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#21 afigg

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Posted 29 June 2012 - 03:53 PM

FECI planning Grand destination on downtown Miami land

More info on what the FEC is planning. Ok, so the FEC is looking to build a downtown Miami station on land that it owns. I would expect they plan have a lot of retail space in the station.

What I don't follow is that the article indicates that FECI may be looking at or considering building stations in Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach. Why wouldn't FECI use or stop at the existing Tri-Rail stations in Ft. Lauderdale and WPB? If the Tri-Rail station facilities are not nice enough, still got to be cheaper to upgrade the existing stations than build new ones. Also, I would think the FEC service would want to have direct connections to Tri-Rail, so passengers can take Tri-Rail to the nearest FEC Miami-Orlando service station for trips to Orlando or downtown Miami.

#22 jis

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Posted 29 June 2012 - 04:40 PM

FECI planning Grand destination on downtown Miami land

More info on what the FEC is planning. Ok, so the FEC is looking to build a downtown Miami station on land that it owns. I would expect they plan have a lot of retail space in the station.

What I don't follow is that the article indicates that FECI may be looking at or considering building stations in Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach. Why wouldn't FECI use or stop at the existing Tri-Rail stations in Ft. Lauderdale and WPB? If the Tri-Rail station facilities are not nice enough, still got to be cheaper to upgrade the existing stations than build new ones. Also, I would think the FEC service would want to have direct connections to Tri-Rail, so passengers can take Tri-Rail to the nearest FEC Miami-Orlando service station for trips to Orlando or downtown Miami.

I suspect that FECI plans to run its service on FEC. The Tri-Rail Stations are not on FEC. There is also a plan to start a second Tri-Rail route along FEC, and of course to connect the two around West Palm Beach allowing Amtrak and Tri-Rail trains to transfer back and forth between FEC and Tri-Rail.

#23 afigg

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Posted 29 June 2012 - 05:52 PM

I suspect that FECI plans to run its service on FEC. The Tri-Rail Stations are not on FEC. There is also a plan to start a second Tri-Rail route along FEC, and of course to connect the two around West Palm Beach allowing Amtrak and Tri-Rail trains to transfer back and forth between FEC and Tri-Rail.

Ah, my bad. I was forgetting where the FEC and Tri-Rail ex-CSX routes would sort of meet up and where an FEC Orlando extension would cross over. Two separate stations in Fort Lauderdale could be confusing at the start. I'll have to look at the WPB map to see how Tri-Rail might provide connections to an FEC Miami-Orlando service.

Miami would have the Tri-Rail & Amtrak station at the Miami Intermodal Center at the airport and a FEC station in downtown Miami which should be easy for most people to keep straight which is which. (I'm envisioning someone jumping into a cab and asking to be taken to the train station and getting taken to the wrong one.)

Looking at Google Earth, the FECI site in downtown Miami looks to be very close to the Miami metrorail station which is pretty damn convenient. Two intercity train stations with different services at different stops on the Miami Metrorail system - one at the airport, the other in downtown? Would provide a significant upgrade in the usefulness of the Miami Metrorail system I would think.

There is a lot more to find out about the details of the FEC plans for their service, but it will be interesting to see how this all plays out.

Edit: FEC and Tri-Rail route fixes.

Edited by afigg, 29 June 2012 - 06:31 PM.


#24 Anderson

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Posted 29 June 2012 - 09:36 PM

Welcome back to the 50s, folks.

As to the stations, my guess is that the Fort Lauderdale (which has a streetcar project in process at the moment; I'm going to be shocked if FECI isn't working with them to integrate The Wave with their services in some way, but The Wave's planning seems to extend to an implied station with both FEC service and SunPort service by the airport) and Palm Beach projects will be more limited versions of the Miami project...but I don't see FEC not trying to make the stations into something of a centerpiece for a modest development project. Likewise, going off the FEC tracks just screams "mishandle my trains!"

Also, this interests me a lot:

"Cumber said the company hopes to start construction on the project in early 2013, with the line open for service the following year. He hoped to make a decision on the cars within the next 60 days and the company would make an announcement about the company that would help plan the project very soon."

I haven't seen the go/no-go report yet, but from the sounds of that the company has already made up their mind and is just trying to grab a supplier. The 2014 timeline still seems ambitious, but...well, it might just happen. I'd like to see that succeed if for no other reason than to slap the EIS process hard upside the head.

One other amusing thing: Amtrak service will go from Orlando (downtown) to Miami (airport). The FEC will be running from Miami (downtown) to Orlando (airport).
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#25 jphjaxfl

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Posted 03 July 2012 - 01:06 PM

There is enough population along Tri Rail and the FEC to support frequent service on both lines. I think the North Miami FEC station may still exist. It was the Miami terminal for the last FEC train that operated from the Jacksonville yard in 1968. That station is also in one of the I Love Lucy shows where Lucy & Ethel hitchhike from NY to Fl.

