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Brightline (FEC) Update


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#2121 chrsjrcj

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Posted 30 June 2018 - 04:30 PM

Brightline was running the bring a friend for free promo for a while, so that likely plays into it. I can not remember when it ended, but I think it was before Miami opened.

#2122 GBNorman

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Posted 04 July 2018 - 09:56 AM

To my pleasant surprise, as part of the Indenture relating to the $600M Private Activity Bonds floated, AAF is required to disclose revenue and ridership for each Quarter. They released such for the First Quarter this past Friday - and look who reported them (presumably straight):

Gannett Treasure Coast Newspapers

Fair Use:

Brightline carried 74,780 riders and collected $663,700 in ticket revenue in its first 2½ months of operation, according to financial documents released Friday.

The documents which offered one of the first public glimpses into the private company's financials revealed that ridership "exceeded expectations," according to Brightline, despite recent controversies over safety and use of public funding.

Ridership grew each month as a result of increased awareness and demand for the companys service," Brightline said in its quarterly unaudited financial statement provided to the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board.

Month-by-month ridership and revenue from Jan 19, when initial service began between West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale, to March 31, the end of the first quarter, was:

January: 17,800 passengers, $146,500

February: 24,100 passengers, $220,000

March: 32,900 passengers, $297,300


However, lest we forget, AAF is still offering dirt cheap "introductory fares". I highly doubt if they have compiled enough historical data to institute demand pricing, although I'm sure they want to "get there".

So their first venture into "market pricing" will be "like the old days". "Here's the fare; take it or leave it" (my guess: OW MIA-WP $50 Coach, $65 Business). Who knows what effect that will have on ridership and revenues.

Continuing with a "lest we wonder"; the Florida Turnpike will soon switch to demand pricing systemwide. The "Lexus Lanes" on the 95 are already there (BTW, this Lexus owner doesn't go near them - oh, and don't the various Authorities love EZ-Pass, Sun Pass, whatever; especially when signed up for automatic refills), so the market can certainly justify higher fares.

Finally though, a rub. The free parking at the AAF station garages is now $6/da, but that certainly is a dirt cheap rate. How they control that you actually have ridden a train, I know not - but I think they should.

Edited by GBNorman, 04 July 2018 - 02:58 PM.

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#2123 frequentflyer

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Posted 09 July 2018 - 08:51 AM

Have not read all 107 pages, but why do Brightline cars need a sliding plank to bridge the gap to the platform? The Amfleet and VL cars on the NEC do not have this problem. 



#2124 CCC1007

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Posted 09 July 2018 - 09:33 AM

Have not read all 107 pages, but why do Brightline cars need a sliding plank to bridge the gap to the platform? The Amfleet and VL cars on the NEC do not have this problem. 

Are the platforms set further back to allow freight trains to pass through the stations?

#2125 Mystic River Dragon

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Posted 09 July 2018 - 09:40 AM

Amtrak doesn't have this problem on the NEC, but NJ Transit certainly does. When I get on at Princeton Junction, for example, I have to climb up into the train over a gap, with no handrail close to the door to hang on to. So it seems to me that Brightline is taking care of a problem like that at stations with a similar gap before an accident can happen.



#2126 jis

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Posted 09 July 2018 - 10:58 AM

 

Have not read all 107 pages, but why do Brightline cars need a sliding plank to bridge the gap to the platform? The Amfleet and VL cars on the NEC do not have this problem. 

Are the platforms set further back to allow freight trains to pass through the stations?

 

Not really. Even at level boarding stations generally Amtrak trains require a bridge plate for wheelchairs. Brightline's gap filler eliminates that need. You can literally just roll on or roll off a wheelchair as soon as the door opens. People who can walk normally can walk across the gap, if the filler were absent as easily as they do all the time at say Newark Penn Station.

 

All Brightline stations have a freight bypass track for unusual loads that do not fit the standard loading gauge. The platforms are designed to accommodate all standard loading gauges. According to the guys planning all extensions all stations will be designed with a freight bypass track wherever there is the possibility of a freight train passing through the station.


Edited by jis, 09 July 2018 - 01:22 PM.

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#2127 frequentflyer

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Posted 09 July 2018 - 01:09 PM

Thank you for the answer, I just assumed a box car and pax car had the same spacing from the platform.



#2128 cirdan

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Posted 10 July 2018 - 04:02 AM

 

 

Have not read all 107 pages, but why do Brightline cars need a sliding plank to bridge the gap to the platform? The Amfleet and VL cars on the NEC do not have this problem. 

Are the platforms set further back to allow freight trains to pass through the stations?

 

Not really. Even at level boarding stations generally Amtrak trains require a bridge plate for wheelchairs. Brightline's gap filler eliminates that need. You can literally just roll on or roll off a wheelchair as soon as the door opens. People who can walk normally can walk across the gap, if the filler were absent as easily as they do all the time at say Newark Penn Station.

 

All Brightline stations have a freight bypass track for unusual loads that do not fit the standard loading gauge. The platforms are designed to accommodate all standard loading gauges. According to the guys planning all extensions all stations will be designed with a freight bypass track wherever there is the possibility of a freight train passing through the station.

 

 

This sounds as if it's only the unusual loads that are the problem, in other words, most "normal" freight cars don't conflict with Brightline platforms.

 

Have I understood this correctly?

 

Any idea, roughly, what percentage of freight trains would be considered to have unusual loads?

