Brightline Florida update

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bonzoesc

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Trains article on Brightline 79mph testing...

I've been thankful every time I go that the people of Brevard don't drive like everyone down here in the 305, but 110mph is a lot.
 
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Trains article on Brightline 79mph testing...

This article said 2023 is service start, but I’ve recently read and seen that Brightline will make its original deadline of Q4 2022. Which is it?
 

jis

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This article said 2023 is service start, but I’ve recently read and seen that Brightline will make its original deadline of Q4 2022. Which is it?
They will start test runs in '22, but service start date is tentatively sometime in 1CQ23. There will be a good 3 to 4 months window for testing and validation of the infrastructure.
 

jis

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MODERATOR'S NOTE: A number of general posts (not specific to Brightline) regarding protection of occupants of the engine/cab during collisions have been moved to their own thread at:


Please continue the cab protection related general discussion there, and leave this thread for discussing Brightline Florida.

Thank you for your understanding, cooperation and participation.
 

Anderson

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They will start test runs in '22, but service start date is tentatively sometime in 1CQ23. There will be a good 3 to 4 months window for testing and validation of the infrastructure.
They also made some noise last month about possibly getting started for the holiday season of 2022.
 

Brian_tampa

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One of Florida's greatest HSR advocates and champions has passed away yesterday. C.C. "Doc" Dockery from Lakeland was instrumental in getting the Florida HSR constitutional amendment passed back in 2000. It required the state to fund a passenger rail system operating at speeds of at least 120mph between Tampa, Orlando, and Miami.

He has been in constant contact with Brightline over the years as they sought his advice. Husein Cumber was quoted in the linked story below:

“Doc Dockery was a visionary and a champion for high-speed rail in the state of Florida. His support for expanding transportation options as a community leader and former member of the Florida High Speed Rail Authority paved the way for the state and local communities to embrace Brightline,” wrote Husein Cumber, Florida East Coast Industries, parent of Brightline, in a statement.

He will be missed. It is so sad that he never got to see his dream of HSR in Florida become reality, at least to Orlando and Tampa.


C.C. ‘Doc’ Dockery, Lakeland businessman and high-speed rail ‘visionary,’ dies at 89
 

jis

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Officially early 2023 for completion provided adequate funds can be acquired. 110moh testing to start in the Fall. Interstingly Brightline claims to be studying the possibility of raising speed limit on the Cocoa - Orlando segment to 150mph. Does that imply electrification of that segment with NEC ICT style dual mode? Who knows what they are thinking?

Brightline To Soon Begin Testing At 110 MPH, Fastest Speed Ever
 

Brian_tampa

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Officially early 2023 for completion provided adequate funds can be acquired. 110moh testing to start in the Fall. Interstingly Brightline claims to be studying the possibility of raising speed limit on the Cocoa - Orlando segment to 150mph. Does that imply electrification of that segment with NEC ICT style dual mode? Who knows what they are thinking?

Brightline To Soon Begin Testing At 110 MPH, Fastest Speed Ever
I was told by someone at Brightline who I met in person earlier this year that the 150 mph MAS would be implemented along the Tampa extension where they have more miles of straight enough track to make it worthwhile. There are no plans to make the Cocoa to MCO segment suitable for 150mph speeds. Although they might test the concept along that stretch of track.

To get to this speed, Brightline plans to eliminate the 4000hp limit on their Chargers. I think it might be a relatively simple adjustment per my contact. 8800hp is a whole lot of power for a 4-10 car train! I don't know how true the next part of what I was told is. It seems there are what Siemens calls high speed trucks already fitted to the Venture cars and the Chargers. With some tweaking, I was told these could be made suitable for the increase in speed from the existing max truck design speed of 135-137mph to 150mph. So it appears that the Venture trainsets are capable of more than what the public specification documents reveal!
 

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I was told by someone at Brightline who I met in person earlier this year that the 150 mph MAS would be implemented along the Tampa extension where they have more miles of straight enough track to make it worthwhile. There are no plans to make the Cocoa to MCO segment suitable for 150mph speeds. Although they might test the concept along that stretch of track.

