Brightline Orlando Extension

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jis

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Beats Amtrak. With them, it will be 15 years (if at all) before we have their infrastructure corridor plans completed. And we know the Class 1s will not want to improve the track for passenger service. In fact, they'll likely try and make it 40 years if they can.
With Brightline all that they will say is it is a possibility but we have no commitment to do it. So I don't see how that is significantly better than anyone else. I think railfans are going a bit ga-ga about Brightline rather prematurely. It is like thirsty person in desert seeing mirages.
 

cirdan

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That is more than ten years away at best.
I thought we were talking about a charter?

Is there any reason preventing a Brightline set going anywhere at all on a charter?

The bigger question might be whether Brightlne has a spare train they can make available.
 
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VentureForth

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The bigger question might be whether Brightline would ever let Amtrak use one of their trains...
I tend to think, not....;)
This. I don't think than any passenger rail company can operate on a Class I that Amtrak serves. Maybe not a thing, but seeing that the Class I's don't like Amtrak but by law have to accommodate them, I doubt they would be amenable to anyone else.
 

me_little_me

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With Brightline all that they will say is it is a possibility but we have no commitment to do it. So I don't see how that is significantly better than anyone else. I think railfans are going a bit ga-ga about Brightline rather prematurely. It is like thirsty person in desert seeing mirages.
You can watch and read about Brightline expanding their service right NOW. What they promised a few years ago, they are doing NOW. What Amtrak promised a few years ago (simple improvement like bedding and the promised Points/cash combination) couldn't even be implemented after more than 2 years. Brightline put their trains in service as soon as they could. Amtrak let the new sleepers sit forever.

At this point, there are no mirages. Just promises that are mostly kept. Amtrak is the mirage company. Or better yet, the magician company (as you see things that suddenly disappear and you don't know why)

I have no special love for Brightline but it shows that things can get done. The first thing needed is for the company to care about where they are going. Yes, Amtrak has no money except what they can beg or borrow from the government but that doesn't explain false promises, sudden downgrades of services without notice, failing to tell customers the new schedules, etc. That doesn't take money. That takes good management.
 

jis

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I did not say that it is not better at getting things done. What I said is they have not said definitively that they will do Jacksonville. They have also mentioned all sorts of other short routes including ones where they really have no chance of inserting themselves. JAX is certainly more likely than many of those since they at least have first dibs at track access and the railroad is managed by a company that they jointly own with FECR. But again. They have not said that they definitely will do it. It is a wait and see, at a significantly lower priority at present than say, the proposed station between West Palm Beach and Orlando.

So I stand by my comment "I think railfans are going a bit ga-ga about Brightline rather prematurely. It is like thirsty person in desert seeing mirages."

To repeat, I am no talking about Amtrak nor comparing Brightline with them. I am making a statement about Brightline. You OTOH appear to be fixated on Amtrak in a Brightline thread. I don't know why.
 
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cirdan

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This. I don't think than any passenger rail company can operate on a Class I that Amtrak serves. Maybe not a thing, but seeing that the Class I's don't like Amtrak but by law have to accommodate them, I doubt they would be amenable to anyone else.
Having worked in the big bad corporate world for more than half my career, I don't believe that anybody there is genuinely pro or anti anything. If the figures add up or there is some other advantage, they will do it. If the liabilities outweigh the gains they won't.

So it's all a question of how you walk up to a Class I and talk to them. If you recognize that passenger trains will inconvenience them in some way you need to look with an open mind about how you can offset that inconvenience in such a way that, all things taken into account, the Class I would still be better off with such a passenger service than without. If you approach them with unreasonable demands, they will hit back with unreasonable demands.

It's not fundamentally different to inventing a new product and then walking up to Walgreens and expecting them to stock and sell it for you. If Walgreens believes the costs of putting your item on their shelf (and potentially displacing some other product) outweigh the benefits, you need to rethink your sales pitch and your value proposition. That's not the same thing as saying Walgreens is anti your product because they are a bunch of bone headed neanderthals who oppose progress.
 