#26 Anderson

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Posted 03 July 2012 - 03:01 PM

http://www.allaboard...une-29-2012.pdf

Mainly a discussion on station locations, but an interesting line: "The goal is for trains to average 100 MPH".
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#27 jis

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Posted 03 July 2012 - 04:57 PM

http://www.allaboardflorida.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/SFBJ_June-29-2012.pdf

Mainly a discussion on station locations, but an interesting line: "The goal is for trains to average 100 MPH".

Someone is smoking something. A train that runs with MSP of 90 or less upto WPB and then 110 or less to Cocoa and the balance 40 miles at 125mph, is not going to average 100mph. And there are no trains in the world that average 200mph over any significant distance, since generally their MSP is around 200mph.

#28 MattW

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Posted 03 July 2012 - 08:59 PM

I have a spreadsheet that given mileage, top speed, acceleration, and number of stations, computes the best-case times and average speeds along the line.

For this specific route, I used the following mileages from Miami: Fort Lauderdale: 30; West Palm Beach: 64.03; Cocoa: 193.34; Orlando Airport: 229.7. (note, I do not know the actual mileage to Fort Lauderdale, but as long as the number isn't too close to West Palm or Miami, it won't affect the end to end numbers).
And the following speeds: Miami-Fort Lauderdale: 79; Fort Lauderdale-West Palm: 79; West Palm-Cocoa: 110; Cocoa-Orlando Airport: 125.
And assuming an acceleration and braking of 1 mile per hour per second, and 2 minute dwell time per station, and once reaching top speed, the train maintains the speed until slowing for the next station.
With these numbers, the spreadsheet calculates the average end-to--end speed of 92.393 miles per hour with a 2:29:10 run time.

Increasing the West Palm Beach to Cocoa speed to 125mph, brings the average speed to 97.778mph and drops the run time to 2:20:57.
That plus increasing the Cocoa to Orlando Airport speed to 150mph brings the average speed to 99.538mph and a run time of 2:18:28.

Increasing the Miami to West Palm Beach segments to 90mph, and leaving the West Palm Beach to Cocoa segment at 110mph gives an average speed of 95.982mph and a run time of 2:23:35
That plus increasing the West Palm Beach to Cocoa segments to 125mph gives an average speed of 101.806mph and a run time 2:15:22

To achieve an end to end speed of 100mph would require an end to end time of 2:17:49.2

So I have to agree with Jis, there's no way that at those speeds, the FEC can achieve 100mph run time, and given that it is unlikely the FEC will ever run trains at 125mph+ on their existing right of way, I highly doubt this plan will ever see trains averaging 100mph from Miami to Orlando.

Edited by MattW, 03 July 2012 - 09:00 PM.

Forum's official broken record about expanded Georgia passenger service!

#29 Anderson

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Posted 04 July 2012 - 12:56 AM

Matt: What if we kick out the dwell times? Assume that the FEC is using some fuzzy math and only counting "train in motion" time (which would give you about an 8-10 minute buffer), what would that offer?

By the way, while we're on the topic, could someone remind me of the Acela's average speed WAS-NYP?
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#30 jis

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Posted 04 July 2012 - 07:59 AM

With the parameters that Matt is using, and I will add that if I was doing the computation I'd start with something similar too, one must keep in mind that he is already over-estimating the speed and under-estimating the running times. This is so because no train is actually going to run every bit of WPB to Cocoa at 110mph. There are moving bridges with Miter Rails to contend with (70mph), numerous grade crossings and curves around Melbourne and other RoW geometry matters to contend with etc. You can get some idea of the track geometry issues by paging through the detailed EIS for the FEC service. So I suspect the actual avg will be at least a good 5mph below what the rough calculation suggests.

On NEC NYP - WAS best schedule is for something like 83 or 84mph average. The commercial schedule contains 10 to `15 mins worth of contingency time, i.e. if the train had the railroad to itself with no TSRs and no interference and perfect 1 min passenger stops, it could do the run in 10 to 15 less. But that is mostly of theoretical interest since specially on NEC South there is horrendous traffic density and nothing is ever even close to perfect. Current immediate goal is to incerementally get it to 90 or so I believe.

#31 afigg

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Posted 05 July 2012 - 05:17 PM

One of the major questions for the prospects for the FEC service is what might they get for annual passenger numbers? Some numbers I found to provide some idea on the size of the potential market. I knew there were a lot of people taking cruise ships from southern FL, but would not have guessed that many.

