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Brightline Orlando Extension

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neroden

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Looking at the report on the state of progress on Orlando-WPB, I'm really not seeing what's going to take so long. They've got one bridge to start building between Orlando and Cocoa. I don't see anything else which is non-parallelizable with a long lead time. It looks like most of it should be substantially done by the end of 2021, easily. And they have an incentive to open Orlando service as soon as possible.

I'd love to see a Gantt chart, because I don't see what would push it into "late 2022" unless that one bridge is going to take a long time. They might actually open that part on time or early.
 

VentureForth

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I just moved to Melbourne. I haven't had an opportunity to go through this whole thread, but I'll try to eventually. Only 6 pages which is nothing in the grand scheme of massive threads here. The original post is awesome with a lot of details I've been looking for. I've personally been observing the double tracking throughout Brevard county including fresh, beautiful concrete ties as well the work being done along 528. Very exciting, but I wanted to see more area cleared along 528 by now.

Now, technically, there is only one new bridge being built along 528 over Taylor Creek, but there are plenty of crossovers over roads. Some of these seem to have relatively steep grades. I guess they have no intention on sharing with freight traffic, which is fine by me. Keep passengers ROWs for passengers. If needed, they could probably accommodate short, light freights.
 
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joelkfla

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Is the plan to cut South, then North into the airport? Then, reverse to Disney/Tampa? Or is there a plan for a straight through path from the North or South? I have tried searching for a detailed map of the intended route from 528 through the Airport and on to points West.
No, it generally runs along the east side of the main airport north-south road, until it cuts west to the station. Most of the route through the airport is clearly visible on the 2020 Orange County Property Appraiser map. I believe these aerial photos were taken either December 2019 or January 2020.
  1. Go to ArcGIS Web Application
  2. Close the "Identify" panel
  3. Zoom in on "OIA" on the map
  4. Open the "Base Map" pulldown and select "Aerial 2020"
The station is the halfway between the left and right runways, and just south of the south end of the left runway. The narrower ROW on the left coming out of the smaller part of the station is the Automated People Mover. The wider ROW passing through the elongated part of the station is Brightline, and you can follow it both north and south almost to the airport boundaries on the map.
1608217699735.png
 

jis

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Now, technically, there is only one new bridge being built along 528 over Taylor Creek, but there are plenty of crossovers over roads. Some of these seem to have relatively steep grades. I guess they have no intention on sharing with freight traffic, which is fine by me. Keep passengers ROWs for passengers. If needed, they could probably accommodate short, light freights.
Well the really big bridge along 528 would be the St. Johns River Bridge which is being worked on, and of course there is Econlockhatchee River and the little Turkey Creek too.

The agreement with Central Florida Expressway Authority does not permit operation of freight trains along the 528 Corridor. As matter of fact even carrying passengers from stations other than Miami Central, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and OIA requires amendments to the agreement. But it mostly involves agreeing on what per passenger fee Brightline has to pay CFEA and should be mostly a no brainer based on Beachline usage data.
 

VentureForth

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This may be a really stupid question, but seeing that the tracks run literally right next to the terminal, why is the station so far out from there? Will there be a people mover? Bus? Walk from the station to/from the terminals?
 

Brian_tampa

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This may be a really stupid question, but seeing that the tracks run literally right next to the terminal, why is the station so far out from there? Will there be a people mover? Bus? Walk from the station to/from the terminals?
There is a completely new terminal being built just west of the station. New Terminal C will be for JetBlue and international flights (future increase in international flights mostly). The plans show it could ultimately surround the train station 20 years in the future if air travel demand keeps increasing.
 

Brian_tampa

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Looking at the report on the state of progress on Orlando-WPB, I'm really not seeing what's going to take so long. They've got one bridge to start building between Orlando and Cocoa. I don't see anything else which is non-parallelizable with a long lead time. It looks like most of it should be substantially done by the end of 2021, easily. And they have an incentive to open Orlando service as soon as possible.

I'd love to see a Gantt chart, because I don't see what would push it into "late 2022" unless that one bridge is going to take a long time. They might actually open that part on time or early.
This is the only construction schedule chart I have ever come across. It isn't very detailed but lays out the basic schedule for each section of work for phase 2 (WPB-MCO). It was part of the 2019 PAB memorandum document from April 2019. In that document it is located toward the end.
 

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jis

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This may be a really stupid question, but seeing that the tracks run literally right next to the terminal, why is the station so far out from there? Will there be a people mover? Bus? Walk from the station to/from the terminals?
The first question was answered by @Brian_tampa . The answer to the second question is there is already an operating people mover between Terminals A/B and Treminal C. The C Parking lot is open and in use already.

The station is connected by a short walkway to Parking Lot C and and will be connected by a longer walkway to Terminal C Phase I.
 
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joelkfla

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The first question was answered by @Brian_tampa . The answer to the second question is there is already an operating people mover between Terminals A/B and Treminal C. The C Parking lot is open and in use already.
To expand on that, as I said in my earlier post, you can see the APM on the aerials. It is a new, fast Mitsubishi Crystal Mover. Travel time between terminals is under 4 minutes.

The connected Garage C also offers check-in for major domestic airlines during peak departure times up to 90 minutes before flight time.
 

neroden

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This is the only construction schedule chart I have ever come across. It isn't very detailed but lays out the basic schedule for each section of work for phase 2 (WPB-MCO). It was part of the 2019 PAB memorandum document from April 2019. In that document it is located toward the end.
Thanks. Those are blatant placeholders.

"Construct Zone 3A" as one bar on the chart, seriously? (Same with "Construct Zone 3B", etc.)

