Brightline Orlando extension

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jis

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joelkfla

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Many of these grade crossings have existed for decades. Back in the 60's and even into the 70's there did not seem to be such a problem with grade crossings.

What has changed?

The crossings have not changed. The trains have not changed - they still only ride on the tracks. What has changed are the "people".

Vehicle drivers seem to have become more impatient and, instead of patiently waiting for the train(s) to cross, try to get ahead of the train, often with devastating results.

Maybe, just maybe, the more cost-effective solution is to reeducate the automobile drivers to exercise proper highway decorum and quit trying to "beat the train".


On second thought, with all the road-rage - that might not work. Perhaps it is better to spend several billions to fix a "problem" that shouldn't even be a problem if people would just stop, look, listen" and quit being so impatient.
In line with the general decline of courtesy and decorum in this country.
 

cirdan

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In line with the general decline of courtesy and decorum in this country.
But also in line with urban sprawl leading to increased automobile traffic.

What may have been insignificant farm roads 60 years ago now serve developed and mature residential subdivisons, so it's natural there should be many more cars on those crossings.
 

jis

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But also in line with urban sprawl leading to increased automobile traffic.

What may have been insignificant farm roads 60 years ago now serve developed and mature residential subdivisons, so it's natural there should be many more cars on those crossings.
Indeed. The root cause of much of the problem is just growth in population density and hence in car density, together with inadequate and poorly planned transportation network development. No amount of disciplining people will cause that problem to go away. In properly planned network development there would not be those zillions of crossings. That is the ultimate solution.

Hey even the North East Corridor through NJ was at ground level with zillions of crossing at one time, before it was grade separated. So this is nothing new and the solutions are well known. The question is do people want to actually solve the problem or wait for the tooth fairy while coming up with someone or the other to blame.
 
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jis

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Only two of the three platform tracks have been built for now at the OIA Station. The third track will be built when the extension to Tampa takes place.

Here are some photos from the Brightline OIA Station
 

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jis

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I love the feeling of spaciousness that the high curved roof over the platforms creates. So many modern stations are ugly, boring and uninspiring, and its so refreshing to see something different.

I'm very excited to see this opened and operating soon.
It is certainly very different from the post modern rabbit's warren that one comes across distressingly often these days.

BTW, I doubt it will be operational before early next year at the earliest. The lounge and checkin areas are all one vast open space at present with a lot of construction going on. That was an area that we walked through but no photography was allowed there.

The big wall mural of a Birghtlientrain that you see in one of the photos is where the checkin counters will be. The construction of them is hiding behind it as far as I could tell. We walked in through a little door on the side of it.

Incidentally, the SunRail platforms, when they are built, will go in this area, separate from the Brightline station.
 

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Qapla

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Just curious - why are people not pushing to replace all intersections with flyovers because people run redlights?

If the solution for Brightline (and other train crossings) is to eliminate grade crossings to stop people from violating the obvious lights and gates - the same should hold for intersections 🤷‍♂️
 

jis

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Just curious - why are people not pushing to replace all intersections with flyovers because people run redlights?

If the solution for Brightline (and other train crossings) is to eliminate grade crossings to stop people from violating the obvious lights and gates - the same should hold for intersections 🤷‍♂️
The difference is that trains are intended to run at twice the speed or more, of cars and by their very nature cannot stop in as short a distance as cars, and obstructing a train inconveniences many more people than two cars getting in a smashup.
 

Touchdowntom9

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But you wouldn’t even have to eliminate the grade crossings to reach 110mph right? If that’s the case, then I really don’t think it would make any sense for Brightline do more than the required upgrades to hit the 110mph limit for the original/active section of Brightline
 
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Dropped some relatives off at Orlando airport today and was pleased to see the new terminal is open. I was surprised that Jet Blue was the only domestic airline to use it with rest being international like British Air, Lufthansa, Emirates. This could be a real plus for Jet Blue when travelers realize it would make the Brightline connection a little easier.

