Brightline takes over XPress West!

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Qapla

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Perhaps ... but that is not how it is perceived. When a company like Virgin Trains (Brightline) announces a plan to add service, many expect that service to come "in a couple years" - not 10 or more years before they can even begin work due to the lawsuits. It doesn't matter if they "planned" for the time and expense, the delay brought by such litigation causes needless delays and cost overruns that should not be needed - and most people look at the rail company as "dragging their heals" and not getting the job done in a timely and efficient way.

In most cases, it does not take that long to build a road or expand one ... it should not take rail that long either.
 

neroden

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It takes that long to build a road where *I* live. :) We have plenty of anti-road NIMBYs here.
 

cirdan

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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.
I think XPress West may well be able to take a segment of the LA to Vegas market. But I don't think many people going to Vegas from further afield will fly into LA and then catch the train. The trek from the airport to Union Station is just a bit too much to make that an attractive proposition.

If XPress West could stop at the airport directly, Orland sytle, that would be a different story.
 

me_little_me

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I think XPress West may well be able to take a segment of the LA to Vegas market. But I don't think many people going to Vegas from further afield will fly into LA and then catch the train. The trek from the airport to Union Station is just a bit too much to make that an attractive proposition.

If XPress West could stop at the airport directly, Orland sytle, that would be a different story.
Amtrak could provide service from other cities like SLC, PHX, CHI & NYC. It would be roundabout, slow, in old cars with few features, "flex menus" and microwaved M&Ms and burgers, and sometimes nice/sometimes surly staff who make up their own rules. It would only run 3 days a week (midweek only) on standard bumpy freight tracks. But you would get Guest Rewards points!
 

Palmetto

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Amtrak could provide service from other cities like SLC, PHX, CHI & NYC. It would be roundabout, slow, in old cars with few features, "flex menus" and microwaved M&Ms and burgers, and sometimes nice/sometimes surly staff who make up their own rules. It would only run 3 days a week (midweek only) on standard bumpy freight tracks. But you would get Guest Rewards points!
Why do that when Las Vegas has its own international airport?
 

Mailliw

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Apparently flights to LAX are cheaper and there's probably more options too.
 

McIntyre2K7

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I think XPress West may well be able to take a segment of the LA to Vegas market. But I don't think many people going to Vegas from further afield will fly into LA and then catch the train. The trek from the airport to Union Station is just a bit too much to make that an attractive proposition.

If XPress West could stop at the airport directly, Orland sytle, that would be a different story.
There's already a bus that goes from LAX to Union Station that runs every 30 minutes so it should be a huge deal.
 

joelkfla

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Nevada approves $200 Million in HSR Bonds for Virgin Trains HSR project today:

Kind of a pain that you have to whitelist the site and register an account, but it's a good article with a lot of info about the plans.
 
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nullptr

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The September 30th deadline means we will probably hear more news about this soon. And after the bonds are issued you would think they'd be motivated to start construction quickly.
 

west point

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Construction now with Covid-19 has companies falling all over themselves to get a low bid in. + plenty of out of work persons to hire. Personal knowledge that is happening in the Orlando area. All the governments are trying to get projects started earlier. Orlando airport has pushed some projects for the terninal expansion up to 3 months earlier. Bright line at airport and other locations as well. The loss of passenger traffic at MCO has alllowed closure of roadways all day loong that would have only been closed at night. Saving contractors and airport authority money.
 