4.3 million cruise ship passengers at the Port of Miami in 2010
3.6 million cruise ship passengers at Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale

Miami Airport = 38.3 million passengers in 2011 (12th busiest airport in the US)
Orlando Airport = 34.9 million passengers in 2010 (13th busiest airport in the US)

Miami Metropolitan area population = 5.5 million
Orlando metropolitan area population = 2.1 million

According to the Orlando government, they claim 51 million tourists or visitors in 2010. Yikes.

If the FEC can capture even a small percentage of the cruise ship market taking people between Orlando and the ports of Miami and Everglades, some of the Miami <-> Orlando tourists, some of the resident population trips for business and personal travel, the FEC should get respectable ridership numbers.

Edited by afigg, 06 July 2012 - 03:26 PM.


#32 NY Penn

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Posted 05 July 2012 - 06:21 PM

If those stats are true, then the FEC could prove very popular, simply because so many people are traveling.

But one statistic in particular seems odd. Not to go OT, but how does Orlando have more tourists than NYC?
Visiting New York? Find out what to see and do in this thread.

#33 Anderson

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 02:13 PM

If those stats are true, then the FEC could prove very popular, simply because so many people are traveling.

But one statistic in particular seems odd. Not to go OT, but how does Orlando have more tourists than NYC?


Because a certain mouse ate Florida?

Joking aside, my suspicion is that Orlando's "tourist count" is slightly inflated by Disney/Universal visitor multi-counting (i.e. someone goes to EPCOT, Magic Kingdom, and Universal Studios...and gets counted 3 times as a visitor to all three). However, if one counts out-of-area visitors, Orlando might well still win.

As to the business available, I'm wondering what the baggage situation is likely to be on the FEC. I raise this because it seems that you might be able to get at least some airlines to start working flights "just" into Orlando, Fort Lauderdale, or Miami and then having you connect to a train for the balance of the trip rather than running a shuttle between Miami and Orlando and/or running flights into both Miami and Fort Lauderdale.
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#34 jis

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 02:54 PM

If those stats are true, then the FEC could prove very popular, simply because so many people are traveling.

But one statistic in particular seems odd. Not to go OT, but how does Orlando have more tourists than NYC?

When I go into NYC from Central Jersey I am typically not counted as a tourist. But when my friends in Melbourne FL go to Orlando they typically get counted as a tourist and they happen to do so dozens of times a year. It all depends on how one counts things.

Unless the highway situation gets much much worse, it is unlikely that my friends in Melbourne would give up on driving to Orlando and opt for the train, except occasionally to just ride the trains. What will they do once they get to Orlando with the minimal local public transport options available?

#35 AlanB

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 03:07 PM

What will they do once they get to Orlando with the minimal local public transport options available?


They could stand around lobbying for more local public transit options of course! :)

I'm surprised you haven't suggested that yet to them! :lol:

Of course, they can't yet take the FEC to Orlando. So you'll have to start pressuring & training them now. :)
Alan,

Take care and take trains!

#36 afigg

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 03:25 PM


If those stats are true, then the FEC could prove very popular, simply because so many people are traveling.

But one statistic in particular seems odd. Not to go OT, but how does Orlando have more tourists than NYC?

Because a certain mouse ate Florida?

Joking aside, my suspicion is that Orlando's "tourist count" is slightly inflated by Disney/Universal visitor multi-counting (i.e. someone goes to EPCOT, Magic Kingdom, and Universal Studios...and gets counted 3 times as a visitor to all three). However, if one counts out-of-area visitors, Orlando might well still win.

Well, the mouse did take a big bite out of central Florida. Found this Orlando Sentinel news article from May, 2011 where the Mayor of Orlando announced 51.5 million visitors in 2010. NYC & Mayor Bloomberg claimed 48.7 million in 2010. Article is amusing because of the discussion on the sniping between NYC and Orlando contesting who is getting the most visitors. Orlando includes a very large area in central FL, NYC counts day-trippers for example. The visitor count is nothing more than an educated guess estimate anyway based on whatever criteria they want to use and I would expect polling the hotel chains, resorts, airports, businesses who may double or triple count some visitors.

The takeaway is that Orlando and NYC are the two top tourist destinations in the USA, running roughly neck and neck in visitor counts. Which is why both of the cities - along with Las Vegas - are prime markets in the US for high or higher speed rail service.

As to the business available, I'm wondering what the baggage situation is likely to be on the FEC. I raise this because it seems that you might be able to get at least some airlines to start working flights "just" into Orlando, Fort Lauderdale, or Miami and then having you connect to a train for the balance of the trip rather than running a shuttle between Miami and Orlando and/or running flights into both Miami and Fort Lauderdale.

