Brightline/Virgin Trains Orlando-Miami update Orlando Sentinel 11/21/19

Discussion in 'High Speed and Other Non-Amtrak Intercity Rail' started by AmtrakWPK, Nov 22, 2019.

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  1. Nov 22, 2019 #1

    AmtrakWPK

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    AmtrakWPK

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    Orlando Sentinel article November 21, 2019. Discusses the construction that has begun at the Orlando end, and plans, which include connections to SunRail and Disney, but with no details as to how they intend to make those connections. Estimated fare ORL-MIA of $60-$100 one-way. They are building a $70 Million Vehicle Maintenance Facility just South of Orlando International Airport. 62 Acres, 6 miles of track, 139,000 square foot building. It will include a train wash, utilizing 1,000 gallons per train and recycling 80% of it. The maintenance facility will be 1,000 feet long. Each train will have two engines and 10 cars,15' height, a 1,300-foot consist. They will be operating 10 equipment sets, with 7 kept at Orlando overnight. Link: https://www.orlandosentinel.com/new...0191121-idmqsc3zgrgk7espcuqypunbca-story.html
     
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  2. Nov 22, 2019 #2

    railiner

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    1,300 foot long consist?
    10 85 foot cars =850 feet plus maybe 70 feet per engine, would yield <1,000 feet...
     
  3. Nov 22, 2019 #3

    Qapla

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    It seems they have matched the service facility to the consist ... with each of the SBC-40 engines being 71'6" and the coaches being 85' - the consist should measure 993' ... should fit nicely in the 1,000' service facility.
     
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  4. Nov 22, 2019 #4

    AmtrakWPK

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    From the article: "The maintenance facility will be 1,000 feet long, while each train with two locomotive and 10 passenger cars will be 15 feet tall and 1,300 feet long." I'm just the reporter here.....
     
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  5. Nov 22, 2019 #5

    jis

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    Apparently the people who wrote the article are not very good at arithmetic :cool:, a very common malady in this country, I might add. You just have to look at the plight of the poor saps at cash registers when power fails or the register are otherwise rendered inoperative. ;)

    It is also worth pondering why someone would design a 1,000' long maintenance facility building when the trains are 1,300' long. Well they designed a 1,000' facility because the trains are actually shorter than 1,000', and most likely the writer has put his/her brain in neutral while writing this up. o_O
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2019
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  6. Nov 22, 2019 #6

    Qapla

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    Maybe they think it stretches out that long when it is being pulled ...:rolleyes:
     
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  7. Nov 23, 2019 #7

    west point

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    Maybe someone at Brightline said that trains in the future could be as long as 1300 ft ? We can hope that demand is so strong that that long of a train would be needed??
     
  8. Nov 23, 2019 #8

    Anderson

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    I recall there being occasional discussions of trains getting up into the ballpark of 10-11 cars if the service got fully fleshed-out. There may have been some documentation suggesting 13-car trains as a possible peak (after which you'd reasonably look at adding frequencies down in the 7-9 car range), which would correspond to something just under 1300'.
     
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  9. Nov 23, 2019 #9

    AmtrakWPK

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    Maybe they measured it with rubber couplers and ultra-stretch braking.......
     
  10. Nov 24, 2019 #10

    me_little_me

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    Disney cartoon trains?
     
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  11. Nov 25, 2019 #11

    jis

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    I doubt that theory, since I specifically have asked Patrick (Goddard) if they would go beyond 10 cars, and he said that as unlikely since they do not have the infrastructure designed for anything longer. They would rather operate more frequent service should demand grow to that point than increase the length of trains. Remember that for all practical purposes these are fixed consists trains and they have no plans to vary the individual consists on a daily basis or even weekly basis, other than to swap out collision damage and such.

    They have relatively low utilization track infrastructure in all their known current operating plans. Even for Miami to Fort Lauderdale, for any eventual Coastal TriRail they are going to require the addition of a third track thus essentially preserving the unused capacity for now on the original two.
     