Qapla

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It sure would be neat to be able to ride from Jacksonville to Orlando in some of those cars
That is more than ten years away at best.
I think someone misunderstood my comment ... I was not talking about Brightline running service to JAX - I was referring to this comment (read bold as a single sentence to understand my comment):

Just a reminder. These trains to be "rolling into Orlando" this summer are not the existing trainsets, but the new ones that are expected to begin arriving on the property in late summer. They will arrive via the new connection with the OUC railroad and travel to Orlando via CSX from Jacksonville.
And I said:

It sure would be neat to be able to ride from Jacksonville to Orlando in some of those cars
The riding I was talking about is not some distant route that fits this comment:

That is more than ten years away at best.
I did not say that it is not better at getting things done. What I said is they have not said definitively that they will do Jacksonville. They have also mentioned all sorts of other short routes including ones where they really have no chance of inserting themselves. JAX is certainly more likely than many of those since they at least have first dibs at track access and the railroad is managed by a company that they jointly own with FECR. But again. They have not said that they definitely will do it. It is a wait and see, at a significantly lower priority at present than say, the proposed station between West Palm Beach and Orlando.

So I stand by my comment "I think railfans are going a bit ga-ga about Brightline rather prematurely. It is like thirsty person in desert seeing mirages."

To repeat, I am no talking about Amtrak nor comparing Brightline with them. I am making a statement about Brightline. You OTOH appear to be fixated on Amtrak in a Brightline thread. I don't know why.
So, while I guess I could be considered a bit "ga-ga" for wanting to ride in an otherwise empty new car being delivered to Brightline via CSX, it should not take 10 years before these new cars are shuttled from JAX to Orlando since they are due into the port of JAX and expected in Orlando this summer ... unless they get lost along the way
 

VentureForth

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Having worked in the big bad corporate world for more than half my career, I don't believe that anybody there is genuinely pro or anti anything. If the figures add up or there is some other advantage, they will do it. If the liabilities outweigh the gains they won't.

So it's all a question of how you walk up to a Class I and talk to them. If you recognize that passenger trains will inconvenience them in some way you need to look with an open mind about how you can offset that inconvenience in such a way that, all things taken into account, the Class I would still be better off with such a passenger service than without. If you approach them with unreasonable demands, they will hit back with unreasonable demands.

It's not fundamentally different to inventing a new product and then walking up to Walgreens and expecting them to stock and sell it for you. If Walgreens believes the costs of putting your item on their shelf (and potentially displacing some other product) outweigh the benefits, you need to rethink your sales pitch and your value proposition. That's not the same thing as saying Walgreens is anti your product because they are a bunch of bone headed neanderthals who oppose progress.
I don't disagree with anything you said. I just don't think we'll see the two come to a mutual agreement.
 

cirdan

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I'm actually slightly surprised by mention of MIA in this (at least on the presumption that it would involve "mainline" Brightline trains). FLL...I believe that I have been calling that one since at least the day the first train ran. The location is just too good to pass up. Any protests to the contrary aside, I suspect that Brightline will eventually add service to FLL to their mainline trains. My guess is that it'll take an airline interlining deal of some sort to push it over the edge.
Just a thought here.

The people behind Brightline are real estate people, so the rationale behind their actions is often about leveraging value of real estate.

The way Brightline will serve Orlando airport will be a great boost to Orlando airport, siphoning off passengers at intermediate stations and giving them a one seat ride to Orlando airport. In other words, potential Miami airport customers, who might today be driving south to Miami, are being offered the attractive and comfortable alternative of being taken north to Orlando, possibly in less time than it would take to drive to Miami. In other words, Brightline is helping Orlando siphon away part of Miami's customer base.

Now, I guess Brightline want something in return. And to prevent Orlando from taking them for granted, they are making noise about something that would actually reverse the situation. Well, as long as you don't look at the details. But if it improves their position at the negotiating table, it's good enough maybe.

Just an idea?
 

jruff001

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You can watch and read about Brightline expanding their service right NOW.
??

Brightline hasn't operated a single revenue passenger train in over a year and has not announced anything publicly about resuming service (at least that I am aware of, and I just checked their website prior to posting this).

