Brightline Trains Florida update

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Qapla

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Imagine being the engineer that got to drive this thing ... knowing you have just set the speed record for "fastest confirmable train to operate in the southeast US" - even though your name is not given.

Was it the same engineer driving both engines or was there a different driver for each end?

Must have been a thrill to drive that thing.
 

Brian_tampa

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Brightline ordered 20 more coach cars and 4 Chargers in Q4 of 2022. Half to be delivered in 2024, rest in 2025. Per the Municipal bond website Emma, there is a new limited offering memorandum for a $215M PAB offering with this information.

I believe this is directly related to what Anderson has determined regarding capacity restraints with the current equipment levels.

It is a 72MB file so I have linked to it instead.

Pdf document link

Edit:
Now things get weird...

On page 55 of the pdf it reads:

Rolling Stock
After commencement of our North Segment service, we anticipate having ten trainsets, each including two locomotives for our Florida passenger rail system. The Project Owner ordered an additional twenty passenger cars in the fourth quarter of 2022, with half to be delivered in 2024 and the remainder to be delivered in 2025. We expect to operate eight trainsets in regular operations, leaving one spare trainset available for private charter service or redundancy and one trainset to accommodate for shop rotation time (to allow rolling stock to be monitored, inspected, serviced and maintained without adversely impacting regularly scheduled service). We will also use the spare locomotive for redundancy as needed.
Each trainset currently consists of two diesel-electric locomotives (4,400 horsepower Cummins diesel engines) and four stainless steel passenger cars and has a total capacity of 240 passengers per train, upon commencement of Orlando revenue service, and will increase 55% to 372 once the additional twenty passenger cars are delivered in 2024 and 2025. This dual locomotive arrangement allows trains to operate at our current maximum track speed of 125 mph, while realizing fuel efficiency. The redundancy of this two-locomotive configuration will enable us to keep trains moving in case of an unexpected locomotive mechanical issue.

If each smart car holds 66 and the premium holds 42, does this mean they are adding 2 smart cars to only 6 of the 12 trainsets? And the other 6 remain at 4 coach cars each? I do recall reading somewhere recently that initial Orlando service would be 9 RT's per day.

It seems to not mention the 2 additional trainsets, but why order 4 more Chargers? I did read recently that initial service to Orlando would be 9 round trips daily IIRC. That would make sense with using those 6 trainsets for the 9 RT's to Orlando only.



Sent from my Galaxy
 
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VentureForth

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After commencement of our North Segment service, we anticipate having ten trainsets, each including two locomotives for our Florida passenger rail system. The Project Owner ordered an additional twenty passenger cars in the fourth quarter of 2022, with half to be delivered in 2024 and the remainder to be delivered in 2025. We expect to operate eight trainsets in regular operations, leaving one spare trainset available for private charter service or redundancy and one trainset to accommodate for shop rotation time (to allow rolling stock to be monitored, inspected, serviced and maintained without adversely impacting regularly scheduled service). We will also use the spare locomotive for redundancy as needed.

If each smart car holds 66 and the premium holds 42, does this mean they are adding 2 smart cars to only 6 of the 12 trainsets? And the other 6 remain at 4 coach cars each? I do recall reading somewhere recently that initial Orlando service would be 9 RT's per day.
They say there will only be 10 total sets - 8 in service, 1 spare, and 1 in rotating maintenance.
 

Brian_tampa

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They say there will only be 10 total sets - 8 in service, 1 spare, and 1 in rotating maintenance.
Yes, initially I agree there will be the current 10 trainsets with 4 cars each configured with 3 smart and 1 premium (240 seats per trainset).

To clarify my original comment:

What's left unsaid is how they plan to implement the additional equipment as it comes online in 2024 and 2025. To get to 372 seats per train (this is where it becomes a question of how many trains get additional cars) with only 20 additional cars, the only way the math works is to have 6 of the existing 10 trainsets get 2 additional smart service cars and the 2 new trainsets get the usual 3 smart and 1 premium car.

So of the 20 new cars, 18 will be smart coaches and 2 will be premium I think.

5 smart + 1 premium = 372 seats. But there aren't enough new cars coming to equip all 12 trainsets with 5 smart and 1 premium car. So obviously they are going to have to have a limited number of 372 seat trainsets.

The 4 additional Chargers are for 2 new trainsets I would suspect. They don't need 5 spares.
 

GDRRiley

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What's left unsaid is how they plan to implement the additional equipment as it comes online in 2024 and 2025. To get to 372 seats per train (this is where it becomes a question of how many trains get additional cars) with only 20 additional cars, the only way the math works is to have 6 of the existing 10 trainsets get 2 additional smart service cars and the 2 new trainsets get the usual 3 smart and 1 premium car.

So of the 20 new cars, 18 will be smart coaches and 2 will be premium I think.

5 smart + 1 premium = 372 seats. But there aren't enough new cars coming to equip all 12 trainsets with 5 smart and 1 premium car. So obviously they are going to have to have a limited number of 372 seat trainsets.

The 4 additional Chargers are for 2 new trainsets I would suspect. They don't need 5 spares.
I suspect they'll they'll get all 20 as smart coaches which would then mean they have 10 5+1 car sets.
they could also get 18 smart and 2 premium and have 9 5+1 sets. along with 3 spare smart and3 spare premium cars. That would mean the 10th set could then be a 2 car VIP train.
5 spares while it may seem like too many, it is not a crazy spare ratio. 25% for diesel locos in NA is the standards where as cars are typically 15-20%.
 
