Jump to content




Help Support AmtrakTrains.com by donating using the link above or becoming a Supporting Member.

Photo

Brightline and other stations before Orlando


  • Please log in to reply
24 replies to this topic

#1 me_little_me

me_little_me

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,556 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 12 May 2018 - 08:37 AM

Has Brightline ever said why (or does anyone know reasons why) Brightline would not establish other stations along the existing route towards Orlando even before the Orlando airport station is finished? It would seem that most of the work required for this to happen would not be wasted while the extension to Orlando is being built. I know they "have been in negotiations" with other cities per media reports.

 

Is it that it would take as long to upgrade as it would be to complete the extra track so it gains them nothing to try and open other stops early?

 

Are they waiting until unannounced negotiations with potential property sellers are finalized so they can simultaneously announce a station by the local property they bought?

 

Would it be they don't want to "take away the thunder" of the Orlando station?

 

It seems that for a lesser amount they could have income from the extension to a city along the current route - some place that would become an intermediate stop once the Orlando station is open.



#2 jis

jis

    Engineer

  • Gathering Team Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 22,235 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Space Coast, Florida, Area code 3-2-1
  • Interests:Trains, Planes and Travel

Posted 12 May 2018 - 10:08 AM

My suspicion is annual project cost containment. They want to keep their annual capital outflow and construction staffing below some threshold they are comfortable with.

It is also likely that they do not want to overcommit before they are sure that their business model actually works. You don’t want to have more things to pull the plug on than is absolutely necessary, should things not pan out. They are hard nosed businessmen, and I don’t think have any desire to be running a social charity project on their own dime should things come to that.

In Brevard most of the potential station site property is owned by FECI or FECR anyway.

Edited by jis, 12 May 2018 - 10:08 AM.


#3 Anderson

Anderson

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 8,620 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Virginia

Posted 13 May 2018 - 03:57 PM

There are also two other things to consider:

1) Traffic loads in that area probably won't support high frequency service on their own...and I don't see Brightline wanting to only run 2-3x daily trains up north.

2) Intermediate stations were not in the environmental studies, so there's been a fear of triggering fights and challenges if tgey change anything thanks to the litigious jerks in some of those counties.

 

Edit: Also, remember that adding service further up would require more trains to be delivered sooner.


Edited by Anderson, 13 May 2018 - 03:58 PM.

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...;-)


#4 VentureForth

VentureForth

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,733 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Richmond Hill, GA

Posted 29 May 2018 - 10:01 AM

The only new track where construction may have to have some forethought is between Cocoa and Orlando, and there really isn't anywhere between those two stops that have any level of population that would support a station.

 

I could see additional stations at Cocoa, Melbourne/ Palm Bay , Vero Beach, Ft Pierce/Port St Lucie, and maybe Jupiter.  Locations in Bold are the most populated, but the others are popular tourist traps...err...destinations.

 

As jis mentioned, all the property is already owned.  I can even see some additional sidings installed at strategic station locations for freight/express passings.


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


#5 jis

jis

    Engineer

  • Gathering Team Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 22,235 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Space Coast, Florida, Area code 3-2-1
  • Interests:Trains, Planes and Travel

Posted 29 May 2018 - 11:13 AM

The Brevard County station location that has the inside track at present is a site in Coca/Rockledge off of US Rt 1, where FECI has a large property adjacent to the FECR tracks, and is very convenient to serving places like Cocoa Beach, Port Canaveral and Kennedy Space Center. It is a drive up US Rt 1 (Harbor City Blvd in Melbourne, Dixie Highway in Palm Bay and south), along the shores of Indian River Lagoon.

 

The only other station that has been mentioned so far is Fort Pierce.

 

Jupiter will get a station as part of the extension of Tri Rail service and also Brightline run commuter service along FECR.

 

As far as stations go, for now that is it. More may happen later, but I suspect service to JAX might happen before more stations beyond those.

