Brightline Florida update

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VentureForth

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NYC has been able to survive with express trains that skip stops and local ones that don't. So does Amtrak with both Acelas and Regionals. Not every stop needs to have every train.
Brightline as a whole can have express trains and "local" trains.
The ROW can accommodate another service, ie: Sunrail and Tri-Rail with their own stops that Brightline has nothing to do with.

In the first scenario, this will only be useful if there are bypass stations. IE: Want an express from MIA to MCO with a stop in FLL? That's fine, but if you don't pass any other trains along the route, you'll still get to Orlando after the previous train no matter how long the ride takes.

In the second scenario, you will have completely incompatible platforms, if I understand correctly. You don't want a closed-gated train using the same platforms as an open-gated train. That, and commuters use low platforms and Brightline uses high platforms.

I guess, because by definition, shared commuter/Brightline stations will have different platforms, these will be passing stations so Brightline can hop scotch over Tri-Rail. If Tri-Rail thinks they are going to get 18 stations within Brightline's 3/4 between MIA and FLL, then just about every exclusive Tri Rail station may need a bypass track for Brightline. Maybe not all; depends on the scheduling and frequency of each.

Back to the first scenario - moot point until they decide on the new stations, but Boca and Aventura should be places where the "express" could overtake the "local" along with perhaps Jupiter and Cocoa.
 

neroden

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Brightline's objections to the I-Drive/Universal route are NOT about local traffic. They'll take it!

The objection is financial. Brightline, like any private passenger train service, has a pretty narrow model for breaking even and covering capital costs. They can't afford the extra cost; the extra local traffic would not cover it, and it would threaten their already fragile financial model. As they have said repeatedly, if someone else (like Universal, the city, or the county) pays the difference in cost, Brightline will go for the I-Drive/Universal route in a heartbeat, because *then* the local traffic is free money to them.
 

joelkfla

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I guess, because by definition, shared commuter/Brightline stations will have different platforms, these will be passing stations so Brightline can hop scotch over Tri-Rail.
Not necessarily. In Orlando, stations that are shared by Amtrak & SunRail have 2 tracks with end-to-end side platforms. At the Orlando & Kissimmee stations, the slightly higher SunRail platforms were built north of the low-level Amtrak platforms.

I've seen a similar arrangement on YouTube where stations are shared by commuter trains and light rail; I think it was in the Hague.
 

Barb Stout

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jis

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Here is where the incident took place. It is a protected crossing:


All street crossings on Brightline are protected.

This one may have been a case of someone who lost situational awareness and thought that the railroad tracks were Flagler Avenue...

 
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Scott Orlando

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All good points. Not stopping everywhere reduces scheduling complexity. But an express skipping Aventura or Stuart or Cocoa keeps that higher speed rail - well …higher speed.

Secondly, the 528 route would be grade separated and double tracked. That’s enough capacity for Sunrail and Brightline. SR can could do a Airport- Transfer station- Convention/Idrive/SeaWorld/Universal and Disney Springs and BL the intercity.

The sr417 plan has them sharing tracks (and a station) at grade. It much more cost effective, of course, going 417 vs 528 but the 528 route seems so much more effective.
 

Qapla

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The intersection where the accident happened:
1636582208828.png

As can clearly be seen - there are lights and cross arms - the car turned onto the tracks instead of the road. This was NOT the fault of Brightline
 

Devil's Advocate

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Pompano Beach spokesperson Sandra King said a 71-year-old grandmother and a 1-year-old were in the car when the grandmother tried to make a right turn and somehow ended up on the tracks.
Maybe advanced age should come with probation licenses and annual retesting instead of a blind presumption of immortal driving prowess.
 
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This one may have been a case of someone who lost situational awareness and thought that the railroad tracks were Flagler Avenue...
First, it was daytime as seen in the video. How does one mistake two tracks and a zillion RR ties below them for a road on a nice day?

Secondly, it was Florida. That answers it all.

The woman probably thought that she was turning onto Anti-vaxxer Road in an attempt to avoid getting the vaccine on Flagler Avenue.
 

jis

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First, it was daytime as seen in the video. How does one mistake two tracks and a zillion RR ties below them for a road on a nice day?

Secondly, it was Florida. That answers it all.

The woman probably thought that she was turning onto Anti-vaxxer Road in an attempt to avoid getting the vaccine on Flagler Avenue.
I think the 71 year old woman probably had other issues and should not have been driving. But of course looks like you guys already know more than me having already completed the investigation on what happened and formed an opinion 😏
 

west point

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As far as the accident goes. Does the woman have cataracts ? that is a vision impairment that really needs more attention by driver's licensees outfits, DOT physicals, and FAA medicals. It can be subtle and otherwise not detectable. Often they impair your side vision which is not checked by most vision checks..