Everything which is broken out in more detail has earlier completion dates.

I'm thinking they've left themselves some slack time to get ahead. Unless one of those major bridges is extra slow.

What this does tell me is that they're planning to open exactly 8 months after "substantial completion", meaning the end of the major construction contracts. That seems like it's believable and justified.

The date for that substantial completion however, end of April 2022, seems to have been arbitrarily picked out of a hat -- it's unjustified. It actually depends on how long "Zone 3A", "Zone 3B", and "Zone 4 North-South" actually take, all of which are under construction now. The chart simply picks the same arbitrary time length for construction for all of them, which is clearly a placeholder.

In reality, the timeline is probably determined by whichever bridge is the last to finish. So I'm curious about which bridges have made the least progress so far.
 
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jis

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I suppose even they have observed that they have missed their declared dates in the past by pretty large margins, which indicates that they do not know what obstacles will come up as they trudge along through endless marshes and try to build new bridges on an active railroad on the N-S segment. Maybe this time they are trying to finish within their declared dates, and to achieve that they are being less aggressive with the dates.

The latter involves building a shoefly bridge to get the traffic off the current bridge. dismantle the current bridge and bild a new one. I am watching this in real life as it unfolds over Eau Fallie River and Crane Creek in Melbourne. At Crane Creek the shoefly is about 1/3rd done. I will have to drive by Eau Gallie to see what's up with that one. There are similar things going on at St. Sabastian River, Turkey Creek and Goat Creek in Southern Brevard. There are more major bridges further south. I don't know what's going on down there at present.

They are making slow progress i Brevard County in rebuilding grade crossing, of which there are some 40 or so. Track has been laid for the second track in disconnected segments south of Melbourne. Nothing in Melbourne or nort to Cocoa yet, though grade has been cleared in places. This week I believe the Port Malabr Road grade crossing is supposed to be worked on.
 

joelkfla

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The latter involves building a shoefly bridge to get the traffic off the current bridge. dismantle the current bridge and bild a new one. I am watching this in real life as it unfolds over Eau Fallie River and Crane Creek in Melbourne. At Crane Creek the shoefly is about 1/3rd done. I will have to drive by Eau Gallie to see what's up with that one. There are similar things going on at St. Sabastian River, Turkey Creek and Goat Creek in Southern Brevard. There are more major bridges further south. I don't know what's going on down there at present.

They are making slow progress i Brevard County in rebuilding grade crossing, of which there are some 40 or so. Track has been laid for the second track in disconnected segments south of Melbourne. Nothing in Melbourne or nort to Cocoa yet, though grade has been cleared in places. This week I believe the Port Malabr Road grade crossing is supposed to be worked on.
YouTuber The Roaming Railfan has been posting drive-bys, as well as occasional drone flights in the unpopulated areas, every couple of weeks.
 

joelkfla

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jiml

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Copy editors and error checkers were the first casualties of streamlining news organizations. With word processors becoming the norm, spell-check became the standard, with error checking (if any) done by unpaid or underpaid interns. Unfortunately most of them don't know the difference between there, their or they're any better than computer spell-check. Most embarrassing is when TV News gets a "super" wrong and it's a famous person or placename.
 

neroden

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After reviewing the most recent article and all of the videos from Roaming Railfan, I'm pretty sure the slow items are:
(1) The bridges on the existing route where they are building a temporary bridge before replacing the bridge. Those temporary bridges are all started, but seem to be going pretty slowly. In several cases there are grade crossings which aren't being done until the bridge is done because the second track space is being used as the construction access road for the bridge; waiting to start the crossing work until the adjacent bridge is done adds to the final project completion time. Theoretically they should be able to begin service without these bridges being complete, but there would be rather long single-tracked sections which would not enable a full service schedule or full speeds. Financially, it still might make sense to introduce some service even if one or two of these bridges wasn't complete, if it started generating Orlando revenues earlier.
(2) The overpass of 528/Beachline over the new ROW east of the I-55 cloverleaf, which is nothing more than some piles of dirt at this point -- and involves coordination with the expressway authorities. This is critical and they can't operate a single train to Orlando without it. (They can't do a partial opening north of West Palm Beach without going all the way to Orlando because none of the intermediate stations between WPB and Orlando are anything more than design concepts at this point, so it's absolutely necessary to complete the track to Orlando in order to add any service.) This elevation/relocation of 528 is not scheduled to open until mid-August 2021.

All the bridges on the new Orlando-Cocoa ROW (and the second tunnel, and the trench) look to be well on schedule to complete in mid-2021, except for that expressway overpass. On the existing line, the grade crossings, double tracking, and signals everywhere except the bridges look like they're well on schedule to complete in mid-2021 too. The maintenance facility is supposed to be ready to receive trains (though not complete) by September 2021.

If things go well, they could be open around May 2021; the critical path appears to run through that 528 elevation, if I'm not mistaken.
 

John Santos

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Pet Peeve: What ever happened to copy editors? The linked article is rife with grammatical errors and incomplete sentences.
The Internet. Newspapers lost virtually all their classified ad revenue and cut costs wherever they could. One of the first things to go was copy editors. They now print stories exactly as submitted by the reporters with no grammatical checking, fact checking, or editing for flow, coherency, redundancy or anything else. And it shows.
 
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jis

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The Internet. Newspapers lost virtually all their classified ad revenue and cut costs wherever they could. One of the first things to go was copy editors. They now print stories exactly as submitted by the reports with no grammatical checking, fact checking, or editing for flow, coherency, redundancy or anything else. And it shows.
Sometimes it would seem there is no ascertaining of whether it is written in the language of the publication either. :D
 
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