Brightline Orlando extension

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VentureForth

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I don't know if anything was tied to anything there, but this is the first I heard of that referendum, too.

[I feel like they should consider coming back in two years on this one if inflation cools - this was not a good year for pushing anything folks would be likely to see show up at the supermarket.]
Though your sentiment is accurate, fun fact: Florida doesn't tax groceries. :D But, yes, timing was horrible. Ironically, sales tax revenue SHOULD increase significantly due to inflation of all other goods and services, provided volume of sales remain constant. It would be interesting to see if volume of sale decreased proportionately to increase in prices.
 

Brian_tampa

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I saw this CFX Board Meeting (Dec. 8) agenda document online and also an Orlando Business Journal article today referring to it. I edited the pdf file to just the Brightline presentation out of almost 2000 pages of meeting items.

Highlights:
86% complete for phase 2
$4.5B total cost for phase 1 and 2
7 of the 10 trainsets will be serviced at the VMF in Orlando every night. I assume that means 3 trainsets will be at the RRF in WPB every night to service late arriving and early departing trains.
Beachline/SR528 section - all track and structures completed in January/February 2023
125mph testing along SR528 starting in January 2023


OBJ item: Orlando service will not start until late summer 2023 at the earliest.
 

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  • CFX Brightline Presentation 12.2022.pdf
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Anderson

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I saw this CFX Board Meeting (Dec. 8) agenda document online and also an Orlando Business Journal article today referring to it. I edited the pdf file to just the Brightline presentation out of almost 2000 pages of meeting items.

Highlights:
86% complete for phase 2
$4.5B total cost for phase 1 and 2
7 of the 10 trainsets will be serviced at the VMF in Orlando every night. I assume that means 3 trainsets will be at the RRF in WPB every night to service late arriving and early departing trains.
Beachline/SR528 section - all track and structures completed in January/February 2023
125mph testing along SR528 starting in January 2023


OBJ item: Orlando service will not start until late summer 2023 at the earliest.
The start of service sliding again (I think we were hearing Valentine's Day a few weeks back, and I thought they were shooting for Christmas 2022 early this year?) is frustrating.

If "all track has been laid" and "all structures have been completed", what's left? (Best guess is signals or something like that)

The "three trainsets at WPB" bit roughly lines up with my expectations (I might have expected four there to accommodate the extra rush hour train into MIA). This would suggest (to me) a timetable that looks like this:
-First train out of WPB: Sometime around 0500 (maybe a few minutes before)
-First train out of OIA: 0500 (arriving at MIA around 0800, so it can turn to be the 0900 train back out)
-First train out of MIA: 0600

[I'm going with the view that you probably want/need a train into Orlando that arrives by around 0900. Even if you presume a lack of business travel (not a safe assumption), (1) folks will be using these trains to get to OIA for flights [DL should consider re-hubbing...] and (2) you'll have tourists that want to get their full day in at Disney/Universal, and those tend to open around 0900-1000.]
 

jis

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If "all track has been laid" and "all structures have been completed", what's left? (Best guess is signals or something like that)
Several months of testing and remediation of any problems for getting FRA certification for 125mph operation is what remains.

Then again, it is not like all track work has been completed along the FECR route along the coast. It has not. Some bridges are yet to be completed around Brevard County as far as I can tell. Also there is the detail of testing 110mph and grade crossing operations at that speed along the shore line. Quite a bit of it remains to be completed.
 

Brian_tampa

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Several months of testing and remediation of any problems for getting FRA certification for 125mph operation is what remains.

Then again, it is not like all track work has been completed along the FECR route along the coast. It has not. Some bridges are yet to be completed around Brevard County as far as I can tell. Also there is the detail of testing 110mph and grade crossing operations at that speed along the shore line. Quite a bit of it remains to be completed.
I agree as the Wabtech I-ETMS system to my knowledge has never been certified for 125mph operation. There very well could be several months of delay for that alone.

Is there any new long double set of bridges actually completed at this time? I can't think of any. I think that even the Jupiter drawbridge is still being worked on, at least the sections leading up to the draw. I need to check the original construction schedule but I believe the bridges are late.

The bridges and PTC testing/certification process are the main reasons why the opening has been pushed back. I want to say that back in the summer of 2019 after the PAB's were sold allowing for construction to begin, Brightline estimated start of service to Orlando by end of 2022.

Given the pandemic and all that it impacted, only 7 or so months of delay isn't too bad considering what everyone involved in construction has gone through since early 2020. In my job, I have had small 1-5 million dollar jobs delayed 7 months due to parts supply issues!
 

