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The main quip I have with Virgin Trains is their absolutely hideous color scheme. :unsure:

Jishnu, you enjoyed your ride, right?

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The main quip I have with Virgin Trains is their absolutely hideous color scheme. :unsure:
Jishnu, you enjoyed your ride, right?

Yes. Glasgow Central to London Euston stopping at Carlisle, Oxenholme Lake District, Preston, Lancaster, Wigan and Warrington Bank Quay.

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There's a good chance that Virgin will stay a minority shareholder...I doubt that SRB wants a repeat of the fight over Virgin America.  In his shoes, I'd instead try to do a deal for senior debt instead of equity and let someone else carry the equity risks.

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I agree. I don’t see Virgin ever acquiring the whole thing. At least not as long as Branson is the boss. Picking up unnecessary financial risk is not his style

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the proposal is out now. Lots of interesting stuff. High points: Meadow Woods Sunrail station will get a transfer platform so that Brightline riders can take Sunrail to access much more of Orlando. Also, Sunrail riders can get to the airport (or Tampa or Miami for that matter) without taking a bus. Brightline will need expanded hours of service between Meadow Woods and MCO. No station site in Tampa shown, as expected.

One interesting operational characteristic. In Lakeland there is a hill on I-4 just west of US98 that I calculated from topo maps to be about a 4% grade of around 1500ft. With most trains not stopping at the Lakeland station, it will be fun to watch eastbound Brightline trains tackle this grade going 100mph. This will definitely put to use the 8000 hp that the two Chargers supply!

Brightline Trains FDOT Proposal Tampa to Orlando FINAL 11-5-18.pdf

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Well, looks like what I had heard and reported previously about the use of the SR417 alignment turns out to be more or less true afterall.

The Meadow Woods interchange station with Sunrail is a nice touch. I wonder how difficult it would be to simply build the other leg of the Wye and have Sunrail run half hourly service to the airport as planned for Phase III, and pay user fees to Virgin Trains. I am sure this will be revisited when the time comes, and Virgin Train's decision to route via the CFRC and OUC ROW is no accident.

I wonder where Branson thinks the Disney World Station, which he offhandedly talked about, will go. This might indicate a preference for the Blue or Green alignment along Osceola Parkway with a station at or near the intersection of Osceola Parkway and I-4. For now, the document only mentions a station at the SR417/I-4 intersection, which is a bit of a distance from the main area of Disney activity.

Edited by jis

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Cross platform connection from SunRail some sort of Brightline connecting train for starter. Not clear whether there will be special shuttles. Eventually the Brightline trackage could be used by Sunrail if a deal can be struck, to get to the airport. Sort of like Tr-Rail is getting to the MiamiCentral Station.

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We will be going to Florida in March for some spring training baseball. Rather than drive, I’m considering taking the Star south (and Meteor return) to West Palm or beyond. Can someone tell me if there is a hotel near a Brightline station? Prefer a Marriott or Hyatt brand. We’d then take the Meteor back to Orlando to pick up a rental car for the games.

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There is a Marriott Residence Inn ("West Palm Beach Downtown/CityPlace Area") which is literally 3 blocks and a 6 minute from the station at: 455 Hibiscus Street

https://goo.gl/maps/MeNsgwEezE92

A little further away, but about $100/night less is a Hyatt Place at: 295 Lakeview Avenue
 
Edited by VentureForth

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On 7/4/2012 at 2:59 PM, jis said:

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.

This.

 

And moreover typical driving technique for high speed trains involves accelerating up to highest speed and then allowing train to coast until speed drops by about 10kmph to 15kmph and then accelerating upward again. You can observe this for example on German trains that have speed displays in the passenger cars. You're much more efficient on fuel / electricity that way. It also creates some slack so that if you really need to make up for lost time you can stay on the throttle and to hell with what it costs. I've observed this a couple of times on the Frankfurt to Cologne run and you can easily recover 5 minutes.

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On 11/24/2018 at 9:05 PM, jis said:

I agree. I don’t see Virgin ever acquiring the whole thing. At least not as long as Branson is the boss. Picking up unnecessary financial risk is not his style

Absolutely. Virgin's whole modus operandi is to leverage other people's capital but bring in their own brand and style of management. 

I don't think they're really interested in owning anything outright, just in running it.