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I remember seeing in previous documents wording about 4 additional locomotives to be ordered. At one point weren't they planning to start Orlando service with only 8 total sets? I'm wondering if that phrase is carryover from going back to 10 sets.
 

VentureForth

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Port Canaveral is now the busiest cruise port in the WORLD. Brightline needs their partnerships with the cruise lines and a station operational at Cocoa like YESTERDAY.

(And another station in Melbourne to connect Melbourne International Airport to Cocoa for those TUI flights from the UK resuming in March)
 

jis

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The only downside is if Brightline seats are in so much demand that Brightline cannot meet the demand.
That is why they ordered 20 more cars, and will probably ordered even more as demand develops. They will be focusing on high revenue per seat scenarios and hence on Orlando service rather than on short turns. I suspect they would prefer to sell seats to Orlando rather than to FLL and then run empty seats to Orlando. So the supply patterns will change between Miami and WPB when Orlando service begins.
 

Brian_tampa

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That is why they ordered 20 more cars, and will probably ordered even more as demand develops. They will be focusing on high revenue per seat scenarios and hence on Orlando service rather than on short turns. I suspect they would prefer to sell seats to Orlando rather than to FLL and then run empty seats to Orlando. So the supply patterns will change between Miami and WPB when Orlando service begins.
I have heard from one of the people I know at Brightline that focusing on long distance and higher revenue service is the main goal now. Reading more of the bond offering memorandum, they basically are predicting almost no riders between Aventura and Miami due to the start of local commuter service by the year 2028. Revenue from Orlando ridership will be five times that of all local South Florida ridership in 2028, yet ridership will only be twice that. That is why they seem to be pivoting from the early years of focusing on South Florida. Longer term, I would think service to Orlando and Tampa will be their primary and most important destinations/origins from S Florida.

Yes, the additional coach cars and Chargers are part of this new focus and the reason for their being ordered. Based on the WSP 2022 ridership study (part of the bond memorandum released this week), they will have 6 million long distance riders after 5 years of operation. Many more coach cars will be needed to support that expected demand. They even predict 1 million riders to/from Orlando for the 6 months they plan to operate there this year!
 
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Brian_tampa

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I'm sure this is mentioned deep in these threads, but what is the max train size that the platforms are built for? Any chance Premier service would grow out of one car per trainser?
I believe it is 10 cars for the Miami, Ft Lauderdale, WPB, and Orlando (MCO airport) stations. Not sure about The Boca Raton and Aventura stations.

The number of Premium cars on a trainset would be driven by demand trends. If they fill up fast then I think Brightline would consider adding a second Premium class car.
 

Anderson

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I suspect they'll they'll get all 20 as smart coaches which would then mean they have 10 5+1 car sets.
they could also get 18 smart and 2 premium and have 9 5+1 sets. along with 3 spare smart and3 spare premium cars. That would mean the 10th set could then be a 2 car VIP train.
5 spares while it may seem like too many, it is not a crazy spare ratio. 25% for diesel locos in NA is the standards where as cars are typically 15-20%.
No, 5 spare cars is about "right", especially given an incident or two of somebody panicking and popping a window. Being able to just pull a car from service and replace it is not a bad thing. In the long run, if service frequencies were to expand I would expect the spare/shop ratio for Brightline to end up a bit below Amtrak's "standard" of about 20% due to the compact nature of the system...but these numbers are inherently sticky at the bottom end.

Presuming that they do go to 12 sets, I confess that I'm a bit surprised that they wouldn't make them the same configuration as the other trains, if only to preserve the ability to swap the equipment. That being said, I'd need to read more closely but I suspect the order is "Two additional sets (at six cars each) plus 20 additional cars (for the ten existing sets).

[With 12 sets, I have to presume that there's a plan to bump frequencies slightly in South Florida, which would be consistent with their expected ridership numbers.]
 

Anderson

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I believe it is 10 cars for the Miami, Ft Lauderdale, WPB, and Orlando (MCO airport) stations. Not sure about The Boca Raton and Aventura stations.

The number of Premium cars on a trainset would be driven by demand trends. If they fill up fast then I think Brightline would consider adding a second Premium class car.
My best guess is that with a 10-car train, it would be 7 coach cars, 2 premium class cars, and the remaining car would either be a coach car or a cafe-coach car. Orlando-South Florida is long enough to probably support a second premium car.
 

Brian_tampa

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Update based on new information from people I am in contact with. There will be 2 trainsets with 5 cars starting tomorrow in order to meet increased demand. The plan for the 20 additional cars is to equip the 10 trainsets with 6 cars each. Meaning that they will all be Smart class coaches. There will not be additional trainsets at this time beyond the 10 existing. There is and will remain only 1 spare Charger for the time being. The 4 listed in the bond memorandum are for previously delivered trainsets over the past year and do not indicate new deliveries.
 

Anderson

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Update based on new information from people I am in contact with. There will be 2 trainsets with 5 cars starting tomorrow in order to meet increased demand. The plan for the 20 additional cars is to equip the 10 trainsets with 6 cars each. Meaning that they will all be Smart class coaches. There will not be additional trainsets at this time beyond the 10 existing. There is and will remain only 1 spare Charger for the time being. The 4 listed in the bond memorandum are for previously delivered trainsets over the past year and do not indicate new deliveries.
Many thanks!

Is there any update on the seat count for the new cars (since IIRC the three existing coaches have slight differences in configuration...it's something like 56, 64, and 66 IIRC)?

Also, I don't see any trains with the extra seats loaded in tomorrow...but the idea that they haven't loaded those in just yet isn't shocking. However, I am seeing some stunning fares (over $100 o/w in Premium WPB-MIA).
 
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