Anderson

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I agree as the Wabtech I-ETMS system to my knowledge has never been certified for 125mph operation. There very well could be several months of delay for that alone.

Is there any new long double set of bridges actually completed at this time? I can't think of any. I think that even the Jupiter drawbridge is still being worked on, at least the sections leading up to the draw. I need to check the original construction schedule but I believe the bridges are late.

The bridges and PTC testing/certification process are the main reasons why the opening has been pushed back. I want to say that back in the summer of 2019 after the PAB's were sold allowing for construction to begin, Brightline estimated start of service to Orlando by end of 2022.

Given the pandemic and all that it impacted, only 7 or so months of delay isn't too bad considering what everyone involved in construction has gone through since early 2020. In my job, I have had small 1-5 million dollar jobs delayed 7 months due to parts supply issues!
And now, per a link in the other thread (albeit with a vanishing article), we're apparently on to "late summer/early fall"...

I'd be a lot more impressed if all of the delays hadn't come up at the last minute (i.e. if they'd announced a six-month delay in the timeline in early 2021, or even late 2021, I think that'd have gotten a shrug). But all of the slide has been during CY22. Now, some of this might simply have been them not being terribly on-the-ball with updating their public timetables, but it feels like the project has been caught in some sort of time warp where it is consistently about 6-8 months away from completion. If anything, we might now be further away from anticipated completion now than we were six months ago.
 

jis

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Well, when mid to late in 2021 and early 2022 people even on this forum were enthusiastically prognosticating that they might be done by the third quarter of 2022, it was quite obvious to those of us living close to it that 2023 was the earliest for such, and maybe later.

The good news though is that they just got the last girder on the second Crane Creek Bridge installed just the other day. I have not recently looked at where Eu Gallie Creek, Turkey Creek and Sebastian River stand.
 

cirdan

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Several months of testing and remediation of any problems for getting FRA certification for 125mph operation is what remains.
What is different in terms of certification for 125 mph versus say 100 or 80 mph?
Besides the basic proof that the speed can be achieved in safety and all signaling and safety systems function correctly for trains at such a speed?
Is there anything there that takes significantly longer to certify or calls for additional steps in the certification?
 

Anderson

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What is different in terms of certification for 125 mph versus say 100 or 80 mph?
Besides the basic proof that the speed can be achieved in safety and all signaling and safety systems function correctly for trains at such a speed?
Is there anything there that takes significantly longer to certify or calls for additional steps in the certification?
I suspect it is more "This equipment has only been tested to 80 mph yet" than anything. @jis can correct me on this if I'm wrong.
 

jis

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What is different in terms of certification for 125 mph versus say 100 or 80 mph?
Besides the basic proof that the speed can be achieved in safety and all signaling and safety systems function correctly for trains at such a speed?
Is there anything there that takes significantly longer to certify or calls for additional steps in the certification?
The FRA regulation states that certification of 80mph or 100mph does not require specific testing (except signals and PTC). Proof that the tolerances are met is enough to get certification. For 125mph and above merely meeting tolerances is not enough. Each individual segment has to be certified based on test results.

Actually, even for a 120mph curve with unusual amount of super-elevation, it will probably require special certification of safety. Also FRA itself sees this as a very new thing as this is the first segment outside of the NEC being certified for 125mph anywhere in the US, and also first regular diesel operation at over 110mph. Just a matter of gaining experience on the job which adds a little to the time required. Knowing Brightline, they will probably run a full but non-commercial schedule after FRA gives the go-ahead, for a week before inauguration.
 
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cirdan

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and also first regular diesel operation at over 110mph.
What difference should it make if the traction is diesel or electric? Surely the safety requirements to be demonstrated and boxes to be ticked are going to be the same?
 

jis

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What difference should it make if the traction is diesel or electric? Surely the safety requirements to be demonstrated and boxes to be ticked are going to be the same?
Well, they also said what difference does it make if we run an SDP40F and an E-60 at 79 and 110mph. Afterall boxes are ticked and all that, and then they started falling off tracks all over the place. After that E60 never operated at anything over 90mph and were withdrawn way earlier than originally intended, replaced by AEM-7s, and the SDP40F was completely withdrawn soon, replaced by F40PHs. Actually many early F40PHs were essentially rebuilt SDP40Fs, the innards repackaged in a new Bo-Bo frame. Stuff happens that are discovered only during extensive testing and operation.
 
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Brian_tampa

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And now, per a link in the other thread (albeit with a vanishing article), we're apparently on to "late summer/early fall"...