  12. Nov 26, 2019 #12

    Anderson

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    For what it is worth, there are two possibilities:
    (1) I think I may have extrapolated train length based on ridership/frequency projections (which didn't line up with one another).
    (2) There was also a lot of variation in the early versions of the plan (it's been close to a decade since this started and I know a lot of stuff varied due to costs, developments, and delays).

    Both would make sense, especially given the various cases provided in the various studies and reports.
     
  13. Nov 26, 2019 #13

    Brian_tampa

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    Initial service to Orlando will start with 5 coach cars for each trainset on 8 round trips each day. They will take several years to get to needing the seven car trainsets that they have said is the full build-out size. I think 10 car trainsets are only going to happen if ridership wildly exceeds event their own projections. We might be looking at 10 years down the road (2032 time frame) before that happens IMO.

    Edit: I can see them increasing service from 8 to 16 RT's per day long before they increase the length. 16RT per day was the expected full build out service level. Also unknown is what affect Tampa service may have on the number and length of trainsets. Another item to think about is any special local theme park service around Orlando.
     
  14. Nov 26, 2019 #14

    jis

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    16 RT over a 16 hour day is 1tph in each direction. If it is over 8 hour day it is 2tph in each direction. That is what I meant by light loading on the infrastructure.

    My guess is they will explore short turn service to cover denser travel segments too, if there is money to be made that way. That is why I see the possibility that they might go after the TriRail Coastal service contract to run it themselves, possibly with a different set of equipment more suited for a lower fare but significantly slower service more appropriate for possibly more crowded and more frequent suburban service. It would not be unreasonable to leave the WPB service as is adding three extra stops to it, and overlay a separate hourly service to Orlando with the originally planned stopping pattern perhaps.

    But of course, we will have to wait and see. It will depend on the pattern of ridership growth etc.
     
  15. Nov 27, 2019 #15

    Anderson

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    14-16/day is what was initially proposed (it was hourly service but there was some pondering over start/stop times).
     
  16. Nov 27, 2019 #16

    AmtrakWPK

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    Actually, with that reference to Disney.... Since they already made a reference to a Disney connection in Orlando for pax, maybe they are already talking to Disney about carrying some of their cruise ship pax, and are doing some additional planning they haven't disclosed yet. If Disney ships made a port call to South Florida where they will have a direct to port connection, that would actually work.
     
  17. Nov 28, 2019 #17

    jis

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    While the Disney Resort will be served, it won't be through a station on Disney property. The station will be outside Disney property, at least as far as the story goes for now. The station will attempt to serve the resort area including Disney and others.

    I would be very surprised if Disney would give up its own captive bus connected cruises out of Port Canaveral to opt for Brightline connected cruise from Port Miami. Why pay someone else to take your customers further away (three hours plus) to join your cruise involving a transfer from a shuttle to a train, when you already have a setup that is entirely in house with a one hour direct connection from hotel doorsteps to the ship?
     
  18. Nov 28, 2019 #18

    Anderson

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    Well, it depends on the definition of "pay for". If you can pass most of the cost through successfully, who cares? The real shame is that it isn't practical for Brightline to run a line over to Port Canaveral from MCO, and doing some sort of disembarkation dance at Cocoa is just making for a hassle (and no, I don't think it is practical...you'd have two long bridges and the housing developments get too close to A1A).
     
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  19. Nov 28, 2019 #19

    jis

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    Somehow in a contest between a train ride that requires bus rides at one and possibly both ends to get to the train vs. a bus ride from the hotel doorsteps to close to the boarding terminal for the ship, does not work out too favorably for the train when as far as the customer is concerned it is all part of the package. As long as the end to end time is about the same, why would anyone choose one or two additional transfers on a one hour journey given the choice?
     
