Brightline Orlando Extension

Help Support Amtrak Unlimited Discussion Forum:

Qapla

Conductor
Joined
Jul 15, 2019
Messages
1,777
Location
Gator Country Florida
From the article above
The corridor preferred by Brightline has come with multiple, overlapping issues. Those include the need for cooperation with Central Florida’s SunRail commuter system, for an agreement with the Central Florida Expressway Authority, or CFX, for use of space along its toll-road system, affirmation from the authority governing Orlando International Airport and approval from Orlando Utilities Commission for use of coal-train rail spur near the airport.

A privately owned and funded company, Brightline must also agree to a method for compensating the state and the authority for lost toll revenues.
 

Just-Thinking-51

Conductor
AU Lifetime Supporter
AU Supporter
Joined
Sep 17, 2009
Messages
2,059
Location
USA
Well let’s dust off those traffic studies from greater Los Angles. How opening a light rail line did not decrease the number of vehicles on the road, just increases the mobility of people. IE: people were avoid travel due to the congestion of the roads. With the light rail, total number of trips increased while the traffic levels did not decrease.
 
Last edited:

me_little_me

Conductor
AU Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jul 16, 2010
Messages
3,856
Well let’s dust off those traffic studies from greater Los Angles. How open a light rail line did not decrease the number of vehicles on the road, just increases the mobility of people. IE: people were avoid travel due to the congestion of the roads. With the light rail, total number of trips increased while the traffic levels did not decrease.
Or it reduced the probable INCREASE in congestion?
 

Just-Thinking-51

Conductor
AU Lifetime Supporter
AU Supporter
Joined
Sep 17, 2009
Messages
2,059
Location
USA
Maybe in Florida, but not in Los Angles.

Anyways the point is increasing the options for the people, does not decrease the number of vehicles on the roads. So no need to pay the toll roads any funds due to decrease in vehicle traffic.
 

jis

Conductor
AU Lifetime Supporter
Gathering Team Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2003
Messages
27,488
Location
Space Coast, Florida, Area code 3-2-1
Maybe in Florida, but not in Los Angles.

Anyways the point is increasing the options for the people, does not decrease the number of vehicles on the roads. So no need to pay the toll roads any funds due to decrease in vehicle traffic.
While that is interesting, it has little relevance to this discussion. AFAIR having sat through the hearings, no one ever claimed that there would be a decrease in traffic on the road. Part of the argument was that the presence of the railroad will reduce the projected increase in users of the toll road which was the basis of the bond issue used to build the ROW and the road, the ROW of which will also now be used by the railroad. Now one may believe it or not, but when a landlord supported by the government says it is so, and you need to use their land, you come to an understanding that is acceptable to all.

This is even more so when you desperately need the support of the same government to issue tax free municipal bonds (in the face of steadfast opposition by a few counties ruled by the same party as the state government) in order to make the project feasible at all. We are actually pretty lucky that the whole thing did not get shut down in its track, in a manner of speaking.
 

Just-Thinking-51

Conductor
AU Lifetime Supporter
AU Supporter
Joined
Sep 17, 2009
Messages
2,059
Location
USA
Thanks for the clarification. It just sounds like a way to kill a project by demanding a high payment for future loss. Which of course is a guess and nobody can prove it either way.
 
Last edited:

jis

Conductor
AU Lifetime Supporter
Gathering Team Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2003
Messages
27,488
Location
Space Coast, Florida, Area code 3-2-1
Thanks for the clarification. It just sounds like a way to kill a project by demanding a high payment for future loss. Which of course is a guess and nobody can prove it either way.
There is no up front payment involved for the surcharge. It is a per ticket surcharge. It is less than a dollar surcharge per ticket on a ticket typically to be priced around $50 - $70 or so. Maybe as low as $35-$40 from Cocoa Rockledge, if and when that station is built and put into service.

AFAIR, there is a ROW land lease fee which is annual and is pretty much in line with such things in the area. So as far as I know there is no up front huge cost targeted towards killing the project. Remember Rick Scott and possibly DeSantis too owns significant private holdings among the chums at FECI. This project has sailed through with permitting even in spite of some stiff public opposition en route which would have delayed things a lot. I-95 through Martin County was delayed over a decade. Fortunately Martin County has folded on this one and jumped on board. Indian River County was the last holdout, which has finally thrown in the towel. But it was never opposed by the State. Indeed some would say that its skids were greased substantially by the State.
 
Last edited:

Devil's Advocate

Sarcastic Misanthrope
Joined
May 24, 2010
Messages
12,264
Location
Texas
We are actually pretty lucky that the whole thing did not get shut down in its track, in a manner of speaking.
I think the most relevant lesson from the Brightline project is that even when all the stars align just right establishing new passenger rail service still struggles to overcome determined opposition and entrenched bureaucratic inertia. Outside the FEC there are few prospects and by the time everyone has taken a pound of flesh you're picking at bones.
 