The infrastructure bill includes funds for Sun Rail to go to Orlando airport. Finally that missing link will be closed.
 

Scott Orlando

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How is that gonna work?
The airport phase of Sunrail:
acquiring the OUC branch from the current north-south line to where it now connects at the Brightline maintenance facility, upgrading and doubling the track , signaling, etc. The station was designed with this plan.
This could be accomplished much quicker than a 528 east-west route that wouldn’t be a one seat ride
 

jis

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I wish they would complete the Deland extension too.

The OIA station would need a new low level platform with two platform tracks. There is room set aside for that in the original design, so that should not be a problem. Just need to build it. And of course they will need to acquire a bunch of new rolling stock too. Wish they'd consider FLIRT or similar DMUs instead of the cumbersome energy inefficient, slow, lumbering stuff that they run now.
 

Scott Orlando

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I wish they would complete the Deland extension too.

The OIA station would need a new low level platform with two platform tracks. There is room set aside for that in the original design, so that should not be a problem. Just need to build it. And of course they will need to acquire a bunch of new rolling stock too. Wish they'd consider FLIRT or similar DMUs instead of the cumbersome energy inefficient, slow, lumbering stuff that they run now.

Allegedly, double track construction to DeLand starts in January. I don’t understand why they would go that far and not have a station in Orange City.
how cool would it be to have a Orange City/Blue Springs station?
The tracks are on the park border
 

joelkfla

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I wish they would complete the Deland extension too.

The OIA station would need a new low level platform with two platform tracks. There is room set aside for that in the original design, so that should not be a problem. Just need to build it. And of course they will need to acquire a bunch of new rolling stock too. Wish they'd consider FLIRT or similar DMUs instead of the cumbersome energy inefficient, slow, lumbering stuff that they run now.
I'm just not convinced that there's enough demand between OIA & downtown to support that service at a frequency that would make it viable. IMO it has run at least every 20 minutes to be attractive. I don't know what percentage of OIA arrivals are destined for downtown, but my gut feel is that it's fairly low; maybe I'm wrong.

Rail service to OIA is a good thing, but it has to go where people want to go.
 

jis

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I'm just not convinced that there's enough demand between OIA & downtown to support that service at a frequency that would make it viable. IMO it has run at least every 20 minutes to be attractive. I don't know what percentage of OIA arrivals are destined for downtown, but my gut feel is that it's fairly low; maybe I'm wrong.

Rail service to OIA is a good thing, but it has to go where people want to go.
Maybe it is so or maybe not. I have no opinion on that side of things. I am merely focused on the technical detail of it. ;)

Service will be possible at whatever frequency they want to fund it. It will never be supportable by a farebox in terms of percentage of cost recovered. The question would then be how much subsidy one wants to apply to it and how well it gets used. So targeting running every 20 mins is quite feasible track capacity wise, provided they want to fund it at that level.

Allegedly, double track construction to DeLand starts in January. I don’t understand why they would go that far and not have a station in Orange City.
how cool would it be to have a Orange City/Blue Springs station?
The tracks are on the park border
Ah! Just found the blurb on the Phase II North project...


I suppose at present they are just working on the original Phase II. Maybe we rail advocates should start a campaign for your idea, which I think is a good one. Of course the finances of SunRail are still a bit shaky. What is needed is a guaranteed source of operating subsidies after the State aid disappears.
 
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I think the 71 year old woman probably had other issues and should not have been driving. But of course looks like you guys already know more than me having already completed the investigation on what happened and formed an opinion 😏
Not true. I'm also willing to consider other possibilities equally:
  • Brightline tricked her in to thinking the tracks were a road.
  • The grandkid was driving.
  • She saw a red track signal in the distance and thought it was the next intersection.
  • The microchip in the vaccine she took confused her
 

Brian_tampa

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https://www.theledger.com/story/news/local/2021/11/12/brightline-project-gets-support-polk-commissioners/66384696001a

Polk County Commission supports Brightline's expansion to Tampa. Specifically a yet to be pursued grant per the Lakeland Ledger:

And as private company Florida Brightline
(Home Page | Brightline) LLC prepares to apply for a federal grant to help
fund the extension, the Polk County Commission has agreed to offer a supportive
hand.

Calling it a "vital" program that could reduce congestion and accidents on I-4, the
commission voted Friday to send a letter to U.S. Department of Transportation
Secretary Pete Buttigieg endorsing funding for Brightline through the Consolidated
Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements grant program.

The company plans to apply for a federal grant by Nov. 23 seeking $31.8 million in
funding to stretch the rail into Tampa. The letter from Polk will be included as part of
the grant application.

The company vows to leverage an additional $15 million in private funding to
implement "the long-awaited goal for the state of Florida," the letter says.
 
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