Brightline Orlando Extension

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Palmetto

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The map shows it as the Homestead Sub of CSX. I suppose the original FEC line down to Homestead was paved or built over...
The Southern most rail in the USA IIRC. There was a plan several years ago to put commuter rail in on the current busway that goes down to Homestead. The cost scared folks off--as usual--and a BRT system is going to be installed, BUT stations will be set up for a possible future conversion to heavy rail.

The Homestead Sub actually passes by MIA, and runs along its south side. At one time, there was also a plan--again quashed--to run commuter rail trains down to the Kendall Section on it.
 

railiner

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The Southern most rail in the USA IIRC. There was a plan several years ago to put commuter rail in on the current busway that goes down to Homestead. The cost scared folks off--as usual--and a BRT system is going to be installed, BUT stations will be set up for a possible future conversion to heavy rail.

The Homestead Sub actually passes by MIA, and runs along its south side. At one time, there was also a plan--again quashed--to run commuter rail trains down to the Kendall Section on it.
I would imagine that the area has built up some in recent years, perhaps enough to take another look at that extension cost/benefit? And it seems that CSX wants to get out of that part of FL anyway, and might be happy to get rid of that isolated section...
 

blueman271

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The Southern most rail in the USA IIRC. There was a plan several years ago to put commuter rail in on the current busway that goes down to Homestead. The cost scared folks off--as usual--and a BRT system is going to be installed, BUT stations will be set up for a possible future conversion to heavy rail.

The Homestead Sub actually passes by MIA, and runs along its south side. At one time, there was also a plan--again quashed--to run commuter rail trains down to the Kendall Section on it.
There have been many plans over the years. Dade County passed a half-cent sales tax increase in 2002 that was billed as the People’s Transportation Plan. It was supposed to fund a whole bunch of stuff, including a full build out of the Metrorail system (which would have converted the busway to heavy rail). For any number of reasons most of the projects were cancelled. The only three things that actually happened were extending Metrorail to the airport (which included roughly three miles of track and one new station), making Metromover free (it used to cost .25 cents a ride), and briefly running 24 hour Metrorail service (this lasted less than a year and may have only lasted 6 months, I’m a little foggy about the exact length).
As far as building more commuter rail, or sending light rail or monorail from the mainland to the beach, those are all ideas that have been floating around as long as I can remember and I’m 35. I think Dan Marino has a better chance of winning a Super Bowl than any of those things being funded and built by a local or county government in South Florida.
 

jis

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I would imagine that the area has built up some in recent years, perhaps enough to take another look at that extension cost/benefit? And it seems that CSX wants to get out of that part of FL anyway, and might be happy to get rid of that isolated section...
The Beach Corridor related information can be found at:


Nobody would ever blame FDOT or Miami-Dade TPO for being good at maintaining consistency of their info on their web pages. While the front page says Monorail, the TPO resolution says People Mover. So no one can tell for sure, but presumably an adopted resolution holds more weight than random text on a web page. But whatever it is it will be DBOM contract and it is mostly about the causeway. Along the beach it will be a busway.

The South Dade Transitway and Metrorail South of Miami Central Brightline station is along the old FEC ROW. I am not sure which technology they will actually use on the transitway, but most likely it will be rubber tyred.

The information on the transitway can be found at:


Meanwhile the Mayor of Miami thinks that Elon Musk will build his tunnels all around Miami for cheap. The level of incompetence in the whole exercise is high, with everyone trying to impress each other and hopefully others, with maximal use of latest buzzwords with remarkably low awareness of what any of it means, and with low concern for whether anything usable ever gets built or not. Maybe even they are convinced that the whole thing will sink under the Ocean waves before anyone will hold them accountable, even though that is a mistaken notion too. 🤷‍♂️
 
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jis

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I thought CSX offered its Homestead branch for sale to some sort of Florida governmental unit. I don't think the governmental unit accepted the offer.
They offered it for sale in general. There were no takers. Brightline considered it for a moment and then passed on it too. I don't know exactly what the terms were. The County could not come with the funds and FDOT was AWOL.
 

west point

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Last time in Miami the FEC and CSX interchanged just south of the airport. The FEC once had a freight track from that location directly south to join the FEC Passenger track near Dadeland. All that trackage south of the airport abandoned to Homestead and south by FEC. FEC and SAL had a connection at Homestead as well.
 

neroden

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Roaming Railfan finally did a video which explains what's going on in the *other* place where Brightline will pass under the 528 -- the one where they're moving the roadway. Still looks like this is one of the least-complete sections of the project, but the bridges on the existing FEC line still seem to be further behind.

 

Palmland

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When we lived in FL in the 90’s we had a $99 residence annual pass and used it a lot. Prices and crowds (not to mention our age) have taken it out of our comfort zone.

But when we go, riding the train and steamboat are always enjoyable. I also like their ferry and boat services. We may return more in the future with our grandkids but I do believe they have lost some of their outstanding customer service.

When we first went in 1980 a real electric streetcar operated and I believe it went to the campground. Guess the streets got too crowded for it. What really annoys me is paying for parking with the exorbitant park fees. That should be another incentive to use Sunrail or Brightline.
 