Since Brightline is separate but connected to Terminal C I wonder if there will be separate parking for those wanting to go to the airport only to take Brightline.
 

GDRRiley

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But you wouldn’t even have to eliminate the grade crossings to reach 110mph right? If that’s the case, then I really don’t think it would make any sense for Brightline do more than the required upgrades to hit the 110mph limit for the original/active section of Brightline
yes you don't need to grade separate to reach 110mph. 110-125 you don't have to but you need a special barrier that no one has made so everyone grade separates above 110mph
 

joelkfla

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Since Brightline is separate but connected to Terminal C I wonder if there will be separate parking for those wanting to go to the airport only to take Brightline.
Not likely, I think, considering that Garage C is directly connected to the station, aka Intermodal Terminal Facility.

All existing Brightline stations have paid garages; there's no free parking.
 

VentureForth

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Please note though that OIA Terminal C is distinct from the OIA Intermodal Terminal (Brightline). They are connected by a long walkway, but they are separate terminal buildings.
It's also worth noting that the tram to the rest of the airport - and from the rest of the airport to Brightline (to stay relevant to this thread) is part of the intermodal building rather than the gate terminal.
 

joelkfla

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It's also worth noting that the tram to the rest of the airport - and from the rest of the airport to Brightline (to stay relevant to this thread) is part of the intermodal building rather than the gate terminal.
And it's a new speedy Mitsubishi Crystal Mover, with travel time about 3.5 minutes.
 
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JIS - thanks for posting those photos. Looks like a nice facility, though I'm not a particularly fan of the design - I hate the carpet though it is kind of interesting in a tropical way and it seems very corporate and airport-like, which of course is appropriate because it is an airport. In fact, does it adhere to the airport design standards? But it looks like a much nicer station than many, if not most, in this country and the platforms are spacious looking, as they should be!

As a total aside I just read a review of the hotel in the old TWA terminal at JFK which was very in that style. I've been in two very nice modern train stations relatively recently in Spain (Santiago and Vigo). Wasn't impressed with the Calatrava station in Lisbon, although the concrete work was very nice on the lower levels. Madrid's airport was gorgeous - if/but very crowded, packed even - with custom made everything, even light fixtures.

Sorry, rant over.
 

joelkfla

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JIS - thanks for posting those photos. Looks like a nice facility, though I'm not a particularly fan of the design - I hate the carpet though it is kind of interesting in a tropical way and it seems very corporate and airport-like, which of course is appropriate because it is an airport. In fact, does it adhere to the airport design standards? But it looks like a much nicer station than many, if not most, in this country and the platforms are spacious looking, as they should be!

As a total aside I just read a review of the hotel in the old TWA terminal at JFK which was very in that style. I've been in two very nice modern train stations relatively recently in Spain (Santiago and Vigo). Wasn't impressed with the Calatrava station in Lisbon, although the concrete work was very nice on the lower levels. Madrid's airport was gorgeous - if/but very crowded, packed even - with custom made everything, even light fixtures.

Sorry, rant over.
That carpeted area is not part of the actual Brightline station, but is a small public lounge space in the Intermodal Terminal. So it is, in fact, "the airport." @jis said the actual Brightline waiting area is not built out yet; I think its decor was being designed by the same firm that did their existing stations.
 

cirdan

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As a total aside I just read a review of the hotel in the old TWA terminal at JFK which was very in that style. I've been in two very nice modern train stations relatively recently in Spain (Santiago and Vigo). Wasn't impressed with the Calatrava station in Lisbon, although the concrete work was very nice on the lower levels. Madrid's airport was gorgeous - if/but very crowded, packed even - with custom made everything, even light fixtures.
I very much appreciate Calatrava's work myself. I have been to the museum he built in Valencia many times.

I used to live in Zurich and am very familiar with the Stadlehofen suburban station there, which i believe was one of his early projects. The combination of organically shaped concrete and steel is phenomenal, and especially the lower level passage where most of the retail units are has a very warm and natural feel about it. It's almost like entering a hobbit hole.

