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Brightline (FEC) Update


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#2001 cirdan

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Posted 03 May 2018 - 09:43 AM

 

 

The five short sets that were scheduled to arrive for use in the Miami - West Palm Beach Service have all arrived on property quite a while back.

 

 

 

Eventually there will be five more sets and all sets will get lengthened to at least 8, maybe 9 cars, by 2021. The longer sets will start arriving after the tracks are built out to Orlando Airport and the maintenance facility at Orlando Airport has become functional. long sets can only be serviced there. The West palm beach facility can only handle short sets.

 

 

So the WPB facility cannot be extended / modified to handle longer sets?

 

Is that a total lack of foresight, or was this facility never intended to be permanent?

 

I suspect it was never intended to be permanent.  In an ideal world, Brightline would have been able to roll out service on the whole route all at once.  Obviously, among other issues, the holding-up of the loans to cover the Orlando segment slowed down construction.

 

 

I guess if a commuter service ever runs on those tracks, this would be a good place to maintain the trains for that.



#2002 jis

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Posted 03 May 2018 - 09:53 AM

Interesting development regarding grade crossings maintenance costs....

 

https://www.tcpalm.c...oast/566451002/

 

I knew that AAF and Brevard County already has an agreement in place.



#2003 Brian_tampa

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Posted 03 May 2018 - 01:04 PM

The five short sets that were scheduled to arrive for use in the Miami - West Palm Beach Service have all arrived on property quite a while back.
 
 
 
Eventually there will be five more sets and all sets will get lengthened to at least 8, maybe 9 cars, by 2021. The longer sets will start arriving after the tracks are built out to Orlando Airport and the maintenance facility at Orlando Airport has become functional. long sets can only be serviced there. The West palm beach facility can only handle short sets.

 
So the WPB facility cannot be extended / modified to handle longer sets?
 
Is that a total lack of foresight, or was this facility never intended to be permanent?
I suspect it was never intended to be permanent.  In an ideal world, Brightline would have been able to roll out service on the whole route all at once.  Obviously, among other issues, the holding-up of the loans to cover the Orlando segment slowed down construction.
 
I guess if a commuter service ever runs on those tracks, this would be a good place to maintain the trains for that.
According to AAF documents I have have seen, the WPB "workshop b" facility is permanent and will eventually be used as a running repair facility. The 4 tracks at WPB can hold 7 or 8 car trains. I am not sure how long the pit is on the east track (track 1?) Or how many cars can be positioned over it at one time.

Workshop b has to remain in service, otherwise how do the trains get serviced overnight to allow for early morning trips north out of Miami? Last train into Miami will be close to midnight and first train out will be around 6am. I don't think you can (or would want to) do daily inspections, clean, and restock the trains at MiamiCentral station. Workshop b also has the warehouse for supplies and parts needed to keep the trains running. Using WPB for servicing trains leaves about 4 hours time between 1am and 5am to get the servicing and inspections done.

Edited by Brian_tampa, 03 May 2018 - 04:45 PM.


#2004 Brian_tampa

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Posted 03 May 2018 - 01:18 PM

Interesting development regarding grade crossings maintenance costs....
 
https://www.tcpalm.c...oast/566451002/
 
I knew that AAF and Brevard County already has an agreement in place.

I have read the letter that the General Counsel for AAF, Myles Tobin, sent Rep. Mark Meadows that Lisa Broadt briefly referenced. It is odd how Ms. Broadt (and the TC Palm in general) intentionally misrepresent or do not report on certain things. Most of the letter, which was sent as a formal response to the subcommittee members questions during the hearing, was a rather strong defense of the PAB allocation approval and the reason why AAF thinks counties should pay for grade crossing maintenance. The legal points made by Mr. Tobin tore apart the opposition's argument against allocating PABs to AAF and not paying for grade crossing maintenance.

I am so tired of so-called 'news reporters' injecting personal opinion, bias, and slanting the coverage of news instead of just reporting the facts! Ask Ms. Broadt why she did not report on the contents of the rest of the letter.

Edited by Brian_tampa, 03 May 2018 - 04:44 PM.


#2005 jis

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Posted 03 May 2018 - 01:37 PM

TC Palm being partisan? - and incompetent in reporting? I am utterly shocked.... shocked :wacko: :D


Edited by jis, 03 May 2018 - 01:38 PM.


#2006 GBNorman

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Posted 03 May 2018 - 07:00 PM

Ladies and Gents, if Jennifer Sorentrue reports it in Cox's Palm Beach Post, then believe it as news. So far as Treasure Coast sources such as TC Newspapers go, take their reporting with a "grain of salt". They and their readers have "an agenda".

Take Opinion from either source as just that: Opinion.

#2007 Metra Electric Rider

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Posted 08 May 2018 - 09:41 AM

I'm quite alright with seeing the thread start to split...right now we're approaching 2000 posts; more to the point, we have a "live" service that (as noted above) may be subject to all sorts of issues.

