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Brightline (FEC) Update


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#1681 Anderson

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Posted 30 December 2017 - 11:53 PM

You know what?  Screw it.  If I can, I'll pull the strings I have to so I can make it (I can probably slide a shift around at Magfest or otherwise get it covered).  This is the first private-sector intercity train (sorry, Mr. Ellis, but the SNCC doesn't cut it and the Hoosier State was under a Amtrak contract) being run in 35 years and the first new one since the Auto-Train Corporation started in the early 70s.

Does anyone know which end of the route the train is starting from and/or what time they're looking at?


Edited by Anderson, 30 December 2017 - 11:58 PM.

Capitol Limited (7), CA Zephyr (4) Lake Shore Limited (1), Acela (2), NE Regional (2), Sliver Meteor (4)

Upcoming: Silver Meteor (1), Lake Shore Limited (1), SW Chief (2), MO River Runner (1), Texas Eagle (1)

Possibly Upcoming: Either Texas Eagle (1), Capitol Limited (1), Silver Meteor (2) or Texas Eagle (1), Capitol Limited (1), Silver Meteor (1)

#1682 jis

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Posted 31 December 2017 - 10:14 AM

They will announce it when they announce info about timetable and ticketing and the new customer web site. Until then hold onto your hats.

I will not be riding it before sometime in February, mainly because I am in India before that.


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#1683 VentureForth

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Posted 02 January 2018 - 04:18 PM

Kinda surprised they can't (won't?) open West Palm to Miami all at once...

Phase I, I.5, II, II.75, etc?

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


#1684 Anderson

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Posted 02 January 2018 - 10:17 PM

My theory has been that it's a form of a "soft open" so they can work out any OBS-related issues in the first few weeks on low(er) ridership.  With that being said, as much as FLL-WPB has been delayed, I'm a little surprised that MIA-FLL and FLL-WPB haven't effectively been rolled together.


Capitol Limited (7), CA Zephyr (4) Lake Shore Limited (1), Acela (2), NE Regional (2), Sliver Meteor (4)

Upcoming: Silver Meteor (1), Lake Shore Limited (1), SW Chief (2), MO River Runner (1), Texas Eagle (1)

Possibly Upcoming: Either Texas Eagle (1), Capitol Limited (1), Silver Meteor (2) or Texas Eagle (1), Capitol Limited (1), Silver Meteor (1)

#1685 cirdan

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Posted 03 January 2018 - 05:56 AM

My theory has been that it's a form of a "soft open" so they can work out any OBS-related issues in the first few weeks on low(er) ridership.  With that being said, as much as FLL-WPB has been delayed, I'm a little surprised that MIA-FLL and FLL-WPB haven't effectively been rolled together.

 

I think it's a question of getting the best of both worlds.

 

The advantage of a soft open is that they can sort out any problems and continue training staff without too many people in the know if anything goes wrong.

 

But by not opening into Miami until all is perfect, and then when it is, pulling off the opening with a big bang with all the media attention they can get, they can generate a lot of publicity.



#1686 jis

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Posted 03 January 2018 - 07:20 AM

Anyone who has been to Miami Central construction site lately can clearly see why Miami Central is not being inaugurated yet. Construction is simply not completed enough to start service to Miami Central yet.



#1687 VentureForth

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Posted 03 January 2018 - 07:09 PM

So what's the delay at Miami Central?  I would figure getting the [existing] rail infrastructure would be the slow point, and that the stations could be completed on time.  With the huge delays on the "easy" part of the route, I can't imagine the delays they'll face going on to Orlando.


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


#1688 jis

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Posted 03 January 2018 - 11:58 PM

Construction of the station building is not complete, unlike the construction of the Orlando station building, which ironically is complete


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#1689 cirdan

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Posted 04 January 2018 - 09:10 AM

Construction of the station building is not complete, unlike the construction of the Orlando station building, which ironically is complete


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Is that a project overrun, or was it never intended to be complete by this point?



#1690 jis

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Posted 04 January 2018 - 10:46 AM

It is a project overrun caused by various factors including a hurricane or two and a huge political flap about the ramp upto the station. It was intended to be completed in 3CQ17.



#1691 jis

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Posted 07 January 2018 - 10:21 AM

https://www.wptv.com...-out-brightline

 

First ride for invited guests.



#1692 Anderson

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Posted 08 January 2018 - 02:58 PM

Words cannot describe how annoyed I am at this point...tickets still aren't on sale and schedules aren't listed for an initial run that's supposed to happen sometime this week.