 

The entire railroad will be double track with frequent crossovers, and all stations will have a third track for freight bypass, like there is at Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach now.


  • VentureForth likes this

#6 wi-smb

wi-smb

    Train Attendant

  • Training
  • Pip
  • 16 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Madison, Wisconsin, USA

Posted 03 June 2018 - 06:22 AM

I think its also worth noting that some of these very communities that would be served by adding more intermediate station stops are also actively fighting against the expansion to Orlando.
--
wi-smb
Sean Bossinger

#7 Anderson

Anderson

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 8,620 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Virginia

Posted 05 June 2018 - 04:43 AM

That has been noted by many of us.  There are a few things in the mix there:
(1) The initial plan has Brightline running through those communities but not stopping there.  I suspect that the tone would be a bit different if those stops were already there, but for various (quite obvious, at least to me) reasons those stops weren't put on the initial list.  There's an obvious difference between "a train which stops in my community" and "a train which blows through my community at 110 MPH without stopping", especially when the train in question crosses a large number of streets.  This isn't to say that opposition would evaporate entirely, but the situation would likely be different.

(2) Brightline isn't banking on local support.  Even if a local community is fighting tooth and nail against Brightline, if there's a solid business case to add a given stop, Brightline is likely to add the stop.  Remember, this isn't like Amtrak (where they have to round up all sorts of stakeholders and get them on board to add a stop).

(3) Brightline isn't going to add stops in all of those communities.  You've probably got a dozen or so possible stops between Cocoa and West Palm...but the odds are pretty good that Brghtline will only add 2-3 in there (Fort Pierce is already on the list, and I think there's room to add one or two more) rather than slow their trains down with lots of stops.

 

Note that per the Brightline-Beeline arrangement, they can add up to one stop per county north of West Palm Beach at the negotiated rate.  I /think/ that West Palm's station counts for Palm Beach County, so we're looking at:
Brevard County: Cocoa Beach
Indian River County: Vero Beach (?)
Saint Lucie County: Fort Pierce
Martin County: Stuart (?)
Palm Beach: West Palm Beach*

Note that the options of Jupiter and Melbourne/Palm Bay are probably foreclosed by West Palm and Cocoa, respectively (since they're in the relevant counties).  Stuart and Vero seem like the most plausible stop choices in the relevant counties.


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...;-)


#8 jis

jis

    Engineer

  • Gathering Team Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 22,235 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Space Coast, Florida, Area code 3-2-1
  • Interests:Trains, Planes and Travel

Posted 05 June 2018 - 05:53 AM

Not Cocoa Beach. FECR does not pass through there. It will most likely be Cocoa/Rockledge near the Cocoa Yard property. There is all of Merritt Island and two water bodies between there and Cocoa Beach.

#9 cirdan

cirdan

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,144 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 05 June 2018 - 06:24 AM

The only new track where construction may have to have some forethought is between Cocoa and Orlando, and there really isn't anywhere between those two stops that have any level of population that would support a station.

 

I could see additional stations at Cocoa, Melbourne/ Palm Bay , Vero Beach, Ft Pierce/Port St Lucie, and maybe Jupiter.  Locations in Bold are the most populated, but the others are popular tourist traps...err...destinations.

 

As jis mentioned, all the property is already owned.  I can even see some additional sidings installed at strategic station locations for freight/express passings.

 

All true.

 

But tinkering with track layouts, adding switches and even construction of platforms messes with the operation of trains due to slow orders and temporary closures.

 

So ideally they should have done at least some preparatory work before passenger trains start running.



#10 jis

jis

    Engineer

  • Gathering Team Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 22,235 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Space Coast, Florida, Area code 3-2-1
  • Interests:Trains, Planes and Travel

Posted 05 June 2018 - 07:03 AM

They did. The hit to schedule of upgrade work is 20 mins, and in actual runs it is more like 10 mins. It is being nitpicky IMHO to claim that service should not have been started because of that.