Meanwhile, the rest of Florida has been re-opened for some time, and airlines are reporting that domestic travel is back to about where it was pre-pandemic. The car traffic on Florida interstate highways certainly seems like it is back to about normal too. What is Brightline waiting for?
 

west point

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What is Brightline waiting for?
Brightline is waiting for the PTC system to be approved by the FRA. FEC tried to implement a PTC system that was I suppose was on the cheap. FEC and contractor could not make it even prove capable. So FEC has had to install a proven system clean sheet from failed system. Now how far along FEC is with the new PTC I have no idea ?
 

joelkfla

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Brightline is waiting for the PTC system to be approved by the FRA. FEC tried to implement a PTC system that was I suppose was on the cheap. FEC and contractor could not make it even prove capable. So FEC has had to install a proven system clean sheet from failed system. Now how far along FEC is with the new PTC I have no idea ?
May 2021 update to CFX board:
  • PTC on Miami to WPB expected to be complete by November
  • Resumption of service by end of year
 

west point

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joelkfla thanks for the update That end of the year really only gives a month or so to work out any kinks of the PTC. how about on to Cocoa ? Is there any plan for Brightline to go MIA - Cocoa as soon as the 2 MT is finished ? Would expect if not then why would FEC hurry that section ?
 

jis

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joelkfla thanks for the update That end of the year really only gives a month or so to work out any kinks of the PTC. how about on to Cocoa ? Is there any plan for Brightline to go MIA - Cocoa as soon as the 2 MT is finished ? Would expect if not then why would FEC hurry that section ?
No. There is no place in Cocoa to platform a train. There is no station in Cocoa and at present only a vague plan for one at Cocoa-Rockledge some day, certainly not within the next several years. That one I am quite familiar about as far as status goes since it falls under the Space Coast TPO, meetings of which I sit in on regularly. What is 2 MT? What section are they hurrying? West Palm Beach to Cocoa is not schedule to be done until past 2Q2022.
 

joelkfla

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joelkfla thanks for the update That end of the year really only gives a month or so to work out any kinks of the PTC. how about on to Cocoa ? Is there any plan for Brightline to go MIA - Cocoa as soon as the 2 MT is finished ? Would expect if not then why would FEC hurry that section ?
The Brightline VP gave no further details. I assumed PTC project "complete" meant fully tested and accepted by FRA.

Last I heard him say about start of service to Orlando was early 2023, but somebody posted a link to a news article above that said mid-2023. I've heard nothing about a partial extension of service before Orlando inception.
 

jis

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The Brightline VP gave no further details, but I assumed PTC project "complete" meant fully tested and accepted by FRA.

Last I heard him say about start of service to Orlando was early 2023, but somebody posted a link to a news article above that said mid-2023. I've heard nothing about a partial extension of service before Orlando inception.
That is because there is nowhere to partially extend it to beyond WPB.
 

west point

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2 MT as others have defined is is 2 main tracks fully CTC vs double track which is 1 track signaled one track each way current of traffic. At one time SOU RR's track ATL - WASH was double track right hand current of traffic with a few isolated sections of reversed signaling. If train traveled opposite required a form "D" MAX speed 59 MPH. For most sections of double track the signaling did not require any code lines except for some crossing signals.

I was wondering if FEC was proceeding with PTC installation towards Cocoa or if it was waiting until close to service all way to Orlando ? BTW how is the testing going? Why no station yet at Cocoa planned ? Is it because of the tollway charges of passengers just going Orlando - Cocoa ?
 

jis

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I was wondering if FEC was proceeding with PTC installation towards Cocoa or if it was waiting until close to service all way to Orlando ? BTW how is the testing going? Why no station yet at Cocoa planned ? Is it because of the tollway charges of passengers just going Orlando - Cocoa ?
PTC testing has been going on upto WPB. I suppose they will start installing it north of WPB after the basic signaling system has been installed in the rebuilt railroad. I doubt they will do anything substantial this year, except perhaps on the Orlando to Cocoa Curve if that track becomes ready with signals and all.

A station at Cocoa-Rockledge is planned for sometime in the future and a site has been selected, but it is well known that nothing will happen until Orlando service has been well established. There are only so many things that can be funded at one time out of the current resources available.

There are at least two stations planned between WPB and Orlando, maybe three. One will be in Martin or St. Lucie County and the other one at Cocoa-Rockledge. But they are all at least five years away. Disney Springs will happen before them, but maybe they will happen before Tampa.

The toll issue is not a show stopper.Everyone knows how the agreement has to be modified and there is no basic disagreement on anything. They will just do it when needed. There will be a small surcharge on Cocoa to Orlando tickets possibly less than a dollar each.
 

neroden

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Having worked in the big bad corporate world for more than half my career, I don't believe that anybody there is genuinely pro or anti anything. If the figures add up or there is some other advantage, they will do it. If the liabilities outweigh the gains they won't.