To get to this speed, Brightline plans to eliminate the 4000hp limit on their Chargers. I think it might be a relatively simple adjustment per my contact. 8800hp is a whole lot of power for a 4-10 car train! I don't know how true the next part of what I was told is. It seems there are what Siemens calls high speed trucks already fitted to the Venture cars and the Chargers. With some tweaking, I was told these could be made suitable for the increase in speed from the existing max truck design speed of 135-137mph to 150mph. So it appears that the Venture trainsets are capable of more than what the public specification documents reveal!
I think 150mph between Cocoa & Orlando may have been a reporting error in the article. It has a link to a previous article reporting that Brightline was looking at 150mph on the Tampa extension, not the Orlando line.
 

daybeers

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Officially early 2023 for completion provided adequate funds can be acquired
"The company is looking to raise up to $500 million in financing in the next few weeks. Construction could be curtailed or delayed if it is unable to raise additional financing, the report said." Yes this is a key issue; I didn't know there was funding missing. Maybe inflation-related?

I hope the 150 mph will come with electrification. Even so, would 150 being the top speed really knock all that much time off to be worth the substantial capital and operational funding needed? Much more expensive to maintain the infrastructure and operate the trains at 150 than 125.
 

west point

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Same points as those to Amtrak. train set will have to prove operational to 165, Now Amtrak might do it first on the NEC. If Amtrak gets the ALC-Es first then it woul be prudent to test them at 165 under the wires on the NEC. Would that also pass to Brightline? Who knows.
There might be a FRA requirement for an ALC=e to do the test having the diesel running at max RPM? Would Brightline order any ALC-Es who knows? This poster suspets that just installing ACS-64 trucks on the diesel locos would suffice.
 

cirdan

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I hope the 150 mph will come with electrification. Even so, would 150 being the top speed really knock all that much time off to be worth the substantial capital and operational funding needed? Much more expensive to maintain the infrastructure and operate the trains at 150 than 125.
Maybe just future proofing by aligning the ROW so that 150mph won't be a problem should ever it be required?
 

west point

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There does not to seem very long distances to 150. Then you have the 2 factors requiring more energy. First is the Kinetic energy = 1/2 mass times Velocity squared. Then you have air resistance times the aerodynamic resistance which is the velocity cubed. -
 

jis

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To get to this speed, Brightline plans to eliminate the 4000hp limit on their Chargers. I think it might be a relatively simple adjustment per my contact. 8800hp is a whole lot of power for a 4-10 car train! I don't know how true the next part of what I was told is. It seems there are what Siemens calls high speed trucks already fitted to the Venture cars and the Chargers. With some tweaking, I was told these could be made suitable for the increase in speed from the existing max truck design speed of 135-137mph to 150mph. So it appears that the Venture trainsets are capable of more than what the public specification documents reveal!
I have suspected all along that the cars are fully Tier III compliant and capable of speeds above 125mph commercially without running afoul of any FRA regs.
 

west point

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I have suspected all along that the cars are fully Tier III compliant and capable of speeds above 125mph commercially without running afoul of any FRA regs.
That is my suspenction as well. But they will have to be tested to the planned speed + 10 %. The only place they can be tested as of now is the part of the NEC between Newark and Trenton that at present supports that speed. Would love to see a Bright line train doing that. Call out the PR, general public, and railfans.
 

jis

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That is my suspenction as well. But they will have to be tested to the planned speed + 10 %. The only place they can be tested as of now is the part of the NEC between Newark and Trenton that at present supports that speed. Would love to see a Bright line train doing that. Call out the PR, general public, and railfans.
There are two segments of track one in RI and one in Mass where they have or are about to raise the speed limit from 150mph to 160mph too, of course only for the new Acelas. The current Acelas have been running at 150mph up their since their introduction I believe.

And maybe they can do some testing in Pueblo too.
 
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Brian_tampa

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There are two segments of track one in RI and one in Mass where they have or are about to raise the speed limit from 150mph to 160mph too, of course only for the new Acelas. The current Acelas have been running at 150mph up their since their introduction I believe.

And maybe they can do some testing in Pueblo too.
It was implied by my source (who is a longtime railroader who knows what they are talking about) that any testing for the 150mph speeds would be performed on the tracks to Tampa. I have read that the FRA can give a special waiver to operate trains above the maximum speed allowed by the class type of track that was built. In this case, could Brightline do testing at the required +10% over the proposed maximum operating speed of 150mph on the class 7 track (or maybe it will be built to higher than class 7?) to be built between Tampa and I-Drive?
 
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Anderson

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How would fuel consumption, etc. look for those speeds? [And what would they have to do if they wanted to bump Cocoa-Orlando from 125 to 150?]
 