#11 AGM.12

AGM.12

    Train Attendant

  • Training
  • Pip
  • 24 posts

Posted 05 June 2018 - 07:45 AM

One possible change could be if Amtrak decides to route one of the silver trains down the FEC to West Palm. Since AAF wants an arm's lenght relationship with Amtrak, is there room that some of these new stops could be built as a joint venture, or have Amtrak as a tenant?



#12 jis

jis

    Engineer

  • Gathering Team Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 22,235 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Space Coast, Florida, Area code 3-2-1
  • Interests:Trains, Planes and Travel

Posted 05 June 2018 - 08:38 AM

I did not hear the word Amtrak mentioned even once in the close to three hours of presentations and Q&A by the chiefs of AAF and FECR. Nor did anyone in the audience bring up Amtrak. This would suggest that it is not anywhere in the visible horizon for either of those two outfits at present. The only additional service beyond the Brightline service that was briefly touched upon was Coastal Commuter Service on FECR and also extension of Tri-Rail from West Palm Beach to Jupiter. That was it as far as non Brightline service was concerned. Even there, the Coastal Commuter Service between Miami Central and West Palm beach may turn out to be an operation run by AAF under a different branding under contract from SFRTA.
 
Interestingly, the Chief of Operations at Brightline is ex-Amtrak and was involved in the introduction of the Acela service on the NEC. Most of their Mechanical Department is ex-NJT or Amtrak too. But their OBS side is more or less entirely new and home grown.

Edited by jis, 20 July 2018 - 10:05 AM.


#13 chrsjrcj

chrsjrcj

    Conductor

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 627 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:West Palm Beach, FL

Posted 05 June 2018 - 09:53 AM

For whatever it's worth, here is the link with all the documents regarding Amtrak on the FEC- http://www.tcrpc.org...amtrak_home.htm

 

That pretty much hit a dead end once Rick Scott took office (maybe he had some foresight regarding Brightline). 

 

The service development plan may be of some interest. Page 105 shows a proposed schedule with a 90 mph MAS. Run time for the corridor trains from the West Palm Beach Amtrak station (not on the FEC) to Cocoa was 2:14. That included a little bit of slow running to make the connection between the present day Tri-Rail tracks and FEC/Brightline tracks. 

 

Note the reason for the extra Cocoa to Miami trains- "Assumes Cocoa Beach station co-located with Tampa - Orlando HSR station" 


Edited by chrsjrcj, 05 June 2018 - 09:55 AM.


#14 me_little_me

me_little_me

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,556 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 05 June 2018 - 11:45 AM


(3) Brightline isn't going to add stops in all of those communities.  You've probably got a dozen or so possible stops between Cocoa and West Palm...but the odds are pretty good that Brghtline will only add 2-3 in there (Fort Pierce is already on the list, and I think there's room to add one or two more) rather than slow their trains down with lots of stops.

 

 

Having multiple stops doesn't mean having every train stop. Train 1 stops at A, C, E, F. Train 2 at A, C, D, F and train 3 stops at A, B, D, F all depending on the typical passenger count for those cities and their relative importance. Skipped stops may get alternate hourly service with important ones getting trains more often.

 

Of course, we'll have to wait until AAF makes its decisions based on costs for the station, proliferation of stops, confusion factor of passengers and added revenue.



#15 Anderson

Anderson

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 8,620 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Virginia

Posted 05 June 2018 - 07:44 PM

(1) I am generally loath to say this, but on flubbing Cocoa/Cocoa Beach...you know what I meant;-)

(2) As to adding stops, I know that there's no requirement that all trains make all stops.  However, given their model I find it highly doubtful that Brightline is going to want to put stations in that only get a few trains per day.  I'd be surprised if they want to add in stations with less than about 6-8x daily round trips (since stations /do/ cost money to build and operate).  This is more my assessment of the overall business model, but (commuter operations under contract with SFRTA or someone else notwithstanding) it doesn't seem that they have the frequency planned, at least for now, to support more stations.

