Brightline Florida update

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jis

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Something to think about - what is the most straightforward way to get from Orlando Amtrak station to the airport?
I use Uber/Lyft. But as mentioned above you could opt for the bus. Unfortunately Lynx buses in my experience quite unpredictably get bunched up, so every thirty minute service may in actuality look like two buses after an hour :(
 
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I use Uber/Lyft. But as mentioned above you could opt for the bus. Unfortunately Lynx buses in my experience quite unpredictably get bunched up, so every thirty minute service may in actuality look like two buses after an hour :(
I'll probably go the Uber/Lyft route if I do it - unsure too if I'd do it on the southern trip (would amend my 97 res to terminate at Orlando) or coming north and boarding 98 at ORL. Will have to see what the BL schedule is when they start up.
 

VentureForth

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I'll probably go the Uber/Lyft route if I do it - unsure too if I'd do it on the southern trip (would amend my 97 res to terminate at Orlando) or coming north and boarding 98 at ORL. Will have to see what the BL schedule is when they start up.
There is also a bus from the Kissimmee station. On weekdays, you can catch SunRail from either Orlando or Kissimmee to Sand Lake Road and take the bus from there, but the time may not be any more efficient.
 

GDRRiley

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getting closer. Interesting to me FRA only requires derailers on sidings above 90mph, Europe has them on most sidings.
 

jis

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I've seen some lights on (The little "power" lights - amber, green) on some of the boxes along the 528. No mainline signals turned on yet. Still, getting exciting!
One very interesting feature on the 528 segment is that the interlockings do not have any connection from the power grid. They are entirely powered by solar panels and large battery packs capable of powering them for a couple of days without being charged. If they wished to get grid connections they would required to install many miles of transmission lines, which they thought was going to be more expensive than having battery packs that lasted many days with the highly predictable consumption, and with properly scaled solar panels to charge them.
 

GDRRiley

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One very interesting feature on the 528 segment is that the interlockings do not have any connection from the power grid. They are entirely powered by solar panels and large battery packs capable of powering them for a couple of days without being charged. If they wished to get grid connections they would required to install many miles of transmission lines, which they thought was going to be more expensive than having battery packs that lasted many days with the highly predictable consumption, and with properly scaled solar panels to charge them.
quite a few also have diesel generators for backup if the solar+battery gets low
 

jis

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quite a few also have diesel generators for backup if the solar+battery gets low
According to the route engineer who spoke to us during our visit to the Maintenance Facility at OIA several weeks back, these are pure Solar. No diesel. Power consumption is minuscule at the wayside signals what with LED lamps and such. Consumption is about 3 to 4x where there is a switch, but still it is not that large and Florida has lots and lots of Sun and 10-20kW batteries are not that large.
 

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I am curious if these signal installations have anti-vandal measures such as fencing, motion sensors for lighting, enclosure intrusion switches, etc.. as part of their design. Some of them are rather isolated, yet not far from a major highway by foot.

And due to their location with regards to power source, solar is most likely the best design as utility power may be out for weeks after a storm if they did have external power lines installed.
 

jis

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And due to their location with regards to power source, solar is most likely the best design as utility power may be out for weeks after a storm if they did have external power lines installed.
More importantly, for some of those locations there is no utility power line of any sort within 5 or 6 miles. So they would have to install new lines just for the few watts that these sites would typically consume.
 

Brian_tampa

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More importantly, for some of those locations there is no utility power line of any sort within 5 or 6 miles. So they would have to install new lines just for the few watts that these sites would typically consume.
Speaking of power consumption, initially there is one #32 switch on the SR528 route with 5 electric motors to operate the switch points. Am curious how much power these motors require to move the switch points? And a future second similar switch will be west of the St John's River bridge I believe. Are these also solar powered or battery backup?

I think even if utility power was available without the extra cost to run power lines, solar is by far more reliable.
 

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With today's solar panels and LiFePo4 batteries they may be able to get a week of power for lights and switches with a battery bank and the proper inverters. They don't take up much space and last for a very long time.
 

jis

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Solar charged batteries sufficient for signaling makes sense, but for switches?
Since Railway Power Switches can be operated using 12V, 24V or 120V DC power, they could not possibly be huge consumers of power. Typical extended run backup power systems have capacity of 500W or less. Switch motors really are not all that power hungry. They have a small motor with a step down gear assembly to drive the switch throw rod. Even high speed switches with 5 or 6 switch motors would not consume a heck of a lot of power. And the consumption is only when the switch is being thrown which is a short period and relatively far between.

Here is a typical solar powered setup with or without additional backup...

 

Brian_tampa

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Another Brightline Construction update, this time installing the Cocoa Yard Lead South turnout. Also done in October on the 29th.

Nice video. I do have a question about the new intermediate signal for the east main track. Since it is positioned halfway into the yard lead switch, how will train engineers know the position of the switch? If the signal is a true intermediate signal, it would not show the switch (or route) position. I understand that FEC signals show route not speed indications. Anyone know how this switch will be signaled, if at all?
 

Anderson

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Just out of curiosity, do we have a date for Aventura yet? [I'm a little bit antsy because if it's at the back end of the month I might be able to make the opening.]
 

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I am still scratching my head over Boca and Aventura. They were marketing 60 minutes from Miami to WPB. It's 72 minutes per the schedule now. His much time is going to be needed for these two more stops? I'm guessing nominally 5 more minutes per stop, bringing the time to 82 minutes. That's almost a 40% indeed over the initially advertised timetable. Do people just not care about the speed anymore?
 

Anderson

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I am still scratching my head over Boca and Aventura. They were marketing 60 minutes from Miami to WPB. It's 72 minutes per the schedule now. His much time is going to be needed for these two more stops? I'm guessing nominally 5 more minutes per stop, bringing the time to 82 minutes. That's almost a 40% indeed over the initially advertised timetable. Do people just not care about the speed anymore?
I think it's closer to 2-3 minutes per stop - this isn't the Silver Meteor. Level boarding and so on help.

Also, I think there's a bit of slack in the timetable that they can work with. Note the Mass Transit Mag article, which seems to estimate about a 72-74-minute end-to-end runtime (56 to WPB+15 to MIA=71, plus 1-3 minutes for the Aventura stop).

Boca is less confusing to me than Aventura. The Palm Beach-Fort Lauderdale run is over 40 miles. A stop every 20 miles probably makes sense. Aventura is a little bit more tightly-placed. Also, remember - not all trains need make all stops. There's a decent chance that at least some trains skip one or the other depending on loads and the like. But the stop spacing is about every 15 minutes (again, per the article):
MIA-Aventura: 15 min
Aventura-FLL: 14 min
FLL-Boca: 18 min (32-14)
Boca-WPB: 24 min (56-32)

That's pretty decent (and even) spacing, all things considered.
 
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