I'd be a lot more impressed if all of the delays hadn't come up at the last minute (i.e. if they'd announced a six-month delay in the timeline in early 2021, or even late 2021, I think that'd have gotten a shrug). But all of the slide has been during CY22. Now, some of this might simply have been them not being terribly on-the-ball with updating their public timetables, but it feels like the project has been caught in some sort of time warp where it is consistently about 6-8 months away from completion. If anything, we might now be further away from anticipated completion now than we were six months

This is the link to the source material for The Next Miami article that was widely quoted/attributed in the rail press. The OBJ was my source as well for the post I made here last Friday (before TheNextMiami article came out) stating that startup would be delayed until late summer. Perhaps the TheNextMiami article vanished do to an issue with copyright and fair use of the other publication's work?

https://www.bizjournals.com/orlando/news/2022/12/09/brightline-orlando-expansion-construction.html
 

west point

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The Brightline announcement maybe hinted at a reason. I suspect that it may be a lack of one or more critical parts. The shortage at Caltrain may point to signal parts problem but only speculation.
 

jis

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The Brightline announcement maybe hinted at a reason. I suspect that it may be a lack of one or more critical parts. The shortage at Caltrain may point to signal parts problem but only speculation.
Of course simple explanations like we still have to complete bridges, double tracking and ballasting the new tracks along the FECR alignment and testing 110mph operations through zillions of grade crossings and sealed corridor operation is a completely inadequate explanation for a 3 to 6 month push back to inauguration. :D

Frankly, the early 2023 date came out of the expected completion of construction date for the OIA multimodal station AFAICT. The assumption somehow was that all the complex traack work would be done by then. When we visited the OIA station with the FECRS group they basically said service will start sometime in 2023 without commuting to anything more than that. And this was now many months back.
 

VentureForth

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Of course simple explanations like we still have to complete bridges, double tracking and ballasting the new tracks along the FECR alignment and testing 110mph operations through zillions of grade crossings and sealed corridor operation is a completely inadequate explanation for a 3 to 6 month push back to inauguration. :D

Frankly, the early 2023 date came out of the expected completion of construction date for the OIA multimodal station AFAICT. The assumption somehow was that all the complex traack work would be done by then. When we visited the OIA station with the FECRS group they basically said service will start sometime in 2023 without commuting to anything more than that. And this was now many months back.
I don't think all this double tracking has to be complete prior to MCO service. They can certainly start with only one track available with the existing sidings on the existing ROW.
 

jis

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I don't think all this double tracking has to be complete prior to MCO service. They can certainly start with only one track available with the existing sidings on the existing ROW.
I don't think even the full 125ph certification will be done before April-May at the earliest, which pushes service start to after that anyway, since I doubt they will start service without the full speed on the Orlando segment, even if they choose to do some single track operation along the shore. Incidentally we were told that they will not start with substantial single track operation on the shore, but of coourse such things can change when push comes to shove.
 

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Knowing Brightline, they will probably run a full but non-commercial schedule after FRA gives the go-ahead, for a week before inauguration.
Oh, good! Floridians will have a week to get used to trains slamming into their SUVs at 110 before the start of service!
 

Brian_tampa

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The FRA has released Brightline's PTC testing plan for the Orlando to Cocoa section. Below is a link to the website that has the test documents I have attached to this comment. I haven't had a chance to review them as it was just released this morning. The public comment period is 60 days. So PTC testing will not begin until March at the very earliest, and probably not until several months after the comment period is over.

Regulations.gov
 

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Watched a few videos of Brightline recently and was wondering if anyone knows if Brightline is using both of their locomotives for traction currently or is it used as one for traction and one for HEP? Is there any downside to using both for traction? Would think it would help them hit their 110/125mph goals with the new routes but wasn’t sure if there was regulation or other issues to consider
 

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Watched a few videos of Brightline recently and was wondering if anyone knows if Brightline is using both of their locomotives for traction currently or is it used as one for traction and one for HEP? Is there any downside to using both for traction? Would think it would help them hit their 110/125mph goals with the new routes but wasn’t sure if there was regulation or other issues to consider
Both are used for traction. Usually the front one is used for HEP too.
 
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Universal Orlando today filed for creation of a quasi-governmental agency, the Shingle Creek Transit Utility Community Development District. The district will plan, finance, construct, operate, own and maintain a new Orange County Convention Center SunRail station.

The Orlando Sentinel says that Universal property will be the only property included in the district, so Universal will be the only property owner paying in fees.


 
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