Capitol Limited (7), CA Zephyr (4) Lake Shore Limited (1), Acela (2), NE Regional (2), Sliver Meteor (4)

Upcoming: Silver Meteor (1), Lake Shore Limited (1), SW Chief (2), MO River Runner (1), Texas Eagle (1)

Possibly Upcoming: Either Texas Eagle (1), Capitol Limited (1), Silver Meteor (2) or Texas Eagle (1), Capitol Limited (1), Silver Meteor (1)

#1693 VentureForth

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Posted 08 January 2018 - 03:58 PM

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


#1694 chrsjrcj

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Posted 08 January 2018 - 07:22 PM

Tri-Rail doesnt go to downtown Miami. Thats an additional 20 minute Metrorail ride. If the trip is on a weekend, forget it since Metrorail runs every 30 minutes. Brightline will be a huge benefit for heading to downtown. It should be a nice ride to see Marlins games (err...until they traded away half the team).

Tri-Rail will serve the Miami Brightline station. The city of Miami worked overtime making sure they secured the funds in time. The Iris connection just south of the Metrorail transfer station is complete. The hold up is the completion of the station, and Tri-Rail implementing PTC. www.tri-raildowntownmiamilink.com

From the tentative schedule I saw, the travel time from WPB to Fort Lauderdale was just shy of 40 minutes. Of course, that was before simulated service.

The only extra Brightline development, outside of Miami, is the 10 story luxury apartment complex being built on top of the West Palm Beach station parking garage. The station is also located right next to Clematis street (huge nightlife) and it should be a benifit to the CityPlace shopping district.

Edited by chrsjrcj, 08 January 2018 - 07:24 PM.


#1695 VentureForth

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Posted 09 January 2018 - 07:24 AM

I get that transferring from the airport to downtown takes about 20 minutes or so, but end to end, each line is approximately the same distance.  It would be a matter of your destination needs.  I was under the impression that Tri-Rail wanted to route a whole system on the FEC.  The connection is good, though.  So, is it Tri-Rail's fault that service to Miami isn't going to start imminently? :wacko:

 

Also, the structure above the platform - is that the main air conditioned ticket/office/waiting area?  Nice to be able to wait in the sweltering heat and/or rain in comfort.


Edited by VentureForth, 09 January 2018 - 09:01 AM.

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


#1696 chrsjrcj

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Posted 09 January 2018 - 09:46 AM

I dont know the reasoning behind the hold up (beyond what jis has already mentioned). Maybe Ill take a trip down there this week to see how construction is progressing.

As far as Tri-Rail on the rest of the FEC, there is definitely a desire to run on the FEC from WPB north to Palm Beach Gardens (PBG supports this) and from downtown Miami to Aventura in north Dade County, but Brightline has put a moratorium on any further discussions until Brightline to Miami is running.

Yes, the structure above the platform is the main waiting room. Will be quite the railfan spot while waiting for your train.

#1697 cirdan

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Posted 09 January 2018 - 10:24 AM

 

 

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.

 

Me too. I thought the train was just an enabler for the real estate. So I was expecting them to develop all real estate to the maximum.

 

But maybe they will do so in a future phase.

 

Although all the station sites have some potential, Miami is obviously the jewel in the crown in terms of value and potential rental income, so maybe they want to pool their efforts there for now, and come back to the other locations later. If they are smart they will have been queitly buying real estate around the sttaions before the hype sends land value through the roof.



#1698 jis

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Posted 09 January 2018 - 10:35 AM

The main money earner in real estate is Condos and Apartments, not shopping centers. Indeed, in Florida, of the two, shopping centers are a worse crap shoot by a long shot considering how much vacancy is still around outside of the Miami Metroplex. Keep that in mind ;) Ideally, if I was a real estate developer, I would want someone else to take the risk on shopping malls though I would encourage them to set such up next door to my residential development. That appears to be the route that they are taking at West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale to quite an extent.

 

Incidentally, I did get invited to the friends and family event on Sunday, bu as it turned out I had other family event engagements in Melbourne that day so I politely declined the invite from Brightline. Given my other commitments, it will be mid February before I will find time to ride Brightline. I simply don;t have any weekday or weekend day free between now and then while I am in this geographical area.



#1699 Bob Dylan

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Posted 09 January 2018 - 11:30 AM

If you were a Real Estate Developer you could run for President!🤔😁
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#1700 jis

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Posted 09 January 2018 - 12:06 PM

If you were a Real Estate Developer you could run for President!

Only if all your projects keep going bankrupt :P and need to be bailed out by Russian oligarchs? :giggle:


Edited by jis, 09 January 2018 - 12:07 PM.





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