Brightline Orlando extension

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west point

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Just leave the draw bridges and install passenger train only flyovers. Tri Rail did that in Fort Lauderdale building a 2 track main.. CSX uses the draw bridge which remains open except for any freight trains or if tri Rail cannot use the flyover for any reason..
 

George Harris

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Even if you could get rid of all the grade crossings (my first thought is elevated track from Miami to Cocoa), you will never get rid of all the draw bridges.
You probably can get rid of most of them. Just getting the track high enough so that you could easily clear most of the streets (16-6" should be consistent minimum) means going up something on the order of 22 to 30 feet. With that you should be in the order of 30 feet or more clear of the water. Put in a long bump to go up another 20 feet or so would be no big deal. Not a freight issue either, this would fall under the description of a momentum grade and barely slow the train down. Find out how much clearance the Coast Guard wants. Generally it will be on the order of 50 feet for all but ocean going ships. If some of these weekend Admirals want more than 50 feet clear for their yachts, they need to talk to the Coast Guard about it. You might be left with a couple of waterways where ocean going shipping clearance is required, but they would have to be opened much less often as the majority of water traffic could pass under the higher structure,

Freight traffic can accept an increase in elevation change when it seems reasonable to do so. Case in point: Quite a few years ago now, when SCL replaced the Escambia Bay bridge east of Pensacola, they replaced the low wood trestle with steel draw span with a concrete multi-span bridge having enough of a bump in it, actually a long grade up and down, to provide sufficient clearance to eliminate the need for the draw span,
 
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neroden

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That was a fun watch, finally seeing everything in order from one end of the line to the other. Those major bridges on the existing line are clearly going to take the longest, as I have said before.

I wonder when they're going to move the highway over the panel tunnel. I think they have to waterproof the top of the panel tunnel first.
 

daybeers

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That was a nice video!

I'm a little confused and not familiar with Florida's rail system; if one wanted to go from Miami to Orlando downtown, how would they do that using Brightline?
 

jis

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That was a nice video!

I'm a little confused and not familiar with Florida's rail system; if one wanted to go from Miami to Orlando downtown, how would they do that using Brightline?
They'd transfer to a Lynx Express Bus at Orlando Airport station.

Just leave the draw bridges and install passenger train only flyovers. Tri Rail did that in Fort Lauderdale building a 2 track main.. CSX uses the draw bridge which remains open except for any freight trains or if tri Rail cannot use the flyover for any reason..
There is something much more spectacular being considered for the replacement of the bascule bridge on the FEC near the Brightline Fort Lauderdale Station...

 

Qapla

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Maybe I'm a little dense ... I guess I can kinda' understand how it could possibly cost over $3 billion to build - but what would it cost $8.2 million a year to maintain ?

Also, why would Southwest Ninth Street have to be permanently closed.?
 

joelkfla

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That was a nice video!

I'm a little confused and not familiar with Florida's rail system; if one wanted to go from Miami to Orlando downtown, how would they do that using Brightline?
They'd transfer to a Lynx Express Bus at Orlando Airport station.
Unless the commuter SunRail connection comes to be. It's been discussed, but if it happens, it probably won't be until the Disney extension is done, at the earliest. SunRail would share Brightline's ROW between the airport and the existing north-south SunRail line, which goes to the heart of downtown. That part of the proposed Brightline ROW is currently a freight ROW used by the Orlando Utility Commission.
 

Touchdowntom9

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A system running 24 trains a day will be compared to the NEC? Really? You do realize that currently a significant portion is also being built with single track, which can be expanded to two tracks in the future. And the higher speed portion is only th 35 or so miles from Cocoa to OIA. The speed between Miami and Cocoa will never rise above 110mph - because - grade crossings, figuratively speaking, hundreds of them.
What areas of the current route are being built single tracked? I had the impression that this would be double tracked all over. And regarding the area currently in operation Miami/Ft Lauderdale/West Palm, what is keeping the speed at 79mph? It didnt appear to be much different from the new area they are building to 110MPH speed spec and didn't know if it was track geometry or something else.
 
