Brightline takes over XPress West!

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Anderson

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They've got about a hundred acres of land to develop. The one-armed bandits will have somewhere to go ;-)
 

Anderson

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Very likely something similar. The biggest issue I see is that while development options are obvious with Las Vegas, Victorville and other possible station locations are probably a bit more limited for the time being. Now, if they can turn around and offer a quick enough trip into LA, they could probably make a fortune off of that.

(Edit: And of course, in a related thought, up in the Bay Area I suspect there's an absolute killing to be made if somebody can plug a reasonably fast line into either Oakland or San Jose from the other side of the mountains and then milk the development rights on the other side...)
 

mainemanman

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Possibility they might run trains through on the San Bernardino line? Of course, they would have to use the Cajon Pass, therefore meaning they'd have to negotiate with BNSF, but the plus side is a one-seat ride to Los Angeles and not having to use a car to drive up to Victorville.
 

jis

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Possibility they might run trains through on the San Bernardino line? Of course, they would have to use the Cajon Pass, therefore meaning they'd have to negotiate with BNSF, but the plus side is a one-seat ride to Los Angeles and not having to use a car to drive up to Victorville.
That is not their plan. When they get to LA they will do so via Palmdalevia Metrolink trackage (and their own to Palmdale), not San Bernardino.
 

west point

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Plans have a way if changing. Believe what will happen when construction starts, Since its BEE line construction is in full operation that helps the MIA <> Orlando appear well on the way. Once all the Bee line bridges are complete then that is another milestone.
 

jis

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Plans have a way if changing. Believe what will happen when construction starts, Since its BEE line construction is in full operation that helps the MIA <> Orlando appear well on the way. Once all the Bee line bridges are complete then that is another milestone.
Well Cajon Pass issue has nothing to do with construction plans. There is no capacity to be had for any reasonable price through Cajon Pass. We are not talking of one train a day. We are talking hourly service over many hours of the day. Just won't happen.

BTW, the name of the highway in question in Florida is Beachline or State Rt. 528. They always said the route will be along 528 since day one. That is what the EIS said and that is where it is. These things just don't randomly move around.
 

mainemanman

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That is not their plan. When they get to LA they will do so via Palmdalevia Metrolink trackage (and their own to Palmdale), not San Bernardino.
Ok, I see. Wasn't aware they were still planning to go beyond Victorville. That makes a lot more sense.
 
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NeueAmtrakCalifornia

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Well Cajon Pass issue has nothing to do with construction plans. There is no capacity to be had for any reasonable price through Cajon Pass. We are not talking of one train a day. We are talking hourly service over many hours of the day. Just won't happen..
Is Cajon Pass that expensive? What's keeping a new Cajon Pass rail line from being made. Certainly a Tejon Pass rail can be done (at least theoretically).
 
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Some positive news for this project from the last week. They got the okay from the state of California to issue tax-exempt bonds and will probably get a $10million tax credit from the state as well.

 

cirdan

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This is true, but for various reasons you also run into several constraints:
(1) Regulatory limits requiring a lot more expense in terms of track conditions, approvals, etc.
(2) Having to buy substantially more expensive trainsets.
(3) Increasing operating costs as top speeds rise.

A realistic possibility would be that they can get sets that can do 186, but don't want to have to deal with any regulatory issues surrounding having Class 9 track instead of Class 8 track.
One compromise might be to build the general geometry/ alignment capabale of 180mph or whatever, while initially running slower than that with cheaper trains and signalling system etc. Ideally the same type they are using as in Florida so they can exchange equipment and pool know-how, maintenance, spares etc as needed. Seeing the alignment is mostly in desert, just easing curve radii just a little more on first construction is not going to cost an arm and a leg. But going in and fixing that later would cost significantly greater amounts of cash. Then maybe when the first generation of trains come up for replacement they can go for something faster, which presumably by then will mean the technology is more mature and thus more affordable.
 

DSS&A

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Brightline will study an extension of their line further southwest of Victorville to Rancho Cucamonga, CA using the I-15 highway cooridoor.

 

joelkfla

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Brightline will study an extension of their line further southwest of Victorville to Rancho Cucamonga, CA using the I-15 highway cooridoor.

The article says they "expect to break ground" by the end of 2020. Based on Brightline's history in FL, I'd be very surprised.

I'm also not holding my breath for the proposed FL extensions to WDW & Tampa, although the route to Orlando's airport seems to be moving along nicely now.
 

Qapla

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Many of the delays experienced in Florida came from the NIMBY lawsuits - not the rail company's ability to move forward ... as can be seen with their current progress now that the law suits have been settled
 
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The article says they "expect to break ground" by the end of 2020. Based on Brightline's history in FL, I'd be very surprised.

I'm also not holding my breath for the proposed FL extensions to WDW & Tampa, although the route to Orlando's airport seems to be moving along nicely now.
I think the extension to Tampa gets built just due to the fact they already have the right of way using Interstate 4 from Orlando to Tampa. I assume Disney is going to cough up some land as well. The only problem would be as to where to place the Lakeland stop. The crazy thing is we could have had high speed rail but then Florida Governor Rick Scott turned down federal money to build it. Now 9 years later they want to build it and Rick Scott has invested in the company that wants to build the line.
 

Bob Dylan

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I think the extension to Tampa gets built just due to the fact they already have the right of way using Interstate 4 from Orlando to Tampa. I assume Disney is going to cough up some land as well. The only problem would be as to where to place the Lakeland stop. The crazy thing is we could have had high speed rail but then Florida Governor Rick Scott turned down federal money to build it. Now 9 years later they want to build it and Rick Scott has invested in the company that wants to build the line.
More Swamp Creatures cashing in!!!
 

NeueAmtrakCalifornia

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dlagrua

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If Brightline takes over the planned Xpresswest route from LA to Las Vegas this only connects two population centers. Point is Las Vegas gets tourism from 50 states The discontinued Amtrak Desert Wind once served Chicago, Omaha, Denver, Salt Lake City, Los Angeles,, and Las Vegas, while also serving six different states including IA. . The drawback was that it only operated 3 days a week. This seems like a more effective use of a train.
 
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If Brightline takes over the planned Xpresswest route from LA to Las Vegas this only connects two population centers. Point is Las Vegas gets tourism from 50 states The discontinued Amtrak Desert Wind once served Chicago, Omaha, Denver, Salt Lake City, Los Angeles,, and Las Vegas, while also serving six different states including IA. . The drawback was that it only operated 3 days a week. This seems like a more effective use of a train.
In theory yes but it's cheaper to fly to LA and take a bus or another flight into Vegas vs flying into Vegas. Plus the Brightline train would probably run every hour like the one in Miami does. It wouldn't surprise me if they had late night service as well (10:30pm, Midnight, 1:30am). 50 million trips a year (one way) is amazing. I assume they are going to want to have 10-15 million passengers a year. Amtrak could bring that line back but just have it terminate in Vegas. I believe the western terminus will be Victorville, CA and that should have connections with the CHSR project when complete.
 

cirdan

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Many of the delays experienced in Florida came from the NIMBY lawsuits - not the rail company's ability to move forward ... as can be seen with their current progress now that the law suits have been settled
Nevetheless, realistic plannng anticipates NIMBYs and budgets time and costs for dealing with them.
 

neroden

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Feb 23, 2014
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By taking over the XPressWest project, they've taken over a project which has already passed a large number of the NIMBY hurdles. There will be more, no doubt, but it's passed a lot of them already.
 
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