Brightline Florida update

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joelkfla

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Sooooo, for whatever reason, the current plans envisage a stub-end station at Disney.

I wouldn't be surprised if Brightline ends up running Orlando Airport - Disney shuttles and a smaller number of Tampa-Disney shuttles, with the regular all-stops trains from Orlando to Tampa skipping Disney.

I know it sounds odd, but... operationally it's going to make sense, and with Disney's "We don't want you to visit anyone else" attitude, forcing customers to backtrack to the airport in order to connect from Disney to I-Drive sounds exactly like what Disney would want.
I think Brightline would want to market a single-seat trip between So. FL & WDW. They're in the business of intercity transportation, not shuttling between WDW & OIA.

The stub-end station shouldn't be a problem, since there are locomotives at both ends. It might just require a longer stop to reverse control direction and PTC. I believe that's fairly common in Europe.
 

NES28

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The stub-end station shouldn't be a problem, since there are locomotives at both ends. It might just require a longer stop to reverse control direction and PTC. I believe that's fairly common in Europe.
Why is a stub end station planned? How do we know that? Is this a done deal?
 

joelkfla

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Why is a stub end station planned? How do we know that? Is this a done deal?
Probably set by Disney, to minimize intrusion and the amount of property required. Concept art released a year or 2 ago with a brief description showed it. IIRC, it's also been shown that way in the rough route maps released by Brightline when the route was planned to be along SR 417.

I haven't seen anything saying Disney has bought into the new route since it was moved north to the Sunshine Corridor, stopping at Universal.

I did see one mention of placing the station around S. International Dr., which would be off Disney property, in which case it could be a run-through station. But that might lessen the possibility of Disney participating in last-mile transportation.
 

jis

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If the route runs down I-4 by Disney as would be the case with the new proposed alignment, it would be mighty awkward to try to get a stub end station on Disney property. I think that whole thing will be revisited and any siting of station for the 417 alignment is out the window at present. I am sure Disney will not make it difficult for customers to visit Disney, no matter how obtuse they wish to be.
 

joelkfla

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If the route runs down I-4 by Disney as would be the case with the new proposed alignment, it would be mighty awkward to try to get a stub end station on Disney property. I think that whole thing will be revisited and any siting of station for the 417 alignment is out the window at present. I am sure Disney will not make it difficult for customers to visit Disney, no matter how obtuse they wish to be.
Not making it difficult, but less likely to provide some sort of shuttle service between the station and Disney's 20 something hotels.
 

jis

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Not making it difficult, but less likely to provide some sort of shuttle service between the station and Disney's 20 something hotels.
That would provide a great illustration of the phrase "Cutting ones nose to spite ones face" :D

But then again, it has also gotten out of the business of providing shuttle service from the airport to Disney as I seem to recall. So I suppose it would be par for the course. Brightline would probably cover it with its last mile service anyway, and Sunrail folks would have to fend for themselves.
 

cirdan

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I think Brightline would want to market a single-seat trip between So. FL & WDW. They're in the business of intercity transportation, not shuttling between WDW & OIA.

The stub-end station shouldn't be a problem, since there are locomotives at both ends. It might just require a longer stop to reverse control direction and PTC. I believe that's fairly common in Europe.
The stub end station does imply though that everything must stop there .
 

AmtrakBlue

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I'm trying to get the Sunshine Flyer to pick up either at ORL or KIS or even one of the SunRail stations near MCO. So far, no luck, but they really should do it considering the buses look like train cars.

 

VentureForth

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Disney used to contract all transfers from the airport in their inclusive packages with the monopolistic Mears. Then, they started the complimentary Magical express service to keep the "Disney, and nowhere else" philosophy. That ended with covid and the vacuum was returned with Mears, Sunshine Flyer and rideshare being the predominate transfers.

As mentioned before, there would need to be a system to get everyone from a single point at Disney Springs to not only the umpteen Disney hotels, bit he partner hotels as well. Again, the existing system from Disney Springs isn't designed to accommodate baggage.
 

jis

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Why is the new track between Cocoa and MCO ballasted? Why not tie concrete ties directly into concrete bed like the Shinkansen?
Because that costs a lot more than what ballasted track costs, and is not necessary for running at 125mph. Birghtline has tried very hard to do the least bit necessary to meet their service goals to keep a good control over budgets.
 

neroden

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I think Brightline would want to market a single-seat trip between So. FL & WDW. They're in the business of intercity transportation, not shuttling between WDW & OIA.

Oh, that wouldn't be a problem -- what I'm saying is that the trains to Disney will probably skip all stations between Orlando Airport and Disney, including the SunRail transfer station and the I-Drive station. And that the trains from the east to Disney probably wouldn't run through from Disney to Tampa.

So if you want to go from I-Drive to Disney, they'll make you backtrack through the airport and change trains.

The stub-end station shouldn't be a problem, since there are locomotives at both ends. It might just require a longer stop to reverse control direction and PTC. I believe that's fairly common in Europe.
 