If the FEC serves Orlando Airport, they would probably set up a baggage handling service to transfer bags directly between the airport and the trains in Orlando. Fly to Orlando, take the train to Ft. Lauderdale or downtown Miami and get your checked bags at the station. If the FEC is planning to serve the cruise ship business and the resorts in Orlando, yea, baggage cars or secured baggage storage areas on their trains and baggage handlers will have to be part of their operation.

#37 Anderson

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 03:25 PM


If those stats are true, then the FEC could prove very popular, simply because so many people are traveling.

But one statistic in particular seems odd. Not to go OT, but how does Orlando have more tourists than NYC?

When I go into NYC from Central Jersey I am typically not counted as a tourist. But when my friends in Melbourne FL go to Orlando they typically get counted as a tourist and they happen to do so dozens of times a year. It all depends on how one counts things.

Unless the highway situation gets much much worse, it is unlikely that my friends in Melbourne would give up on driving to Orlando and opt for the train, except occasionally to just ride the trains. What will they do once they get to Orlando with the minimal local public transport options available?


I'm actually wondering if the FEC folks have talked with Disney/Universal about making their shuttles available to train passengers in some fashion. Failing that, I'm wondering if the FEC might end up doing some sort of analysis on helping out with local funding for this and/or the North/South Light Rail line so as to boost ridership. If they do eventually head west, it might also be possible to get them to consider some sort of transfer station in the Orlando area that would link them to SunRail.
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#38 afigg

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 05:45 PM

I'm actually wondering if the FEC folks have talked with Disney/Universal about making their shuttles available to train passengers in some fashion. Failing that, I'm wondering if the FEC might end up doing some sort of analysis on helping out with local funding for this and/or the North/South Light Rail line so as to boost ridership. If they do eventually head west, it might also be possible to get them to consider some sort of transfer station in the Orlando area that would link them to SunRail.

If the FEC people haven't talked to Disney, Universal, and other resorts in the Orlando area, I would think they would have to before getting the funding committed for building the 40 mile extension to Orlando. I assume all of the resorts run shuttle services to the airport, so if the FEC builds a station at the Orlando airport, having the shuttles stop at the FEC station should not be a big deal. Or people walk from the train station to where the shuttles are.

Lots of question remain in all this. Will the new FEC line terminate right at the airport; have a loop at the airport so they don't have to turn their trains around; would they extend it to connect to SunRail (and CSX) in the first phase of a longer range plan to extend to Tampa? Or wait for Orlando to come through with some sweet land and tax deals to entice the FEC to extend to downtown?

If there is a loop at Orlando airport and a Wye connection off of the FEC tracks at the start, allowing connections from the north, would Amtrak run the split Silver Star (or a rerouted Meteor or new Silver service train) down and back on the extension to the Orlando airport and then to Miami? If the FEC is going to build a line to the airport and is willing to allow LD trains on their line, why not also stop at the Orlando Airport?

#39 jis

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 06:15 PM

What will they do once they get to Orlando with the minimal local public transport options available?


They could stand around lobbying for more local public transit options of course! :)

I'm surprised you haven't suggested that yet to them! :lol:

Of course, they can't yet take the FEC to Orlando. So you'll have to start pressuring & training them now. :)

Well, I am working towards moving to Florida myself, to the Melbourne area. :D

#40 The Davy Crockett

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 08:41 AM

In reading some of the above posts here are some thoughts:

It is my understanding that the Orlando airport is the planned location of the FEC terminal, and that on paper anyway, the airport has a train station capable of accomodating up to five different rail systems. Sounds like MCO has plans to be a multimodal transportation hub. (It already is when you consider the number of Disney buses and rental cars that flow through it.)

A very large percentage of visitors to Florida are from countries that have good pax rail systems, so these visitors are almost ready customers.

I agree with jis that the 'locals' won't use the system. (Except for the fun of it! :cool: ) I spent a few days on the Treasure Coast recently and the mood there was that it was of no benefit to them.

And along this 'train of thought':ohboy:: There are a huge number of grade crossings along the existing FEC. I think there is going to be pushback from local communities about running trains at the speeds the FEC seems to imply in their literature.

Speaking of which, I got an update from the FEC with the heading:

All Aboard Florida Means Jobs & Opportunities



I thought this paragraph was particularly interesting: (emphasis added}

Equally exciting is the boost for Florida's workforce and economy that the country's first privately owned, operated and maintained intercity passenger rail system will bring.


Umm... :unsure: Really? :blink: What was Amtrak formed from?:giggle:

Edited by The Davy Crockett, 24 July 2012 - 08:56 AM.

I wish I was a headlight on a northbound of the border train.




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