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joelkfla

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When we lived in FL in the 90’s we had a $99 residence annual pass and used it a lot. Prices and crowds (not to mention our age) have taken it out of our comfort zone.

But when we go, riding the train and steamboat are always enjoyable. I also like their ferry and boat services. We may return more in the future with our grandkids but I do believe they have lost some of their outstanding customer service.

When we first went in 1980 a real electric streetcar operated and I believe it went to the campground. Guess the streets got too crowded for it. What really annoys me is paying for parking with the exorbitant park fees. That should be another incentive to use Sunrail or Brightline.
Talking about Disney:

I've never heard of a trolley, but there is one at California Adventure at Disneyland CA. There was, however, a steam train that circulated through the campground.

If you return, in addition to the watercraft & monorail, you'll have the Skyliner aerial gondola to ride between Epcot & Hollywood Studios.

You're opinion on the decline of Disney's customer focus is widely shared.
 

joelkfla

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I just watched Brightline's status update to to the CFXway board on the video of the 4/8 meeting.

I'm feeling kind of suspicious about our wonderful Gov. DeSantis' appointee to the board. It seems like he may be trying to throw a monkey wrench into Brightline meeting the state's July 31 deadline for finalizing ROW alignment agreements. First it was insisting on the northern alignment; now he's refusing to go along with deferring the toll diversion study until after COVID quiets down.
 

VentureForth

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You're opinion on the decline of Disney's customer focus is widely shared.
I worked at Tokyo Disneyland for 5 years and WDW for another 3 just out of college. This was back in the late 90's. Even then, I thought that WDW's customer service was not as impeccable as Disneyland or Tokyo Disneyland. Orlando always seemed very "corporate" to me. It really started when Disney stopped using their own food services to provide cast member dining rooms. Then they started outsourcing EVERYTHING - from the Empress Lily to just about everything at Coronado Springs. I worked in Guest Relations for half my time there. A few of us really did care.

I don't recognize the place any more. It's so stinkin' huge and still so popular that it's next to impossible to truly enjoy. I really loved working there, loved living near it, and loved being part of the cast. Who knows? Now that I'm living in Melbourne, I can retire driving their busses around. But why bother? Employee benefits are nearly gone. We used to have great Christmas gifts, great guest pass-in benefits (I mean, if you could go to Disney for free, you still can't get out for free).

So I say all that to say this - even at my time there, with SO many college kids working who didn't care, and with the aforementioned corporate mindset, it's not surprising that the magic is being slowly eroded away while the cash grab is at an all time high.
 

joelkfla

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I don't recognize the place any more. It's so stinkin' huge and still so popular that it's next to impossible to truly enjoy. I really loved working there, loved living near it, and loved being part of the cast. Who knows? Now that I'm living in Melbourne, I can retire driving their busses around. But why bother? Employee benefits are nearly gone. We used to have great Christmas gifts, great guest pass-in benefits (I mean, if you could go to Disney for free, you still can't get out for free).
I joined the cast in 2005. I think I got one nice Christmas gift the 1st year - not fancy nor expensive, but nice. After that, it was just a cheezy tree ornament every year. And yes, cast member admission privileges and preview opportunites steadily eroded year after year.
 

jis

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I just watched Brightline's status update to to the CFXway board on the video of the 4/8 meeting.

I'm feeling kind of suspicious about our wonderful Gov. DeSantis' appointee to the board. It seems like he may be trying to throw a monkey wrench into Brightline meeting the state's July 31 deadline for finalizing ROW alignment agreements. First it was insisting on the northern alignment; now he's refusing to go along with deferring the toll diversion study until after COVID quiets down.
If it is indeed DeSantis' guy my guess is that there is a background negotiation taking place on what the shakedown amount is that has to be paid to this gang to get their approval. Once that is agreed upon and settled, things should sail along smoothly 🤪
 

jis

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I had the opportunity the drive down Babcock to take my car in for maintenance at Toyota. Looks like the second track has now arrived from the South at Babcock Street crossing in Melbourne FL, except for the bridge rebuilds involved in Indian River and Brevard Counties of course.

At Babcock, they have to move the massive crossing warning light and gate structure and also install four quadrant gates, which will take a bit of time I suppose. They were bringing in concrete ties by trucks and dropping them on the north side of Babcock towards Sarno Rd. (the next crossing)
 

nullptr

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This might have been obvious to people more familiar with the area, but I didn't realize Universal Orlando Resort is one of the groups pushing for Brightline to go through the I drive corridor. https://www.bizjournals.com/orlando/news/2021/04/09/universal-orlando-brightline-i-drive-route.html

Their lobbying could be part of the hangup with the CFE board, but their comments in the article come off as bit disingenuous to me, is it really the "community" they are concerned about, or Universal Orlando...
 

jis

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I am sure Universal Orlando could fund the additional billion Dollars and have it go by Universal Orlando. The thing will involve major private property acquisition and the entire thing will have to be built elevated. They are just trying to get someone else to pay for their profits.
 
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