Brightline Trains Florida update

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VentureForth

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I think it's closer to 2-3 minutes per stop - this isn't the Silver Meteor. Level boarding and so on help.

with level boarding 90s is a reasonable target.

These are good goals. At least the time I rode, it was closer to five minutes because there are a LOT of inexperienced transit riders onboard. I've mentioned this before here - people wait until the train STOPS before they stand (thinking it's an airplane) and the absence of disembarking passengers encourages those boarding to go ahead and do so. This results in a massive bottleneck in the vestibule. Despite there being constant instructions, many of the passengers aren't familiar with English or Spanish.

I do hope that the regularity of the service will speed this up and help with the transit culture in the US (along with no smoking on the platforms - not a Brightline problem because they keep people off, but on other transit in the WPB-Miami basin).
 

railiner

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I am still scratching my head over Boca and Aventura. They were marketing 60 minutes from Miami to WPB. It's 72 minutes per the schedule now. His much time is going to be needed for these two more stops? I'm guessing nominally 5 more minutes per stop, bringing the time to 82 minutes. That's almost a 40% indeed over the initially advertised timetable. Do people just not care about the speed anymore?
On such a relatively short trip, I would use Tri-Rail, slightly longer, but a fraction of the cost, especially for Seniors…😉
To me, riding Brightline between West Palm Beach and Miami is an extravagance, almost like riding Amtrak Between New York and Trenton rather than NJT…
 

VentureForth

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On such a relatively short trip, I would use Tri-Rail, slightly longer, but a fraction of the cost, especially for Seniors…😉
To me, riding Brightline between West Palm Beach and Miami is an extravagance, almost like riding Amtrak Between New York and Trenton rather than NJT…
I still don't get why this is such a big deal to go a mile west to get onto Tri Rail for local service, from FLL, north.
 

Touchdowntom9

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These are good goals. At least the time I rode, it was closer to five minutes because there are a LOT of inexperienced transit riders onboard. I've mentioned this before here - people wait until the train STOPS before they stand (thinking it's an airplane) and the absence of disembarking passengers encourages those boarding to go ahead and do so. This results in a massive bottleneck in the vestibule. Despite there being constant instructions, many of the passengers aren't familiar with English or Spanish.

I do hope that the regularity of the service will speed this up and help with the transit culture in the US (along with no smoking on the platforms - not a Brightline problem because they keep people off, but on other transit in the WPB-Miami basin).
I have ridden BL one time around 12 months ago. Oddly enough they opened all the train car doors manually with a large key from the outside. Wildly inefficient but I assume there was no rush given the train was on time if not a min or two early. Hopefully that practice has been discarded by now.
 

Anderson

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I still don't get why this is such a big deal to go a mile west to get onto Tri Rail for local service, from FLL, north.
(1) It depends on where you're going. A pair of Ubers/Lyfts can obliterate cost savings over a mile or two. Also, Brightline /is/ faster...Boca-->Metrorail Transfer is 1:06 on Tri-Rail vs 47 min. on Brightline to downtown, but Metrorail seems to be about another 20 minutes to get downtown (plus the transfer itself), so you're looking at 1:30 or so for Tri-Rail+Metro vs. 47 min. on Brightline. I think saving most of an hour is probably worth a few extra bucks.
(2) The bigger deal is on the south end, where Brightline goes into downtown Miami while Tri-Rail, at least for now, doesn't. See above for why that's a decently big deal. If you're going to Miami Beach, etc., similar caveats apply.
 
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jis

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But the opposite applies if a passenger is going tothe MIA airport. Tri rail to MIA airport Vs Brightline + transfer + metrp rail/
However, that is not one of the major groups that are designed to be served by Brightline, so while interesting, it is less relevant.
 

Anderson

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But the opposite applies if a passenger is going tothe MIA airport. Tri rail to MIA airport Vs Brightline + transfer + metrp rail/
Actually, that's not quite the case. I think it's about break-even:
Brightline Boca-Miami is 0:47
Metrorail Overtown-Miami Airport is 0:13
So that's 1:00 plus the transfer (probably less than 15 minutes).

Tri-Rail is 1:15 Boca-Miami Airport.

So there's a very good chance that the two are a break-even proposition vs one another.
At WPB, you're looking at 1:44 for Tri-Rail vs 1:12 for Brightline, so Brightline probably has the edge there on time. I'm not sure about the relevant parking policies, but Brightline+ offers rideshare connections...so Brightline probably has an added edge there. Tri-Rail will win on price, but Brightline on comfort.
 

cirdan

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One very interesting feature on the 528 segment is that the interlockings do not have any connection from the power grid. They are entirely powered by solar panels and large battery packs capable of powering them for a couple of days without being charged. If they wished to get grid connections they would required to install many miles of transmission lines, which they thought was going to be more expensive than having battery packs that lasted many days with the highly predictable consumption, and with properly scaled solar panels to charge them.
I guess in Florida sunshine is more consistent and reliable than in many other parts of the world.
 

cirdan

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More importantly, for some of those locations there is no utility power line of any sort within 5 or 6 miles. So they would have to install new lines just for the few watts that these sites would typically consume.
But they need to run cables anyway, don't they? For the data communication between signals. Or is this communication wireless? If it is cabled, then running lightweight power cables in the same trenches would not have been a huge deal breaker.
 

jis

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I guess in Florida sunshine is more consistent and reliable than in many other parts of the world.
The fact that the functionality does not require all that much power helps. The battery pack would probably last without charging for as much as a week if sized properly.
But they need to run cables anyway, don't they? For the data communication between signals. Or is this communication wireless? If it is cabled, then running lightweight power cables in the same trenches would not have been a huge deal breaker.
Communication is wireless. So no, there is no cable of any sort. They do need the wireless for PTC anyway, so why string a cable for a very low bandwidth communication when it can ride the same high capacity wireless link as just one more multiplexed channel?

Even CSX on the Atlantic Coast Line uses wireless communication to Control Points now. The service they use is provided by Verizon.
 

Qapla

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A friend of mine works for a communication service company (they install and provide wire/cable/fiber) for the Internet. They install quite a bit of it in RR Right of Way ... he said, they have some along the new Brightline tracks.
 

Brian_tampa

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A friend of mine works for a communication service company (they install and provide wire/cable/fiber) for the Internet. They install quite a bit of it in RR Right of Way ... he said, they have some along the new Brightline tracks.
I would not be surprised there is also fiber optic along the new ROW. For critical systems there is always a redundant path. And for this application, I am sure Brightline has their own FO network to connect their stations and facilities between Miami and Orlando. This is probably for their enterprise network.
 
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Caesar La Rock

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