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What areas of the current route are being built single tracked? I had the impression that this would be double tracked all over. And regarding the area currently in operation Miami/Ft Lauderdale/West Palm, what is keeping the speed at 79mph? It didnt appear to be much different from the new area they are building to 110MPH speed spec and didn't know if it was track geometry or something else.
There are significant parts of the extension to Orlando that are single tracked, but will be double tracked as demand increases and they run more trains.
 

joelkfla

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What areas of the current route are being built single tracked? I had the impression that this would be double tracked all over. And regarding the area currently in operation Miami/Ft Lauderdale/West Palm, what is keeping the speed at 79mph? It didnt appear to be much different from the new area they are building to 110MPH speed spec and didn't know if it was track geometry or something else.
All of the upgraded line between WPB & Cocoa will be at least double-tracked. Most of the new construction between Cocoa & ORL is being built single track. Bridge abutments are being built to support double track, so when they decide to double-track those segments they'll just need to add a parallel span.

Not sure, but I think track geometry is the primary speed limiting factor between MIA & WPB, but also grade crossing protection on that section has not been upgraded to the requirements for 110 mph. I read that some curves between WPB & Cocoa are being realigned for higher speed.
 

cirdan

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All of the upgraded line between WPB & Cocoa will be at least double-tracked. Most of the new construction between Cocoa & ORL is being built single track. Bridge abutments are being built to support double track, so when they decide to double-track those segments they'll just need to add a parallel span.
From studying Roaming Railfan's videos it seems it's not just the bridge spans that would have to be added for double track, but also the earthworks.

To my knowledge, it's always more costly to add these things along an operating ROW than on a greenfield site. There would be health and safety concerns for example connected with working so close to a line being used by trains at 125mph. So any work here would probably come with disruptions and extra costs. The fact that Brightline didn't chose to at least complete the earthworks to the full profile suggest to me that any double track ambitions are set in a rather distant future.
 

jis

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Since the running time on the single track segments that they have is five minutes or less, one could guess that they will think about doubling when they are getting close to net 12tph on the segment. Right now they will be starting at 2tph.
 

joelkfla

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Since the running time on the single track segments that they have is five minutes or less, one could guess that they will think about doubling when they are getting close to net 12tph on the segment. Right now they will be starting at 2tph.
Distance traveled in 5 minutes at 125mph is about 10 mi.

So there are no single-tracked segments longer than 10 mi., or not surrounded by double-tracked segments long enough to pass at speed?
 

VentureForth

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Having to stop/slow to pass on the fastest segment of the entire Brightline project will negate all the speed advantage. So, I agree. 2tph? Should be fine. 12tph? Yeah - get that double track down.
 

Touchdowntom9

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All of the upgraded line between WPB & Cocoa will be at least double-tracked. Most of the new construction between Cocoa & ORL is being built single track. Bridge abutments are being built to support double track, so when they decide to double-track those segments they'll just need to add a parallel span.

Not sure, but I think track geometry is the primary speed limiting factor between MIA & WPB, but also grade crossing protection on that section has not been upgraded to the requirements for 110 mph. I read that some curves between WPB & Cocoa are being realigned for higher speed.
I read a handful of articles online mentioning that Brightline was requesting funds to upgrade their grade crossings to prevent further accidents. Would that potentially resolve the grade crossing protection requirement and leave the door open on eventually getting up to 110mph on that segment?
 

VentureForth

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Years ago, CSX eliminated almost all their grade crossings. Part of why you never hear about Tri-Rail having trespassing accidents. Don't know who paid for the upgrades. Granted, CSX (and their predecessors) is MUCH larger than FEC. So, would BRIGHTLINE be spending the money to upgrade FEC's ROW? Cities? How would they separate grade?

I know of a private passenger line in Tokyo put their entire train line underground over the period of like 5 years. It was an amazing feat! Other lines have been completely elevated - all without significant service disruptions. Obviously, the FEC can't go underground, but can it - in any economical universe - be raised in the most densely populated areas?
 

cirdan

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I know of a private passenger line in Tokyo put their entire train line underground over the period of like 5 years. It was an amazing feat! Other lines have been completely elevated - all without significant service disruptions. Obviously, the FEC can't go underground, but can it - in any economical universe - be raised in the most densely populated areas?
I think the problem is that most of the crossing accidents are not happening in the most densely populated areas, such as downtown Miami (where the line is already partially elevated) but are happening in low density car-dependent areas, where there is not really the same sort of economic case for elevation, due to the lower density of land utilization and value.

Furthermore, the FEC mainline is not there purely for Brightline, but also carries freight. Putting in elevated sections would lead to the line being much more of a roller coaster, as it goes onto and off viaduct sections as needed. A passenger train with a high power to weight ratio can probably deal with that but it could be crippling for a heavy freight train.
 
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