Unfortunately, from what I understand, from a point of view crowd flow and crowd capacity the station has a number of bottlenecks, especially around the escalators to the platform, and the positioning of these is not really intuitive. I don't know to what extent this was Calatrava's doing or was part of the spec or an engineering decision. They are now planning a major rebuild of the station: They will add a fourth track underground and also increase and widen the passageways and improve the passenger flow situation. Although much of Calatrava's work will remain untouched, I understand the proposed modifications will fundamentally change the feel of the station. The architectural contract was awarded to a different architect and I understand Calatrava himself is up in arms over this.

I agree with you that his Lisbon station is a bit disappointing, in view of his other work.
 
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I very much appreciate Calatrava's work myself. I have been to the museum he built in Valencia many times.

I used to live in Zurich and am very familiar with the Stadlehofen suburban station there, which i believe was one of his early projects. The combination of organically shaped concrete and steel is phenomenal, and especially the lower level passage where most of the retail units are has a very warm and natural feel about it. It's almost like entering a hobbit hole.

Unfortunately, from what I understand, from a point of view crowd flow and crowd capacity the station has a number of bottlenecks, especially around the escalators to the platform, and the positioning of these is not really intuitive. I don't know to what extent this was Calatrava's doing or was part of the spec or an engineering decision. They are now planning a major rebuild of the station: They will add a fourth track underground and also increase and widen the passageways and improve the passenger flow situation. Although much of Calatrava's work will remain untouched, I understand the proposed modifications will fundamentally change the feel of the station. The architectural contract was awarded to a different architect and I understand Calatrava himself is up in arms over this.

I agree with you that his Lisbon station is a bit disappointing, in view of his other work.
I've never really been a fan of his - from what I understand the structural gestures cost a lot of build and are even more expensive - and difficult - to maintain. Of course, clients need to review the projects to make sure they function for their needs, which they often don't having been wowed by dramatic design or aesthetics. It seems to happen a lot on what often get called 'grand projects'...
 

jis

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But you wouldn’t even have to eliminate the grade crossings to reach 110mph right? If that’s the case, then I really don’t think it would make any sense for Brightline do more than the required upgrades to hit the 110mph limit for the original/active section of Brightline
Speed was not the issue that caused LIRR to elevate the South Shore Line. They just go upto 80mph. It was the frequency of trains. The same issue might arise as the TriRail North East Corridor takes shape along the Brightline route in Southeast Florida.

I've never really been a fan of his - from what I understand the structural gestures cost a lot of build and are even more expensive - and difficult - to maintain. Of course, clients need to review the projects to make sure they function for their needs, which they often don't having been wowed by dramatic design or aesthetics. It seems to happen a lot on what often get called 'grand projects'...

Fortunately none of Brightlines spacious structures come anywhere near the dysfunction that some of Calatrava's creations appear to suffer from as a cost of the structural beauty. Saarinen's creations like the TWA terminal in JFK or the Bell Labs building in Holmdel both were the opposite of dysfunctional.

Anyway, we should perhaps return this thread to Brightline and start a separate thread to discuss Calatrava if there is much interest in continuing that discussion.
 

alpha3

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The question is do people want to actually solve the problem or wait for the tooth fairy while coming up with someone or the other to blame.
LOL. I wouldn't take bets that any south Florida politicians have any interest or willpower to address this. Oh wait.......... maybe you pay them extra............ :mad:
 

railiner

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A better solution would be to raise the railroad on a viaduct like was done on the LIRR South Shore line for example between Rockville Center and Babylon.
In today’s “NIMBY” nation, the likelihood of building an elevated railway or highway in a developed area is rather low…
 

Touchdowntom9

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yes you don't need to grade separate to reach 110mph. 110-125 you don't have to but you need a special barrier that no one has made so everyone grade separates above 110mph
I'm just curious as to why the current BL section isnt 110 yet and that it is part of the expansion line but not the current. The current track geo seems pretty straight and while it might not be 110 the entire route, it seems like it could be close to that due to the limited number of curves on it that would require a slow down. But I could very much be mistaken
 
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