Chris I

Train Attendant
Joined
Jan 8, 2019
Messages
77
Location
Portland, OR
Yeah. I am frankly, waiting for the EIS. That usually clarifies and ties down a lot of things.
It looks like that area would tie in well with existing ground transportation options at Disney Springs. Do we know if Disney is planning on extending either the Monorail or the Skyliner system to Disney Springs? It seems like an extension of the Epcot Monorail line along Buena Vista Dr would work. Alternatively, a new Skyliner line from the main transfer point at the Caribbean Beach Resort could hit Disney Springs in a straight shot, and even have a potential mid-station at Typhoon Lagoon.

I think it will be important to provide people with quality transit connections at Disney Springs, if that is going to be the Brightline meet point. Shuttle buses are not really ideal, and it would be really attractive to fly into Orlando and quickly transfer to your hotel without renting a car.

 

joelkfla

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Oct 16, 2018
Messages
455
Location
12 miles from Walt Disney World
It looks like that area would tie in well with existing ground transportation options at Disney Springs. Do we know if Disney is planning on extending either the Monorail or the Skyliner system to Disney Springs? It seems like an extension of the Epcot Monorail line along Buena Vista Dr would work. Alternatively, a new Skyliner line from the main transfer point at the Caribbean Beach Resort could hit Disney Springs in a straight shot, and even have a potential mid-station at Typhoon Lagoon.

I think it will be important to provide people with quality transit connections at Disney Springs, if that is going to be the Brightline meet point. Shuttle buses are not really ideal, and it would be really attractive to fly into Orlando and quickly transfer to your hotel without renting a car.

Nothing has been announced, nor seriously hinted at.

There have been no serious rumors of monorail extensions for at least a decade. Monorails are expensive to build and no longer considered futuristic and sexy, and the current Disney Company is much more focused on bottom line than on showing off.

There have been rumors of future Skyliner lines, but they seem to be more wishful thinking than fact-based, and I haven't heard of any indication that Disney Springs is being considered. The current lines seemed to be doing their job well, until COVID restricted carrying capacity to one party per cabin.
 

nullptr

Train Attendant
Joined
Jan 16, 2020
Messages
52
Location
Michigan
Birghtline gave a presentation to the Central Florida Expressway Authority yesterday. You can see their slides starting on page 1145 of this packet: https://www.cfxway.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/2021-03-11-Agenda-with-attachmentsv1-2.pdf

It shows their preferred route and gives a comparison between SR 417 and SR 528 on the way out of Orlando towards Disney World/Tampa. They claim 417 will be $1 billion versus $2.1 billion for 528.

I'm guessing a video will be available here at some point: https://www.cfxway.com/agency-information/agency-overview/administration/board-meeting-videos/
 

joelkfla

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Oct 16, 2018
Messages
455
Location
12 miles from Walt Disney World
Birghtline gave a presentation to the Central Florida Expressway Authority yesterday. You can see their slides starting on page 1145 of this packet: https://www.cfxway.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/2021-03-11-Agenda-with-attachmentsv1-2.pdf

It shows their preferred route and gives a comparison between SR 417 and SR 528 on the way out of Orlando towards Disney World/Tampa. They claim 417 will be $1 billion versus $2.1 billion for 528.

I'm guessing a video will be available here at some point: https://www.cfxway.com/agency-information/agency-overview/administration/board-meeting-videos/
Cool.

Some take-aways on the WDW/Tampa extension from the detailed maps in the presentation:
  • It would leave the SunRail ROW just south of Meadow Woods station, and cut west to the Turnpike, then join SR-417 at the Turnpike interchange.
  • The map shows the line just north of the 417. Whether that's the actual location, or shown that way just for legibility, I don't know.
  • Approach to Disney has not been nailed down. It's shown as anywhere between World Center Dr. on the north, and about halfway down to Osceola Pkwy. on the south.
  • The map seems to show the DS station as somewhere west of Buena Vista Dr.; i.e., the line not crossing BVD.
  • Potential Station Location in Tampa is in the general vicinity of Union Station, as previously discussed in this thread.
  • A station at the Meadow Woods SunRail stop in Orlando is "possible".
  • Anticipated construction start: Q2 2023
  • Anticipated revenue service first segment (including SunRail to Airport): Q3-Q4 2026
The full file is 90 MB. For those with slow internet, I copied just the Brightline slides to Google Drive: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1O64qOTv2n3MeaeWV47sWKEaU359eeqfb/view?usp=sharing
 

joelkfla

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Oct 16, 2018
Messages
455
Location
12 miles from Walt Disney World
Birghtline gave a presentation to the Central Florida Expressway Authority yesterday. You can see their slides starting on page 1145 of this packet: https://www.cfxway.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/2021-03-11-Agenda-with-attachmentsv1-2.pdf

It shows their preferred route and gives a comparison between SR 417 and SR 528 on the way out of Orlando towards Disney World/Tampa. They claim 417 will be $1 billion versus $2.1 billion for 528.