Brian_tampa

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What I think will happen is that Brightline will restrict riders who use the stations between Disney and MCO to only those whose origination or destination city is outside of the Orlando area. This will mean that Brightline will not carry any local passengers in between MCO and Disney. To me, this makes sense as this gives SunRail more revenue and would also be an incentive for people to use SunRail along their original north-south corridor. This could very well be a condition of the lease agreement for Brightline to use the Sunshine Corridor. As well, this would eliminate the potential of $20 fares filling Brightline trains between local Orlando stations and preventing the higher revenue passengers from Tampa and S Florida access to longer trips.
 

George Harris

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Why is the new track between Cocoa and MCO ballasted? Why not tie concrete ties directly into concrete bed like the Shinkansen?
Much of the Shinkansen is on ballast, They are moving toward more and more on concrete. The difference in cost is not that great, but concrete base track is more expensive. It cannot be a rigid system. A certain amount of deflection is necessary, but it would be a very long discussion as to why and how much and how to achieve which I think is inappropriate for this thread. The Shinkansen non-ballasted track system is not rigid and is not ties embedded in concrete.
 

Qapla

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I have wondered, when service is finally established, how many passengers will ride from MIA-TPA (or TPA-MIA) on Brightline ... compared to those who only ride partway.
 

west point

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I have wondered, when service is finally established, how many passengers will ride from MIA-TPA (or TPA-MIA) on Brightline ... compared to those who only ride partway.
Just look at the number on Amtrak that now rides TPA to south east Florida. Once again you need to look at intermediate stations as well as MIA. The Star's biggst city pairs are on this segment.
 

Qapla

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look at the number on Amtrak that now rides TPA to south east Florida. Once again you need to look at intermediate stations as well as MIA

My question was not really about "southeast Florida" or "intermediate stations" I was specifically referring to those who would ride from one end to the other in a single seat trip.

To illustrate with Amtrak, counting those who ride the Star from JAX-TPA would NOT include those who got on/off at PAK even though Palatka is only about 47 miles from Jacksonville.

I'm sure Brightline is counting on the revenue from those who ride from the intermediate stops as the bulk of their income - I was just curious about the end-to-end numbers.
 

cirdan

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Because that costs a lot more than what ballasted track costs, and is not necessary for running at 125mph. Birghtline has tried very hard to do the least bit necessary to meet their service goals to keep a good control over budgets.
and furthermore, concrete track does massively reduce the odds of track moving out of alignment due to subsidence.

But if something does move it can get incredibly expensive to fix. On ballasted track on the other hand you just top up the ballast and re-tamp the track and you're good to go.
 

VentureForth

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My question was not really about "southeast Florida" or "intermediate stations" I was specifically referring to those who would ride from one end to the other in a single seat trip.
I suspect there could potentially be quite a few. I'm guessing that the time frame from Miami to Tampa on Brightline would be around 4 1/2 to 5 hours. I could be way wrong - I'm not quoting anything they may have posted.

That compared to about 4:15 by car (no stops) according to Google Maps. So for an extra 15-45 minutes to not have to deal with traffic or driving? I would consider value in that.

My bigger concern is comfort. I planned to ride Brightline from WPB to MIA a few months ago. I was SO uncomfortable that I turned around at FLL. I cannot imagine riding for over an hour in those seats. The saving grace is you can get up and walk around. That's nice.

So then there's the price point. If the plan currently is to charge between $50-$75 from MIA to MCO, then I would suspect probably close to $100 from MIA to TPA. Google shows flights from MIA to TPA from $110, and only a little over an hour of flight time. Yes, you need to consider the ancillary time associated with TSA, etc. I don't consider the "last mile" because you need that to/from an airport just like you do from a train station. Not everyone needs to go downtown. I think I would rather sit in a seat on Spirit for 1 hour than a Brightline seat for up to 5 hours.

So then the final question is - are more people willing to take the train, once an hour, 365 days a year OVER flying or driving? When all paths are similar, I DON'T see a huge market share grab with the end-to-end traveler.

Oh a bit of an aside, and for the sake of equal opportunity transports, RedCoach offers bus service from MIA to downtown Tampa for $25/coach, $60/business and schedules the trip for 5 hours and 10 minutes.
 
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McIntyre2K7

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Oh a bit of an aside, and for the sake of equal opportunity transports, RedCoach offers bus service from MIA to downtown Tampa for $25/coach, $60/business and schedules the trip for 5 hours an 10 minutes.

RedCoach no longer serves Downtown Tampa. That was one of the routes that it cut due to Covid (along with their $5 Tampa-Orlando service). It does look like FlixBus does have service starting at $25 if you book in advance. Makes me wonder if Brightline would just run hourly trains between Tampa/Orlando and West Palm/Miami with a train running the full route (Miami - Tampa) every other hour.
 

railiner

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If the Silver Palm was still running, I think I might prefer riding it over whatever Brightline runs from Miami to Tampa...from what I have read, the Amfleet II's are more comfortable...
 

VentureForth

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If the Silver Palm was still running, I think I might prefer riding it over whatever Brightline runs from Miami to Tampa...from what I have read, the Amfleet II's are more comfortable...
There's some kind of bar in those seats that goes right across my buttox that is rather annoying. I wonder if they had that problem/solved it on the leather refurbs...

But, yeah. The Brightline ride was smooth, but the seats were like sitting on the NYC Subway.
 

jis

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Apparently a large number of crossing violation tickets are now being doled out in Broward County...

 
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