Brightline Orlando Extension

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cocojacoby

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sighs

Is there a map handy of the two routings?

(Also, given that there's been serious talk of an interchange station at Hunter's Creek, I'd like to see Brightline get an agreement with SunRail for that and then turn around and say "Now you're getting all the benefits of it, so stuff your lawsuit".
Here you go:

brightline-route-9348950-1200x552.jpeg

It would seem that the northern route may be faster but I don't see any mention of the estimated travel time anywhere.
 

VentureForth

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So the 528 route seems to be the most direct. If an intermediate stop between Disney Springs and the airport would be placed at the convention center, it would certainly benefit Sea World and their entire complex as well as the hotels around the convention center. It's close, but not walking distance from the majority of the I-Drive attractions. So a new bus, or my proposed elevated monorail (ha!) could connect Sea World to Universal and snake through the Lockheed complex.

Ahh, the dreaming.
 

cirdan

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Which things are progressing faster is a bit mysterious to me. What I'm used to with civil construction is that it's always the earthworks and foundations which take very long or unpredictable amounts of time. I remember a project in my hometown -- adding two bridges to relieve a bottleneck over a flood control channel -- where bridge abutments and piers took an entire summer to place, and then had to settle (!) for an entire year before bridge decks could be built, by which time the next year's construction season was over, thus taking the project into year three of construction. And then the entire rest of the project (bridge decks for multiple bridges and rearrangement of many roads and traffic lights, and sidewalks) took one construction season.
maybe a dumb question here.

But aren't construction seasons something for the colder climatic zones where you can't reliably cast concrete for example as long as there is a risk of it freezing before it's fully cured.

Surely in Florida that's not really an issue.
 

VentureForth

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me_little_me

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maybe a dumb question here.

But aren't construction seasons something for the colder climatic zones where you can't reliably cast concrete for example as long as there is a risk of it freezing before it's fully cured.

Surely in Florida that's not really an issue.
It is an issue in Florida.

Everyone there thinks 50 degrees is well below zero and they can't drive to work for fear of getting "colded in". Of course, Floridians can't drive anyway, if the evidence of those with Florida plates in other states is any indication.

Floridians think concrete doesn't need curing because it isn't catching - something like Covid.

Floridians think concrete will melt if poured in weather that is too hot. After all, it must be melted to make it pour-able, right?

Required disclaimer: :)
 

joelkfla

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Brightline update to Orange County Board of County Commissioners meeting on 6/22/21:

Slides: https://occompt.legistar.com/View.ashx?M=F&ID=9508045&GUID=E3B3499E-B309-488F-8BB1-8EEB50808127
Slides include a project schedule for the Tampa extension, with Disney completion Q4 2025, and Tampa completion off the chart beyond 2026.
Another slide shows Orlando completion Q4 2022, with revenue service starting at unspecified time in 2023.

Video: Index
Select June 22, 2021 if not already selected, then scroll down on the right to video #7.

The Brightline presentation ends at 34:23; the remaining hour is mostly commissioners whining about not serving the Convention Center.
 

NES28

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I am just starting to look at this thread in late July. Brightline has been encouraging Sunrail to operate local services to Disney which would be facilitated by the shared track/station at Meadow Woods. Apparently, they are not interested in running local service in the Orlando area but would like trackage rights fees. Anyway, my question is whether a connecting track and/or shared station is feasible where 528 crosses Sunrail.
 

joelkfla

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I am just starting to look at this thread in late July. Brightline has been encouraging Sunrail to operate local services to Disney which would be facilitated by the shared track/station at Meadow Woods. Apparently, they are not interested in running local service in the Orlando area but would like trackage rights fees. Anyway, my question is whether a connecting track and/or shared station is feasible where 528 crosses Sunrail.
Most of the discussion on this topic is over on the main Brightline thread, since it's really part of the Tampa extension rather than the Orlando extension.

A comparison of the currently proposed alignments was presented to the CFX board last week. On page 15 of the pdf attached to this post, a transfer platform between SunRail & Brightline is shown as #1, but it's south of Taft-Vineland Rd., not at 528. The current northern proposal doesn't go out the north exit of the airport to 528; it exits on the same route as the southern proposal but turns north at Sunrail, then follows Taft-Vineland west to 528.

Now, Brightline has said that they've saved space along the airport alignment for light rail tracks to the north exit, but if that ever happens it would be way in the future.
 
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jis

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According to the original pre-Brightline plans the Airport Station was given enough space for a 6 track station - 2 Express service, 2 local service and 2 light rail or some gadgetbahn. All that soace is still there. If standard SunRail stock is to be used into the airport station they will require two additional tracks with a low platform for their use. Future plans apparently call for that in the form of the proposed East-West Corridor.
 