On the article: I tend to agree that WPB-FLL is a dubious "viable segment" as a stand-alone service, though it's also worth noting that taking 50 riders per train, presuming 22 trains/day (11 round-trips), and multiplying by 365 gives an annual ridership of just over 400k riders (and annual revenue in the range of about $5.5m, based on ridership distribution...I'm having to guess at revenue figures just a little bit, but $17.50/Select ticket and $10/Smart ticket at the ratios given in the article gives $5,339,950).  I cannot speak to costs, but this is almost definitely not covering them.  Worth noting is that Brightline has already bumped Select pricing; there will probably be further bumps (closing in on a "full" dynamic pricing model).

However, it does seem likely on this basis that MIA-FLL-WPB should bump those levels much closer to a million riders per year (WPB-MIA in an hour is a very substantial offering), something which would probably at least get the service reasonably close to break-even (since I'm going to guess that per-passenger revenue would also bump substantially).

Edit: Let's play with some numbers, shall we?  Let's presume that, with three-station service, Brightline gets the following breakdown in ridership:

-350k WPB-FLL (a modest reduction from current numbers)

-350k FLL-MIA
-400k WPB-MIA

Select pricing goes to $15-30 WPB-FLL (average price $22), $15-25 MIA-FLL (average price $20), and $20-40 MIA-FLL (average price $30).  Overall, Select ridership drops to about 25% of ridership (though it's closer to 35% for the full-length market).
Smart pricing becomes slightly dynamic, going to $10-15 for either WPB-FLL (avg $12.50) or FLL-MIA (avg $12.00) and $15-20 WPB-MIA (avg $17.50).

By segment, we'd get the following:
-WPB-FLL: 75k Select ($1.65m), 275k Smart ($3.44m)

-FLL-MIA: 60k Select ($1.20m), 290k Smart ($3.48m)

-WPB-MIA: 140k Select ($4.20m), 260k Smart ($4.55m)
Overall revenue would be sitting at $18.52m/yr at that point.

I have no idea how reasonable this is or how far it would go towards covering costs.

 

I think the real question is how are their real estate investments doing.


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#2008 blueman271

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Posted 11 May 2018 - 10:33 AM

Brightline service to MiamiCentral starting May 19.

http://www.miamihera...e210916549.html
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#2009 AGM.12

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Posted 11 May 2018 - 08:46 PM

I wonder if the Brightline people considered contacting the Gold Coast railroad museum to maybe spot one of their FEC pacifics next to a Brightline train, or some other appropriate display?



#2010 brianpmcdonnell17

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Posted 11 May 2018 - 10:16 PM

The current West Palm Beach-Miami schedule appears to be 80 minutes, which is well over the promised 60 minutes.
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#2011 jis

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Posted 12 May 2018 - 10:56 AM

You will find me on the 11am out of WPB  on the 19th, in case any of you happen to be riding that day. I am in Smart.

 

BTW, for now you may want to avoid using the iPhone iOS 11 Brightline App for buying tickets, and use the web site instead. I discovered a few interesting bugs that causes it to simply crash and lose all info at the most inopportune moments (as if there are opportune moments for such).

 

One thing that was refreshing is that I got to talk to someone knowledgeable about the bug, and at least the App works with a preexisting ticket for bringing it up for display at the gate etc.


Edited by jis, 12 May 2018 - 11:36 AM.


#2012 Anderson

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Posted 13 May 2018 - 04:11 PM

Jis,

I'll be coming back into WPB then.  I'm on the 0700.


Amtrak mileage to date: Somewhere between 120,000 and 150,000 miles...I /really/ need to run all of my trips through a calculator sometime.

...and no, I am not /that/ Anderson...;-)


#2013 Anderson

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Posted 13 May 2018 - 04:21 PM

The current West Palm Beach-Miami schedule appears to be 80 minutes, which is well over the promised 60 minutes.

I am seeing that as well.  There seems to be padding for OTP (I noticed that we cleared WPB-FLL in 35 minutes back in January).  they can probably pull a few minutes out once they're confident of timely boarding, etc.


Amtrak mileage to date: Somewhere between 120,000 and 150,000 miles...I /really/ need to run all of my trips through a calculator sometime.

...and no, I am not /that/ Anderson...;-)


#2014 jis

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Posted 13 May 2018 - 06:36 PM

I think there is much more padding between FLL and Miami. I believe the best possible time between WPB and FLL is around 32 mins or so without violating speed limits, pushing the trains to their max capability with precise acceleration and deceleration.