DSS&A

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The statement of trains running by the end of 2023 and "trains operating at speeds up to 200 mph means that there will be an equipment order ASAP!! Alstom would have an advantage with its Acela 2 production line active, but HSR 200 mph would require a few equimemt adjustments and different FRA tests than the current Acela 2 tests at Pueblo, CO.
 

joelkfla

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The statement of trains running by the end of 2023 and "trains operating at speeds up to 200 mph means that there will be an equipment order ASAP!! Alstom would have an advantage with its Acela 2 production line active, but HSR 200 mph would require a few equimemt adjustments and different FRA tests than the current Acela 2 tests at Pueblo, CO.
Current Brightline rolling stock is all Siemens. Does Siemens offer 200-mph-capable trainsets?
 

nullptr

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Current Brightline rolling stock is all Siemens. Does Siemens offer 200-mph-capable trainsets?
The Siemens Velaro is based on what is used on the DB ICE service and should be plenty fast enough. I remember there being a Siemens display in Sacramento awhile back Siemens looks to wow Sacramento with high-speed rail demo.

In general, I would imagine the groups that showed interest in bidding on the California high-speed rail rolling stock would be the same ones interested in this. Wayback Machine
 

joelkfla

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Alstom would have an advantage with its Acela 2 production line active, but HSR 200 mph would require a few equimemt adjustments and different FRA tests than the current Acela 2 tests at Pueblo, CO.
The DOT website says Pueblo is capable of testing only up to 160 mph.

Question: Would FRA testing be required if the manufacturer certifies that they have completed their own testing, or if the equipment has been in service in other countries? Especially considering that the equipment would be in use on privately owned trackage with no interchange to public or shared track.
 

jis

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The DOT website says Pueblo is capable of testing only up to 160 mph.

Question: Would FRA testing be required if the manufacturer certifies that they have completed their own testing, or if the equipment has been in service in other countries? Especially considering that the equipment would be in use on privately owned trackage with no interchange to public or shared track.
Well, if the FRA takes the FAA approach which led to the MAX fiasco, then clearly not. But I don;t think that idea will fly post 737MAX, even at FRA, in a manner of speaking.
 

cirdan

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Current Brightline rolling stock is all Siemens. Does Siemens offer 200-mph-capable trainsets?
Yes, Siemens does. The ICE / Velaro has already been exported to several countries, including Spain, Russia, China as well as the new generation Eurostar ...

I was thinking that maybe Brightline might also reach out to Texas Central and place a joint order for Japanese-style trains. The two projects are comparable in that they both aim to build a new and standalone line from scratch over a similar sort of distance.
 

cirdan

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Well, if the FRA takes the FAA approach which led to the MAX fiasco, then clearly not. But I don;t think that idea will fly post 737MAX, even at FRA, in a manner of speaking.
But wasn't the problem there that they accepted other people's testing, including the flawed thinking behind it.

I don't see any reason why the FRA must insist a test is physically performed in the USA. They could send some of their technicians over to Germany along with their measuring equipment and do the tests there. Surely the result of such a test should be entirely equivalent to the same test being done in the USA, except that you save the costs of building a 200mph test track.
 

Qapla

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I really don't know the answer to this - but ... when Honda, Toyota, Nissan Mercedes, Subaru or any of the other non-US car makers bring a new model to the US that has been being used in other countries for several years do they have to submit it to extreme safety tests on US roads when it is a proven vehicle already?

If not, why can't they do the same with a train that has been running without problems in another country instead of spending the time and money to test it in the US when it is already proven technology?
 

Devil's Advocate

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US-spec road vehicles have to be crashed in US-spec crash tests to be sold on the open market in the US. There are a few exceptions here and there but those are pretty rare. For most cars the only way to avoid US-spec testing is to be brought over as an antique (25+) on the collectors market.
 

John Santos

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At least until the FRA gets up to speed (oops!), why can't they test the trains on the actual tracks they will run on?

Several of the routes will be on brand-new, exclusive tracks, so there is no existing freight or passenger traffic to avoid or impede. They wouldn't be testing the new trains on the NEC. (Actually, they could do some testing on the NEC, after all the crash testing, signaling, breaking and acceleration tests, etc. have been completed elsewhere, and not above the current NEC speed limits.)

By the time the next generation of trains need to be tested, the various 200MPH tracks will be very busy and not suited for testing (we hope!), but the FRA would have had decades to update their facilities.
 
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