Brightline not operating due to Covid? Any idea when they might resume operations.

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Steve4031

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I will be traveling to Florida the last week in March. Part of the reason for the trip was to ride brightline. I went on their website to check schedules and discovered that it was not operating and was instructed to check back. Tri-rail is running. Why would Brightline not be running.
 

TrackWalker

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"Is Brightline's service temporarily closed?"

"Yes, due to CDC social distancing guidelines, mandated work-from-home policies, and other considerations our service remains suspended. Brightline continues monitoring current events and evaluating scenarios for resuming passenger service. "
 

jis

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I will be traveling to Florida the last week in March. Part of the reason for the trip was to ride brightline. I went on their website to check schedules and discovered that it was not operating and was instructed to check back. Tri-rail is running. Why would Brightline not be running.
Try 4th quarter of this year. See below.
I believe @jis says it's due to PTC, not COVID
Early in 2020 Brightline, FECR and Florida Dispatching Company gave up on their original plan to enhance the existing ATC system on FECR to make it one that met the PTC requirements. Instead they signed a new contract with Wabtec to install I-ETMS, The work started around mid-year 2020 AFAICT.

Currently certification tests are in progress and it is expected to be certified between Miami Central and West Palm Beach, and also Miami Central to CP Iris later this year. Consequently Brightline expects to start operating on its southern segment late this year. Also Tri Rail expects to start operating to Miami Central later this year. That is why you can see Birghtline trains running occasionally at present, but they are not in service. They are carrying out PTC testing. It is likely that an occasional Tri Rail train would show up at Miami Central while PTC cross testing starts for Tri Rail operations on FECR trackage.

Meanwhile FECR has been operating its freight trains within the low frequency exemption from FRA by not running any more trains than are allowed per day on a non-PTC railroad.

Brightline's customer facing story is that it is all due to COVID. Of course it is their choice to decide how much money they can afford to lose, since they were losing money hand over fist on that segment even before there was any COVID. They simply chose to use this opportunity to put an end to all that money losing binge for a while, which of course was going to get even worse with COVID.
 
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railiner

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I will be traveling to Florida the last week in March. Part of the reason for the trip was to ride brightline. I went on their website to check schedules and discovered that it was not operating and was instructed to check back. Tri-rail is running. Why would Brightline not be running.
PTC and pandemic issues aside, when Brightline was running, its fares were much higher than Tri-Rail's, perhaps because Tri-Rail is government owned, and carries commuters. Brightline was designed to carry passengers across the state, not just the short segment it began with. Believe they did run just to demonstrate their future project, and gain support...
 

jis

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PTC and pandemic issues aside, when Brightline was running, its fares were much higher than Tri-Rail's, perhaps because Tri-Rail is government owned, and carries commuters. Brightline was designed to carry passengers across the state, not just the short segment it began with. Believe they did run just to demonstrate their future project, and gain support...
Also in general the projected Brightline fares are significantly higher than the typical Amtrak Coach fare between those points (ORL, MIA). They are completely different sorts of service. It is far from clear that everyone will want to spend considerably more to save two hours.
 

IndyLions

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Has anyone here ridden on the service? I have not, but have seen (positive review) YouTube videos online. I’m anxious to ride in that new equipment, because that’s what’s coming to the Midwest – and that’s what many here hope will replace Amfleet I’s. While they look great on paper and on video, I’d like to actually ride in one before I pass judgment :)
 

jis

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Has anyone here ridden on the service? I have not, but have seen (positive review) YouTube videos online. I’m anxious to ride in that new equipment, because that’s what’s coming to the Midwest – and that’s what many here hope will replace Amfleet I’s. While they look great on paper and on video, I’d like to actually ride in one before I pass judgment :)
Yes. I have ridden on it somewhere between half a dozen and a dozen times, and I also know a lot of people in the organization including the boss, Patrick Goddard. It is indeed an excellent. But the number of people involved in providing said service on platform at station and on trains was impressive.

In some ways I think the Midwest equipment is a small step down from the Brightline equipment. Brightline's goal is to provide an upscale service, which is different from the goal of the Midwest service.
 

me_little_me

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Has anyone here ridden on the service? I have not, but have seen (positive review) YouTube videos online. I’m anxious to ride in that new equipment, because that’s what’s coming to the Midwest – and that’s what many here hope will replace Amfleet I’s. While they look great on paper and on video, I’d like to actually ride in one before I pass judgment :)
My wife and I loved our test run last year before returning home after our cruise. But it's not just the cars. It's the service. They were there to please you (we went one way from FTL to MIA in each class to check them both out). Their "club" offered far more than any Amtrak club and no Lounge Dictators telling you what you can't have or can't do. If you were confused as to boarding, they were more than glad to help and the food offered was excellent. The stations were big, cheery, clean and well-kept. Miami station had very nice places to eat (we ate lunch there but didn't look for a place to eat in FTL).
 

crescent-zephyr

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Has anyone here ridden on the service? I have not, but have seen (positive review) YouTube videos online. I’m anxious to ride in that new equipment, because that’s what’s coming to the Midwest – and that’s what many here hope will replace Amfleet I’s. While they look great on paper and on video, I’d like to actually ride in one before I pass judgment :)
I have. The equipment is nice, feels very new and modern. The standard waiting areas are nicer than Amtrak’s first class waiting areas. The whole system is very impressive.
 

Steve4031

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Early in 2020 Brightline, FECR and Florida Dispatching Company gave up on their original plan to enhance the existing ATC system on FECR to make it one that met the PTC requirements. Instead they signed a new contract with Wabtec to install I-ETMS, The work started around mid-year 2020 AFAICT.

This was probably a smart decision. Isn't I-ETMS a more proven system?
 
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sitzplatz17

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Has anyone here ridden on the service? I have not, but have seen (positive review) YouTube videos online. I’m anxious to ride in that new equipment, because that’s what’s coming to the Midwest – and that’s what many here hope will replace Amfleet I’s. While they look great on paper and on video, I’d like to actually ride in one before I pass judgment :)
my wife and I had a chance to ride about 2 years ago now. It was probably one of the most impressive rail operations I’ve ever used from customer service and design perspective. I do not say that lightly either, I’ve ridden on trains like the Shinkansen in Japan, I used to commute weekly on the ICE in Germany, and regularly took the Acela when I lived on the East Coast.

Aside from the excellent customer service I’d also like to point out that the system was exceptionally accessible for those with limited mobility. Though I myself am able-bodied this is one of the things I’ve tried to notice more often in my new transit experiences, since I believe that accessible transit is valuable to everyone.
 

VentureForth

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"Is Brightline's service temporarily closed?"

"Yes, due to CDC social distancing guidelines, mandated work-from-home policies, and other considerations our service remains suspended. Brightline continues monitoring current events and evaluating scenarios for resuming passenger service. "
So, that's pretty much a lie (*cough* excuse). They have a very comprehensive social distancing protocol on their website. So, it's like jis said - the PTC.

I just moved to Melbourne for a new job. Housing here is crazy difficult to find, so I'm staying in an apartment. I want to actually buy a home in Cocoa to take advantage of the Brightline station for Brevard County being located there.

I am excited to see it get started. This will be particularly crucial for those between West Palm Beach and Orlando where Amtrak doesn't serve, although there will only be a couple of communities served, initially.,
 
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