Bear in mind that while I could see them having two stopping patterns, maybe three, I don't see them shuffling in more than that.  So much of the model is "Do the same thing many times daily" that I don't see them wanting the extra complications.

Edit: (3) The other hiccup is having to renegotiate parts of the deal with the expressway people if they run a train from Orlando to South Florida and have more than one stop per county en route (this is basically the definition they reached in terms of "commuter service" for their contract).  I do not know how that deal would work in terms of trains not going to Orlando (I've honestly expected a longer-term service model to involve the Orlando trains mostly running on a limited stop timetable while the Jacksonville trains would make more stops, with some cross-loading/transferring at Cocoa), especially since there's technically a separate legal entity for that under the Brightline umbrella, but it does seem to be something that would at least trigger some discussions between them.


Edited by Anderson, 06 June 2018 - 03:40 AM.

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...;-)


#16 cirdan

cirdan

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,144 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 06 June 2018 - 04:47 AM

If Brightline can get people to wait on the right part of the platform, as for example the Japanese do succesfully, and all doors are used, station dwell times can be kept quite short. Add to this the good acceleration of trains, and maybe it  will be possible to insert additional stops without there being serious repercussions on end to end journey times. 



#17 jis

jis

    Engineer

  • Gathering Team Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 22,235 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Space Coast, Florida, Area code 3-2-1
  • Interests:Trains, Planes and Travel

Posted 06 June 2018 - 07:09 AM

If Brightline can get people to wait on the right part of the platform, as for example the Japanese do succesfully, and all doors are used, station dwell times can be kept quite short. Add to this the good acceleration of trains, and maybe it  will be possible to insert additional stops without there being serious repercussions on end to end journey times. 

Brightline has Car, Door Position with list of seats closest to that door, marked on the platform.

 

The problem is training people on the train that are detraining to get ready by the door to disembark before the train gets to the station, rather than lethargically getting out of their seat and start looking for their children and baggage after the train has come to a stop at the station.

 

A station stop like in Fort Lauderdale which in any rail literate country/area would have a dwell time of one to two minutes at most, has a dwell time of 5 mins that is often not sufficient in the rail illiterate country/region like ours. Of course being in Florida does not help either. :D On the NEC people understand the importance of getting off as soon as the train stops, but not in South Florida yet.


Edited by jis, 06 June 2018 - 08:31 AM.

  • cirdan likes this

#18 chrsjrcj

chrsjrcj

    Conductor

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 627 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:West Palm Beach, FL

Posted 06 June 2018 - 11:13 AM

Yeah, I think it did not help that Brightline operated like an airplane for the first few months of operation, so there was no rush to get off the train at the one and only stop.

Of course, Tri-Rail is able to do many station stops in 30 seconds.

#19 Mystic River Dragon

Mystic River Dragon

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,821 posts
  • Gender:Female

Posted 06 June 2018 - 11:18 AM

Of course, Tri-Rail is able to do many station stops in 30 seconds.

Well, so is NJT. But the problem is that people getting on tend to rush the door and not let those of us getting off out. Or vice versa. Doing a reverse commute in NJ is not easy! :P

 

I think there should be a compromise between rushing the door and just lounging around til the train stops. Also, aren't people supposed to sit til the train (any train) stops for safety reasons?



#20 jis

jis

    Engineer

  • Gathering Team Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 22,235 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Space Coast, Florida, Area code 3-2-1
  • Interests:Trains, Planes and Travel

Posted 06 June 2018 - 11:20 AM

I think there should be a compromise between rushing the door and just lounging around til the train stops. Also, aren't people supposed to sit til the train (any train) stops for safety reasons?

No. That would be on planes, not trains. They are just not supposed to pour out into the vestibule.






0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users