#2015 Anderson

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Posted 14 May 2018 - 01:37 AM

So, I've checked the timetables for Monday (21 May) and then checked Friday (25 May).  Here's what I get:

 WPB  |   A FLL D   |  MIA  |
0515  | 0555 | 0557 |  0635 |  
0700  | 0740 | 0742 |  0820 |  
0800  | 0840 | ---- |  0900 |  
1100  | 1140 | 1142 |  1220 |  
1200  | 1240 | 1242 |  1320 |  
1500  | 1540 | 1542 |  1620 |  
1600  | 1640 | 1642 |  1720 |  
1800  | 1840 | 1842 |  1920 |  
2100  | 2140 | 2142 |  2220 | Fri

 MIA  |   A FLL D   |  WPB  |
0710  | 0743 | 0745 |  0830 |
0910  | 0943 | 0945 |  1030 |
1010  | 1043 | 1045 |  1130 |
1310  | 1343 | 1345 |  1430 |
1410  | 1443 | 1445 |  1530 |
1710  | 1743 | 1745 |  1830 |
1810  | 1843 | 1845 |  1930 |
2010  | 2043 | 2045 |  2130 |
2310  | 2343 | 2345 |  0030 | Fri

Looking at this, they've nominally achieved the 60-minute timing on the 0800 from West Palm Beach.  I am very tempted to pop down during the week to mark time on that train, but seeing as Fort Lauderdale is discharge-only they probably have a little more confidence in that.  I'm not quite sure I buy 20 minutes FLL-MIA, but I /do/ buy 25 minutes (which you basically have given probable time-keeping WPB-FLL).  For reference, weekend service is a "straight" every-other-hour service (odd hours on the hour depart WPB southbound, odd hours plus 10 minutes depart MIA northbound).

The reduction in service from the initial schedule doesn't entirely shock me, but it does surprise me a little bit.  I can't blame them for shedding some off-hour services (according to one news article, some of those were running near-empty), but I'm still a little surprised that it's 8x daily (9x Fridays).  I'm also a little surprised at the one train skipping boardings at Fort Lauderdale (I would personally think that the 0900 arrival in downtown Miami would be the best train to pull in commuter traffic on that segment).

On weekdays, the current timetable only requires three sets to operate (it needs two for most of the day, but there's an "extra" morning train and an "extra" evening train that can't turn in time) out of the five sets.  On weekends, I think it only needs two sets.

I'm going to stand by my expectation that 5-10 minutes may come out of the timetable in a few months (once they have a better feel for pax turnover on the platform at FLL) but I think achieving near-100% OTP is vital to them.  I can't blame them.

Amtrak mileage to date: Somewhere between 120,000 and 150,000 miles...I /really/ need to run all of my trips through a calculator sometime.

...and no, I am not /that/ Anderson...;-)


#2016 cirdan

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Posted 14 May 2018 - 03:46 AM

I think there is much more padding between FLL and Miami. I believe the best possible time between WPB and FLL is around 32 mins or so without violating speed limits, pushing the trains to their max capability with precise acceleration and deceleration.

 

Acceleration will decrease later when additional cars are added.

 

So maybe they don't want to create a situation where an existing service is degraded, and are thus already using the acceleration enevelope of future full length sets for sceduling purposes?



#2017 Anderson

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Posted 14 May 2018 - 04:06 AM

@Cirdan: That is possible, but let us presume that 35 minutes is the "floor" under a heavier train for the 42-43 miles on the West Palm-Fort Lauderdale route.  I find it hard to believe that it would take an additional 40 minutes to get to MiamiCentral, which is only about 26-27 miles further.  I find it further hard to believe that it takes 60 minutes with a "tap and go" at FLL (e.g. still stoping but without timetabled pax pickups) but 80 minutes with passenger loading.  I would frankly find it hard to believe that adding the stop would add 20 minutes (I'd think around 5-7 minutes would be a reasonable guess...5 minutes for deceleration/acceleration and 2 minutes for the stop per the timetable; I'd allow 10 without a fight to be on the safe side).

Like I said, my best guess is that Brightline wants a timetable they will keep.  I can understand this.  However, I also think they've over-padded versus what is needed since it seems clear they don't want to deliver pax late to Fort Lauderdale in either direction.  70-72 minutes would seem to be sufficient given the equipment and distances.  If the timetables are still sitting at 80 minutes in five months, I'll be quite curious indeed as to the reason.  I'm also inclined to ride the "express" once or twice and "clock" it to see if it's making the run in 60 minutes, and I'm going to try and "clock" the first run as well (the first trip back in January did its run in 35 minutes, for reference).


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Amtrak mileage to date: Somewhere between 120,000 and 150,000 miles...I /really/ need to run all of my trips through a calculator sometime.

...and no, I am not /that/ Anderson...;-)


#2018 Brian_tampa

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Posted 14 May 2018 - 05:49 AM

I have also been told that there is a bit more track work ongoing at this time. New crossovers being installed over the whole WPB to MIA route. So that is part of reason for the slower schedule. I heard that the reason for the gaps in the schedule is to allow for local freights to have access during the afternoon until the crossovers get installed.
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#2019 chrsjrcj

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Posted 14 May 2018 - 08:17 AM

Yup, still missing a crossover south of WPB at least.

The 8:00 super express was a scheduling mistake. It’s been fixed now.
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#2020 jis

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Posted 14 May 2018 - 08:35 AM

We will know quite a bit of the real lowdown the weekend after Memorial Day weekend, at the FECRS Annual Convention in West Palm Beach, which has an entire day with Brightline - visit to facilities and train rides.






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