I'm guessing a video will be available here at some point: https://www.cfxway.com/agency-information/agency-overview/administration/board-meeting-videos/
Here's a direct link to the video record of the meeting:
The Brightline presentation starts at 6:00.

A few more points stated by the Brightline VP:
  • The alignment along SR-417 is planned to run north of the highway.
  • The alignment from S4-417 to Disney is still being studied.
  • The alignment from Disney to US192 will be along I-4, but the exact placement is still being studied.
  • The alignment from US192 to Tampa will most likely be in the center of I-4, but it's not yet known how much can be at grade and how much will need to be elevated.
  • The Tampa station location has not been finalized, but will likely be between downtown & Ybor City.
He made it quite clear that Brightline is intercity rail with hourly frequency, and not intended for local transportation. Sounds like they have no interest in shuttling tourists between MCO & Disney.

One of the CFX board members is still pushing for the alignment along SR-528 with a stop at the Convention Center. Brightline didn't completely rule it out, but the VP said some outside funding would be required to make that route viable. Major portions of the route from the maintenance facility to I-4 would need to be elevated.

When asked for a guess at Tampa service, he said 28-29.
 

neroden

Conductor
Joined
Feb 23, 2014
Messages
8,086
Location
Ithaca, NY
Nothing has been announced, nor seriously hinted at.

There have been no serious rumors of monorail extensions for at least a decade. Monorails are expensive to build and no longer considered futuristic and sexy, and the current Disney Company is much more focused on bottom line than on showing off.

There have been rumors of future Skyliner lines, but they seem to be more wishful thinking than fact-based, and I haven't heard of any indication that Disney Springs is being considered. The current lines seemed to be doing their job well, until COVID restricted carrying capacity to one party per cabin.
Disney's cost-focused management has for a few decades underestimated the degree to which people don't like diesel buses; that was something Walt always got right. Where-ever the Disney station is located, it would be an error on Disney's part to make it reliant on shuttle buses to get to the parks and resorts. I certainly hope they are planning some sort of "magical" transportation. Walt would have had Skyliners, trains, boats, moving walkways, and horse-drawn carriages radiating off in all directions.
 

MARC Rider

Conductor
Joined
Apr 5, 2011
Messages
2,849
Location
Baltimore. MD
Walt would have had Skyliners, trains, boats, moving walkways, and horse-drawn carriages radiating off in all directions.
With Walt in charge, Disney might not have been as much of a net moneymaker as it is now. It's not like the use of buses are keeping people from patronizing the place, and if stinky diesel fumes are a problem, tier IV diesel or LNG or Hybrid buses are a lot cheaper than building a monorail.
 

MARC Rider

Conductor
Joined
Apr 5, 2011
Messages
2,849
Location
Baltimore. MD
That may be so ... but, they are not as "magical" as a monorail or even horse drawn carriages
Of course they're not magical (except to emissions nerds like me), but the only "magical" thing Disney management really cares about is that the profits keep going up without end. :)

When we took our daughter there, we stayed at the Wilderness Lodge, which was great, because you could take a boat ride to the Magic Kingdom, but you had to take buses everywhere else, and, you know, to people who don't have access to good public transportation, reliable, practical bus service is sort of magical. I appreciated the fact that after I parked the car at the Wilderness Lodge parking lot, I didn't need to use it at all for the next 4 days.
 

crescent-zephyr

Conductor
Joined
Oct 21, 2015
Messages
3,417
With Walt in charge, Disney might not have been as much of a net moneymaker as it is now. It's not like the use of buses are keeping people from patronizing the place, and if stinky diesel fumes are a problem, tier IV diesel or LNG or Hybrid buses are a lot cheaper than building a monorail.
People like Walt Disney and Steve Jobs knew how to create an excellent product AND make money.

They were leaders with a vision.

What we have now are managers with a calculator.
 

MARC Rider

Conductor
Joined
Apr 5, 2011
Messages
2,849
Location
Baltimore. MD
People like Walt Disney and Steve Jobs knew how to create an excellent product AND make money.

They were leaders with a vision.

What we have now are managers with a calculator.
I don't know too much about Steve Jobs and Apple's earnings, but in terms of popularity among customers, Apple had been consistently Number Two worldwide, mostly because they insist on selling both the hardware and software together at a higher price than the competition. The last time I used an iPhone, it was OK, but it wasn't worth paying a premium over the price of the Android phone I normally use. And the price premium on laptop computers is such that I'm perfectly happy with using PC technology with either Windows of Linux.

As far as Walt Disney as a theme park impresario, remember that he was active in the theme park business in the 1950s and 1960s when business conditions were a lot different than they are now. For one thing, Disney parks had much less competition than they do now, for another, the times were an era of economic expansion and broad prosperity. There was a lot more latitude for leaders with "vision" to make mistakes and stay in business. It's not clear how well he would do as a businessman under today's conditions.
 
Top