Brian_tampa

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How would fuel consumption, etc. look for those speeds? [And what would they have to do if they wanted to bump Cocoa-Orlando from 125 to 150?]
I believe that is what they will be looking at during their proposed tests, fuel consumption that is. Of course this is all years away so it is not written in stone yet.

I don't know exactly what the design difference is between class 7 and class 8 track is nor how easy it would be to convert class 7 track to class 8. Cocoa to MCO along SR528 is mostly class 7 except near each end.

I think the point that was made to me about the length of the straight sections on the planned Tampa route being important to Brightline, indicates that sustained running for some miles will yield a better cost/benefit ratio than a short section, as implied was the case on the SR528 route.

An increase of 25mph (from 125 to 150) over a 40 mile length decreases the travel time by just over 3 minutes (from .32 to .267 hours). No one knows yet exactly how much of the Tampa route would be suitable for 150mph speeds. 50 miles maybe 60 would be my guess... I would have to drag up the old track charts that were part of the EIS for FL HSR back in 2009/2010 to get a better idea.

So it might be that this news of running at 150 mph might be more for marketing purposes than anything else.
 

Anderson

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I believe that is what they will be looking at during their proposed tests, fuel consumption that is. Of course this is all years away so it is not written in stone yet.

I don't know exactly what the design difference is between class 7 and class 8 track is nor how easy it would be to convert class 7 track to class 8. Cocoa to MCO along SR528 is mostly class 7 except near each end.

I think the point that was made to me about the length of the straight sections on the planned Tampa route being important to Brightline, indicates that sustained running for some miles will yield a better cost/benefit ratio than a short section, as implied was the case on the SR528 route.

An increase of 25mph (from 125 to 150) over a 40 mile length decreases the travel time by just over 3 minutes (from .32 to .267 hours). No one knows yet exactly how much of the Tampa route would be suitable for 150mph speeds. 50 miles maybe 60 would be my guess... I would have to drag up the old track charts that were part of the EIS for FL HSR back in 2009/2010 to get a better idea.

So it might be that this news of running at 150 mph might be more for marketing purposes than anything else.
Wasn't there also some (historic) issue with diesel locomotives getting burned out from running so hard (which is why you had things like the Turboliners worked up)?

One thing that stands out here is that if this makes sense, it sounds like Brightline might at least be able to start with a diesel-only service out in CA, with an eye towards shifting to electric when they can have an electrified line all the way into LA. Per that report they issued a few years back, this would also leave them better-positioned to make a grab at the Surfliners (since they seem to have expressed interest in that route - it was one of the six they indicated as options to pursue) if they can just run trains through.
 

Brystar41

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Hi Y'all!

I used Brightline yesterday going from Miami to West Palm Beach, and I have to say it's a fantastic train ride. I love the service on board, and the stations are top-notch. Also, the Siemens cars are fantastic, and I hope Amtrak orders some for its long-distance routes and keep their AC-64 for the continued runs to NYC Penn.

Anyways I am looking forward to the expansion to Orlando is much needed, and it's something I would enjoy since it will make it easier to go to the Theme parks (Disney, Universal, and such).

Also wanted to say I am from Miami, FL, but since I don't use the train much because I live way out in the suburbs so it's not an easy reach but glad to see there is another option besides Tri-Rail to get to WPB. I do like that Brightline's WPB is at the downtown section, while at Tri-Rail's station, you have to walk to get to the CBD of WPB or get one of those trolley services they have.
 
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VentureForth

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How about this : Schedule for 125 and when behind schedule run up to 150 to maintain japan type on time performance?
It's easy to maintain schedule with max speeds, if you don't have external influencers. Honestly, I'm quite surprised at how poorly the existing Brightline on-time performance between WPB and MIA is. Yes, there are freight trains, but they are fewer and further apart than our Amtrak Class I hosts typically are. and they control all their own dispatching. I don't look at them every day, so they could be improving. But scheduling a 25 MPH buffer into the schedule can only recoup a few minutes here and there, not the "really" late 15-20 minutes+ that you often see.

I think I DO know what the cause of delays on Brightline are. I think the majority is the inability to disembark and load passengers efficiently. When I rode, people sat in their seats until the train came to a full stop. This made folks on the platform think that no one was getting off. So they board and when the folks getting off are finally ready to get out, there's congestion and confusion in the vestibule. It's a cultural thing, I think - as many Americans aren't used to fast-turnaround loading and unloading on non-commuter type trains.
 
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