So it's all a question of how you walk up to a Class I and talk to them. If you recognize that passenger trains will inconvenience them in some way you need to look with an open mind about how you can offset that inconvenience in such a way that, all things taken into account, the Class I would still be better off with such a passenger service than without. If you approach them with unreasonable demands, they will hit back with unreasonable demands.

It's not fundamentally different to inventing a new product and then walking up to Walgreens and expecting them to stock and sell it for you. If Walgreens believes the costs of putting your item on their shelf (and potentially displacing some other product) outweigh the benefits, you need to rethink your sales pitch and your value proposition. That's not the same thing as saying Walgreens is anti your product because they are a bunch of bone headed neanderthals who oppose progress.
....I don't think the management of most of the Class Is are that competent.

OK, maybe BNSF is that competent. There's evidence for that.

But CSX has cut off its nose to spite its face, repeatedly, and I'm just talking about the freight business. When you're dealing with idiot management who don't know how to run their own company... I'm sure you have done so... it's not like you describe.

I blame short-termism -- if the corporate management's goal is to "juice" the quarterly earning report to get a larger bonus before they leave with their golden parachute, you can get some very bad mismanagement, and open hostility to things which are, long-term, profitable.
 

neroden

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The toll issue is not a show stopper.Everyone knows how the agreement has to be modified and there is no basic disagreement on anything. They will just do it when needed. There will be a small surcharge on Cocoa to Orlando tickets possibly less than a dollar each.
I hope you are right. From outside, it looks like DeSantis may be throwing obstacles. If he just wants to obstruct, he can do so by preventing the toll issue from being negotiated in good faith.
 

neroden

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That is because there is nowhere to partially extend it to beyond WPB.
In particular, all the station construction for stations between WPB and Orlando is YEARS behind the Orlando construction. None of them have started construction.
 

jruff001

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Brightline is waiting for the PTC system to be approved by the FRA. FEC tried to implement a PTC system that was I suppose was on the cheap. FEC and contractor could not make it even prove capable. So FEC has had to install a proven system clean sheet from failed system. Now how far along FEC is with the new PTC I have no idea ?
Thanks!

It is odd they don't update their website to say that and are just leaving it as blaming Covid.
 

jis

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It is odd they don't update their website to say that and are just leaving it as blaming Covid.
Most of their customers understand COVID and would not know a PTC if it came and crapped on their face. Only the few rail savvy ones would even vaguely know what PTC is. And I suspect they would not want to publicize too much they took their eye off the eight ball on a critical safety system, So here we are. ;)

When they initially announced the shutdown of service, I was one of the very few who was able to connect it with the PTC issue because I carefully read PTC related publications from the FRA, which carried a tiny footprint, easily missed, that FECR had withdrawn their eATC based PTC certification request, soon followed by an obscure notice in a industry rag far removed from the FRA, from Wabtec saying they were installing I-ETMS for FECR. Nowhere did Brightline appear in any of those. You just had to know enough background to connect things together. Initially, even the FECRS folks did not believe me when I raised awareness about this. It took a good several months before people came to realize what was going on.

Frankly they have absolutely no reason to highlight this at this time, and letting sleeping dogs lay sleeping is probably the best approach. Those who need to know the details, know it, and those who don't, don't.

Brightline is waiting for the PTC system to be approved by the FRA. FEC tried to implement a PTC system that was I suppose was on the cheap. FEC and contractor could not make it even prove capable. So FEC has had to install a proven system clean sheet from failed system. Now how far along FEC is with the new PTC I have no idea ?
That is an over simplification. eATC PTC systems work just fine. For example ACSES II works just fine. The problem was interoperability. With the advent of interchange of trains between Tri-Rail and Birghtline it became obvious that continuing to use eATC would become progressively more cost prohibitive for everyone. So they chose to take advantage of the window of opportunity provided by COVID and the expansion of service to Orlando and the fact that the demonstration service to WPB had served its basic purpose already and was bleeding more money every month, to simply shut the old system down ind replace it with one that interoperates seamlessly with Tri-Rail and incidentally other freight operators north of JAX, thus allowing run through powers too. I consider it to be a clever use of circumstances to reduce long term cost of operation with minimal impact that was unavoidable in the circumstances.
 
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