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On 11/22/2018 at 6:32 PM, cpotisch said:

The main quip I have with Virgin Trains is their absolutely hideous color scheme. :unsure:

Jishnu, you enjoyed your ride, right?

My main quibble with Virgin's trains, such as the Vovager, is that the interior design reminds me of IKEA emulating a retro-soviet theme, the bathrooms seem to be broken quite a lot, and you can't see out of the windows very well.

I always go 1st class if I can afford it because the 2nd class is just so awful.

But then I don't know if it was Virgin that specced those trans or they just got to operate what was handed over to them.

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22 hours ago, jis said:

Cross platform connection from SunRail some sort of Brightline connecting train for starter. Not clear whether there will be special shuttles. Eventually the Brightline trackage could be used by Sunrail if a deal can be struck, to get to the airport. Sort of like Tr-Rail is getting to the MiamiCentral Station.

That is, if the question of platform heights can be resolved. 

It might be easier if Sunrail just had its own platforms at Orlando airport. Whether or not the approach tracks are shared or run parallel will have to be defined by questions of priority and expected additional congestion caused by junctions, versus costs saved.

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2 minutes ago, cirdan said:

Absolutely. Virgin's whole modus operandi is to leverage other people's capital but bring in their own brand and style of management. 

I don't think they're really interested in owning anything outright, just in running it.

Branson will not get to run Brightline though. That is not how the deal is set up. Brightline will be allowed to use the Virgin brand for 40 years on license provided they meet certain service criteria, which they currently surpass by a mile. The management team remains exactly the same and the control of the Board remains with Fortress. A holding subsidiary of Branson's enterprises with an unheard of name (i.e. not Virgin anything) will have an equity in Brightline of upto 10% with no control over any management or investment decisions.

Incidentally, in my experience, having ridden both Brightline and Virgin Trains UK recently, Brightline's service surpasses those of Virgin Trains UK. Indeed Virgin Trains UK could learn a  few things from Brightline.

Incidentally trains interiors and even the choice of those specific train types involved Virgin Trains quite a bit. They weer not handed anything that they did not spec.

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Just now, cirdan said:

That is, if the question of platform heights can be resolved. 

It might be easier if Sunrail just had its own platforms at Orlando airport. Whether or not the approach tracks are shared or run parallel will have to be defined by questions of priority and expected additional congestion caused by junctions, versus costs saved.

There is nothing to resolve about platform heights. Brightline and Commuter trains use different platform faces, potentially even of the same platform, with tracks at different levels to account for different train floor heights from TOR. An example can bee seen at Denver Union Station of a platform that is shared between Amtrak and RTD A Line.

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On 12/7/2018 at 4:12 PM, jis said:

There is nothing to resolve about platform heights. Brightline and Commuter trains use different platform faces, potentially even of the same platform, with tracks at different levels to account for different train floor heights from TOR. An example can bee seen at Denver Union Station of a platform that is shared between Amtrak and RTD A Line.

 

absolutely, but that would have to be part of the design from day one. Trying to shoehorn that in afterwards can be quite disruptive and costly.

I don't interpret the present plans for Orlando as featuring different platform heights on the same platform.

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What do you suppose the plan would be then when trains of two different floor heights are known to require using a station that is yet to be built. Obviously the SunRail trains cannot use the Brightline platforms which are already built, and obviously the future SunRail part of the station if there ever is one, is yet to be designed and built. Have you seen a plan fro SunRail station at OIA other than in conceptual track diagrams? If so where?

 

As an aside how do you suppose both Brightline and Tri-Rail serve MiamiCentral station?

 

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3 hours ago, jis said:

 

 

As an aside how do you suppose both Brightline and Tri-Rail serve MiamiCentral station?

 

Separate platforms?

Separate tracks?

Separate waiting and check-in area and separate passenger flow plans?

In fact you could almost call that two operationally separate stations that just happen to be located side by side, and just happen to connect to the same line and thus  need common dispatching.

And all that was planned as such from day one.

At least that's my understanding of what I've seen, although I'm happy to be corrected.

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They will be operationally separate stations - Brightline 3 platform tracks, Tri-Rail two platform tracks, completely segregated at platform level. No one has disputed that, at least not intentionally as far as I know. They do have common concourse area outside the ticket gates.

But to get back to the original point about platform heights, in each part of the station the platform height from TOR will be appropriate for the rolling stock using that part.

Edited by jis

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