NES28

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According to the original pre-Brightline plans the Airport Station was given enough space for a 6 track station - 2 Express service, 2 local service and 2 light rail or some gadgetbahn. All that soace is still there. If standard SunRail stock is to be used into the airport station they will require two additional tracks with a low platform for their use. Future plans apparently call for that in the form of the proposed East-West Corridor.
I suppose that the local service could use cars like NJT or Caltrain with separate sets of doors for low and high level platforms.
 

jis

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I suppose that the local service could use cars like NJT or Caltrain with separate sets of doors for low and high level platforms.
There is much to be said though about SunRail not requiring a separate fleet for this service. Since the infrastructure is all new it can be built to suit what will reduce overall cost of operation and minimize confusion for customers.
 

neroden

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According to the original pre-Brightline plans the Airport Station was given enough space for a 6 track station - 2 Express service, 2 local service and 2 light rail or some gadgetbahn. All that soace is still there. If standard SunRail stock is to be used into the airport station they will require two additional tracks with a low platform for their use. Future plans apparently call for that in the form of the proposed East-West Corridor.
They could always pull a "Denver" and raise the tracks at one of the platforms to supply the low-platform needs.
 

jis

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They could always pull a "Denver" and raise the tracks at one of the platforms to supply the low-platform needs.
At the small stations they do not plan to have separate platform track for SFRTA. They plan to have separate platforms on the same track, so raising the track is not really a viable plan at those.

At the stations where there is a separate track there will be no shared platform between Brightline and SFRTA since there is going to be no barrier free transfer between the two. So again, the tracks can remain at the same level and the platform can be at the right height for each relative to the track.
 
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joelkfla

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At the small stations they do not plan to have separate platform track for SFRTA. They plan to have separate platforms on the same track, so raising the track is not really a viable plan at those.

At the stations where there is a separate track there will be no shared platform between Brightline and SFRTA since there is going to be no barrier free transfer between the two. So again, the tracks can remain at the same level and the platform can be at the right height for each relative to the track.
I had to look up SFRTA. SFTRA = TriRail, the commuter service in the Miami area.

@neroden was making the suggestion for the unfinished platforms at OIA, to accommodate SunRail.
 

jis

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From what I recall of the whole OIA station layout plan, SunRail was supposed to get its own two tracks with an island platform. Irrespective of platform heights, SunRail cannot share platforms with Brightline due to different security regimes used by the two. Brightline is a sealed system with airline style security barrier, albeit significantly less intrusive, whereas SunRail is an open tap and go system. It would be quite interesting to see what happens at Disney if SunRail goes there.
 

neroden

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The bridges over Eau Gallie River (Melbourne) and Turkey Creek (Palm Bay), are scheduled to have ongoing construction through Q3 2022. The bridge over the Sebastian River (Sebastian) through "2022". The others are all supposed to be done earlier: Crane Creek (Melbourne) in Q2 2022, and most other stuff is listed as finishing in 2021. Although the Loxahatchee River (Jupiter) bridge may have a second part to it based on the work description.
It is very interesting that the critical path is running through the replacement of three bridges on the existing line, all of which are nonessential to service.
New Roaming Railfan video of bridge status:


These are making good progress, but the Sebastian River, Turkey Creek, and Eau Gallie River bridges still look like *easily* the last parts of the civil construction to be finished. They may be running test trains from Orlando to Cocoa (where all the bridge construction is further along!) before they even have one new track across these bridges, let alone two. If you want to keep an eye on how close they are to opening, watch these bridges.
 

cirdan

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So the 528 route seems to be the most direct. If an intermediate stop between Disney Springs and the airport would be placed at the convention center, it would certainly benefit Sea World and their entire complex as well as the hotels around the convention center. It's close, but not walking distance from the majority of the I-Drive attractions.
I don't think anything of major significance in Orlando is within walking distance of anything else. Especially not the type of walking distance you want when you are taking small kids. This is why it will be very difficult to efficiently serve Orlando by rail without spending huge sums.

I guess if money were no issue I think the best solution would be a metro or monorail interconnecting all the attractions and main hotel complexes, convention center etc, and also connecting to Brightline. But such a system would be horribly expensive could probably never be operated at anything near profitability and is thus probably unimagineable under present circumstances. Anything else is going to be a poor compromise.
 
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joelkfla

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I don't think anything of major significance in Orlando is within walking distance of anything else. Especially not the type of walking distance you want when you are taking small kids. This is why it will be very difficult to efficiently serve Orlando by rail without spending huge sums.

I guess if money were no issue I think the best solution would be a metro or monorail interconnecting all the attractions and main hotel complexes, convention center etc, and also connecting to Brightline. But such a system would be horribly expensive could probably never be operated at anything near profitability and is thus probably unimagineable under present circumstances. Anything else is going to be a poor compromise.
There is a circulator bus (not free) called the I-Ride Trolley, which runs up and down I-Drive and Universal Dr. That would provide the connection, most likely, if there were a Convention Ctr. station. The Conventon Center, a couple of major hotels, and perhaps Universal's new park might be within walking distance, depending on the exact location of any station.
 

Scott Orlando

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Question for the group:
The OUC line will have a spur to connect for work to be done. Construction only or perhaps a permanent link? From what I understand freight is forbidden but could it be left in place as an alternate route? So far the construction looks temporary.
 

VentureForth

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On a completely different thought wave...

The section between Cocoa and MCO will be class 7 trackage with a max speed of 125 mph. Why didn't they go for true HSR and build to class 8? I know the real answer is money, but what are the physical challenges to jump to the next level of 160 mph operations?
 
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