 

Unfortnately I cannot find the link now. But I once read a web page about a railroad tunnel in Germany (I think?) that was normally a double track tunnel. But for the purpose of moving exceptional loads a third track had been added down the middle later. Of course that track could only be used when the other two tracks were out of use. I guess it was only rarely required. i think they use it to bring large transformers and other gear to a power plant..


Edited by cirdan, 10 July 2018 - 04:02 AM.


#2129 blueman271

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Posted 10 July 2018 - 09:39 PM

https://en.wikipedia.../Gauntlet_track

This link will help explain gauntlet tracks.
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#2130 jis

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Posted 11 July 2018 - 06:55 AM

FEC does not use Gauntlet tracks at the Brightline stations. They have a track that bypasses the station. Typically there are three tracks at each run through station with an island platform between two tracks and no platform on the third track.
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#2131 me_little_me

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Posted 12 July 2018 - 07:57 PM

Given that you are starting brand new service with brand new trains and brand new stations, it makes sense to spend a few bucks to eliminate gaps not only for wheelchairs but for others with canes or walkers (this IS Florida, you know) and those that just aren't paying close attention or who have hungry lawyers.


Edited by me_little_me, 12 July 2018 - 07:58 PM.


#2132 VentureForth

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Posted 12 July 2018 - 08:07 PM

I just saw this: https://www.thenextm...ot-more-trains/

If they are only earning $670k every three months, that's only $2.6M/yr. That needs to increase by a factor of 30 to meet their $77M/yr plan. :o

Do they have that much excess capacity and/or ticket price demand availability?

Edited by VentureForth, 12 July 2018 - 08:09 PM.

14,223 Amtrak Miles. Many more to go.
Completed Routes: Capitol Limited, Palmetto
Also Ridden: Carolinian, Crescent, Pacific Surfliner, Piedmont, Southwest Chief, Silver Meteor, Silver Star, Texas Eagle


#2133 chrsjrcj

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Posted 12 July 2018 - 11:41 PM

That was before the price increase and service to Miami. Let's see how the rest of the year plays out. 



#2134 VentureForth

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Posted 13 July 2018 - 02:50 AM

That was before the price increase and service to Miami. Let's see how the rest of the year plays out. 

I get that it was the introductory quarter. One not expecting immediate profit. I know I'll see growth. But the question is, 30x?

14,223 Amtrak Miles. Many more to go.
Completed Routes: Capitol Limited, Palmetto
Also Ridden: Carolinian, Crescent, Pacific Surfliner, Piedmont, Southwest Chief, Silver Meteor, Silver Star, Texas Eagle


#2135 cirdan

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Posted 13 July 2018 - 04:16 AM

Amtrak doesn't have this problem on the NEC, but NJ Transit certainly does. When I get on at Princeton Junction, for example, I have to climb up into the train over a gap, with no handrail close to the door to hang on to. So it seems to me that Brightline is taking care of a problem like that at stations with a similar gap before an accident can happen.

 

A typical problem with legacy systems. Every piece of equipment needs to be compatible to the oldest piece of infrastructure still in use at the time that that piece of equipment was being designed, and with equipment types being produced over many years, and lasting many more years, there are loads of legacy compromises being carried forward.

 

Brightline had the opportunity of designing everything from scratch and could so achieve uniform dimensions for platforms and taylor the doors to that.


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#2136 AGM.12

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Posted 14 July 2018 - 07:41 PM

The FEC has said that it would re-route its through freights over to the Tri rail ex Seaboard line as far as West Palm Beach. Have they done this yet?



#2137 jis

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Posted 14 July 2018 - 08:50 PM

The FEC has said that it would re-route its through freights over to the Tri rail ex Seaboard line as far as West Palm Beach. Have they done this yet?

No. They have not rerouted anything yet and have not mentioned any timeline for such either. The only Tri-Rail to FEC/AAF transfer that has a timeline (early to mid 2019) is Tri-Rail serving Miami Central station in the downtown.

At present it is impossible to get from Tr-Rail to FECR northbound at West Palm Beach. Only Tr-Rail/CSX/Amtrak can get to FECR southbound just south of Mangonia Park. So any FECR freight rerouting is at best several years away, even if the could get FECR freights from their Hialeah Yard somehow onto Tri-Rail in Hialeah.

#2138 cirdan

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Posted 16 July 2018 - 04:11 AM

The FEC has said that it would re-route its through freights over to the Tri rail ex Seaboard line as far as West Palm Beach. Have they done this yet?

 

Doesn't that mean all freights?

 

Or are there any local freight spurs stll being served along that section?



#2139 crescent-zephyr

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Posted 16 July 2018 - 04:28 PM

There is a gap between Amtrak equipment and the high level platforms on the NEC and elsewhere. If im rolling a suitcase I have to lift it over the gap when boarding Amtrak. I don't have to do that on Brightline.

Amtrak: - Coast Starlight*, Pacific Surfliner, San Joaquin*, Cascades*, Empire Builder*, California Zephyr*, Southwest Chief*, City of New Orleans*, River Cities, Illinois Zephyr*, Wolverine, Cardinal, Capitol Limited*, Lake Shore Limited, Downeaster, Acela Express*, Crescent*, Carolinian*, Silver Star*, Silver Meteor*, Maple Leaf* Texas Eagle.

 

VIA: - Canadian*

 

Iowa Pacific - Hoosier State*, and City of New Orleans Pullman*.   


#2140 chrsjrcj

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Posted 16 July 2018 - 04:31 PM

There are a number of local industries on the FEC in South Florida. In addition, a couple of freights either originate/terminate in Fort Lauderdale, or at least set off. There is also a train that sets off at the Port of Palm Beach, but that is north of the refurbished crossover.
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