So, while we're waiting, let's hit the water cooler conversation street and review some old topics again...
First, let's compare the two services between Miami and West Palm Beach (Note: Amtrak doesn't allow travel between these two points).
Tri Rail has a scheduled time of between 1 hour and 45 minutes and 1 hour and 55 minutes. Brightline advertises 1 hour: 30 minutes between WPB and FTL and 30 minutes between FTL and MIA. According to the Amtrak timetable upon which steel ribbon Tri Rail plies, it's 43 miles from WPB to FTL, and 22 miles from FTL to MIA. Judging the distance of US-1, it's roughly 42 miles between WPB and FTL, and 26 miles between FTL and MIA. Thus, it takes 1:04 from WPB to FTL and 36 minutes from FTL to MIA.
If Brightline claims 42 miles in 30 minutes, that's 84 mph vs Tri Rail's paltry 40 mph to cover the same distance. I didn't think FEC was going to go faster than 79 mph South of WPB. If that's the case, the MINIMUM time to get from West Palm to Ft Lauderdale on Brightline would be 32 minutes. On both routes, the last 20 miles average between 35-40 mph on each route. Hopefully a refined timetable on BL will spread this more evenly.
Next, Tri-Rail costs $6.90 for the full length. Brighline originally claimed $11 back in 2015, and now I'm seeing price guestimates closer to $16-17. Again, probably worth it for the full route. The price would almost have to be the same, though, between MIA and FTL. More than a buck or two difference would be too much - but of course, it makes a difference if you're trying to get downtown or to the airport.
Another question: Is Tri-Rail still trying to get a train on FEC's line? If so, WHY?
Obviously with the 18 stops Tri-Rail makes vs two on Brightline, the services are geared towards very different markets. It does make one kind of wonder why Amtrak only allows discharging and receiving passengers only from WPB, South.
Finally, I thought that Brightline was going to incorporate shopping centers as part of their station scheme, marrying retail with rail travel. This may be the case in Miami, but there doesn't seem to be evidence of that from what I can see at either of the other two stations. I guess Fort Lauderdale is only a few blocks from the Tarpon River and the park/shopping area there. But I don't see much at West Palm.
Edited by VentureForth, 08 January 2018 - 04:14 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