worked for Tri-Rail to serve Bridhtline Miami Central.
  • There is an active plan for Brightline Commuter to serve Miami Central to Aventura for now, maybe extended to Fort Lauderdale or even Boca Raton some day.
  • There is also a lukewarm plan for Tri-Rail to be extended from West Palm Beach to maybe upto Jupiter on FECR/Brightline tracks using the new crossover at Northwood (between West Palm Beach and Mangonia Park stations of Tri-Rail). But that is a long range "maybe" category thing.
 

cocojacoby

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Yes.
  • Currently there is no plan for Brightline to venture onto Tri-Rail tracks.
Brightline is all high-level architecture. I don't think they have traps necessary for Tri-Rail low-level station platforms
 

jis

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Brightline is all high-level architecture. I don't think they have traps necessary for Tri-Rail low-level station platforms
In the unlikely event that Brightlline ever needs to get to Miami Airport, there is space to build another two track platform, presumably with a high level platform there, currently occupied by a parking lot and the Megabus bus bay. It is highly unlikely that Brightline trains would ever call at any other Tri-Rail station.
 

VentureForth

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Do Tri-Rail trains have trap floors to allow usage at high level platforms? I don't recall that any of the Bombardier Bi-Levels do, but I guess they can get new equipment if they get new service.
 
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