  20. Nov 29, 2019 #20

    cirdan

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    I have never been on a Disney Cruise and have never visited Disneyworld either, so I don't know what is normal there or what people expect. But just maybe if you package the train ride as an attraction in its own right, there you have your justificaion / selling point. Such a selling point might be some form of on train entertainment, which would not be viable on a bus. But then I agree with you that it's unlikely that Disney would consider such a thing or that it would be especially popular among visitors. Plus of course the logistical challenge of keeping Disney passengers separated from normal passengers on the train for the purpose of that entertainment.

    Where I see the bigger question is in the location. If the Disney station will not be on Disney property but just in the general sort of vicinity (whatever that means) we are most likely looking into a distance that is too far to walk so there would have to be a bus shuttle from Disney to the station or some other form of transfer. This would lessen the overall attractivity of having a Disney station, seeing if you're packing your people onto a bus anyway, why not drive them straight to Orlando airport? Which is basically what Disney already does today. Any added value the train may be offering here (or anywhere else) is lessened if onward transfers are needed. This is why it was a such a stroke of genius that Brightline could run straight into downtown Miami and thus tap the business market there. But business travellers don't typically do Disney. It seems to me that a connection is being made between incompatible markets that aren't crying to be connected.
     
  21. Nov 29, 2019 #21

    crescent-zephyr

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    If you’re ever in Florida you really should visit the Disney property even if you don’t visit the parks. You can actually ride all of the transportation for free. Including busses, monorails, and several different types and sizes of boats and ferries.

    Parking at Disney Springs is free, and you can take busses or boats to various resorts from there.

    The Disney Cruise line bus is not “in house” it is operated by Mears.
     
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  22. Nov 30, 2019 #22

    MARC Rider

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    A professional association I belonged to had a conference at a Disney World property. All those hotels have conference rooms, and they aren't for tourists. There may be more business travel than you think.
     
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  23. Nov 30, 2019 #23

    neroden

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    Nobody really knows how the Virgin Trains station is going to integrate with Disney. I hope there is eventually some opportunity for public comment, because it could be done very well or very badly.

    The last proposal I read had the station around the junction with 417, near Celebration. But I also seem to remember documents which showed the route going from 417 to I-4 via Osceola Parkway.

    It took me several hours of Googling to find a copy of this. One option follows 417 all the way, two others hop over around Osceola Parkway. https://www.urbanplanet.org/forums/topic/115622-virgin-trains-fka-brightline/page/24/

    Consensus seems to be that the Osceola Parkway options are Disney-friendly (they detour onto Disney property) and that the direct 417 option (which entirely avoids Disney property) will only be used if talks with Disney fall through. Apparently so far Disney is supportive, so Disney will probably want the station to tie into Disney's resorts and make it harder to get to everyone else's attractions. (The track routing already bypasses Universal Studios and Seaworld.)

    My conclusion would be that the station would likely be near the "ESPN Wide World Of Sports" complex, or possibly the "Fourth Laundry Operation". It is possible that it might be further north, or south, or east depending on how talks work out, but this seems like the target location at the moment.

    Whereever it ends up, Disney will have to extend some services to connect to the train station. It's probably simplest for them to extend buses, but I hope the Disney management is a little more inspired than that; people arriving by train would probably strongly prefer a train transfer, or something more exotic.
     
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  24. Nov 30, 2019 #24

    cirdan

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    I can well imagine that. I attended a professional convention in Orlando once in a hotel just outside Universal Studios. The convention facility was huge. The official dinner on the last night was actually held in a ballroom inside Universal Studios but we didn't have much opportunity to look around or see stuff there. We were entertained by various people dressed up as famous movie and cartoon characters doing all sorts of acts. This was many many years ago mind you. Unfortunately I was on a tight schedule as otherwise I would have stayed on for an extra day or two to look around.

    I gather Las Vegas is also big on conventions.
     
  25. Nov 30, 2019 #25

    jis

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    I have participated in week long standards meetings in one of the Disney hotels in Orlando. So yes. They do host professional business meetings.

    Recently we had a meeting at the Lowe's hotel in the Universal Resort too.

    So yeah, many business meetings take place at the resort hotels.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2019

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