Brightline aka All Aboard Florida Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Discussion relating to the FEC operations, past and present. Includes Brightline. Official web site can be found here: FECRWY.COM.

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Re: Brightline aka All Aboard Florida Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Postby chrsjrcj » Thu May 11, 2017 11:29 am

It looks like the EIS was completed 2 years ago, but the "FRA did not issue a Record Of Decision because the AAF stopped pursuing a loan with the agency, removing the federal action responsibility of FRA."

https://www.fra.dot.gov/Page/P0819

So I wonder what the next step from here is, to secure Phase II funding.
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Re: Brightline aka All Aboard Florida Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Fri May 12, 2017 5:57 pm

Orange and Green are on the way:

https://youtu.be/BUWtia0gSjo
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Re: Brightline aka All Aboard Florida Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Postby OrangeGrove » Fri May 12, 2017 6:47 pm

Noel Weaver wrote:Here is a link to an article in today's local newspaper. I hope to ride the first train when it comes this summer.

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/transp ... 0-132.html

I know we still have some "naysayers" on here but it is GOING to happen, just a matter of when. It sure is nice to see new passenger stations not a part of government, double track where there was single track and the tracks look superb. Miami is on target for this fall, hopefully September.

Noel Weaver


West Palm Beach to Miami is definitely going to happen, that is quite correct. But I remain skeptical that the extension to Orlando will ever be completed. Certainly if the parent company decides to invest its own funds it now has sufficiently deep pockets to bring the project to fruition, but otherwise, I question how they intend to sell bonds which they couldn't find any buyers for previously.
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Re: Brightline aka All Aboard Florida Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Postby Noel Weaver » Sat May 13, 2017 6:24 am

FEC Industries has not spent millions of dollars on this project just to compete with an already existing government supported commuter train system serving this same area. Railroad is or will be double track again, many new signals and interlockings, three nearly complete passenger stations and five new train sets of engines and cars with more to come. Miami to/from West Palm Beach would be a loser but to Orlando and maybe beyond it will do OK. Just stay tuned and watch.
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Re: Brightline aka All Aboard Florida Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Postby bdawe » Sat May 13, 2017 12:33 pm

I remain amazed by the level of skepticism that this project engenders. Mr. Weaver is right, this is a stupendous amount of private capital to invest in hoping that some government agency will buy it off of them
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Re: Brightline aka All Aboard Florida Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Postby Bonevalleyrailfan » Sat May 13, 2017 2:02 pm

I too am somewhat surprised by the continued skepticism as well. Especially after AAF has made so much progress. Of course, in the first years one could reasonably question whether the project would be built.

It would not be unexpected if it turns out most of the people who don't think AAF is viable are older. People my age (I am 50) and older experienced most of their life during the time when passenger trains were on the way out and cars along with airplanes were the only way to travel. Talking to younger people, typically under 35yo, they seem to have a more positive outlook on trains as part of the overall solution to better mobility. Maybe that is because here in Florida, getting around is so hard anymore because there has not been the needed amount of investment in transportation. All that my local city and county leaders want are more and wider roads!
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Re: Brightline aka All Aboard Florida Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Postby chaz » Sun May 14, 2017 8:00 pm

I've been away for a while, but I think there are several permits needed to continue on to Orlando. The US Coast Guard has not approved the improvements to the draw bridges. The Corps of Engineer's has not approved the East/West right of way until the effect on water flow and alligator migration has been researched. I'm sure the NIMBY will contest these in time.

Even though the Federal Railway Administration has approved the Environmental Impact Statement, one of many tactics of the NIMBY is to find new environmental issues that need to be researched before construction can begin. During construction, I hope the Brightline does not find a new species of blind cave salamander or the remains of an old civilization. That is the kind of thing that the NIMBY are actively searching for.

I think the attitude of Martin and St Lucie county would have been different if the Brightline had proposed both express service to Orlando and local service, stopping in Stuart, Vero and Melbourne. They wouldn't have to implement it for years...if ever.
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Re: Brightline aka All Aboard Florida Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Postby electricron » Mon May 15, 2017 9:44 am

The Coast Guard and the Corps of Engineers usually aren't in the business of killing projects, their purpose in life ia ro encourage private enterprise "safe" use of navigable waterways and federal resources. The swamp east of Orlando really isn't navigable. The rivers in Martin and St. Lucie county are. FEC has already built railroad bridges over the navigable rivers but not over the swamp.

They will be improving existing bridges, not building new ones. Any improvement to the bridges should allow less boating restrictions to the navigable waterways which should make the Coast Guard happy.

As for the swamp, a tollway already runs through it, and the new railroad corridor will parallel it. As long as the railroad corridor is less restricted to the movement of water as the tollway should make the Corps happy. That really isn't hard to do with the tollway within sight next door.

The construction permit needed shouldn't be that difficult to get - especially with the new POUS in office. He may not be able to find new revenue streams for new transportation projects, but he sure has the power to cut red tape so funded projects can proceed.
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Re: Brightline aka All Aboard Florida Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Postby Noel Weaver » Mon May 15, 2017 1:22 pm

Thank you for this, I needed to hear it from somebody. I think the potential for success here is pretty big. Most of the negative comments have come from the same folks whom I would expect them to come from and some of them have also had very negative comments about passenger trains in general in this country. There is no real legitimate reason that intercity passenger trains can't be as successful as most of the rest of the civilized world isi IF an effort is made and in this case a huge effort is being made to accompllsh it. They need our support and they have mine.
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Re: Brightline aka All Aboard Florida Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Postby JimBoylan » Mon May 15, 2017 6:25 pm

I may be perpetuating a stereotype, but I think the present wealthy inhabitants of the Treasure Coast belong to the airplane and automobile crowd, who fear that train riders living in their gated communities might not vote for highway taxes. One of the environmental impacts they mentioned, as reported many posts ago, was a bad economic impact on businesses at Florida's Turnpike service plazas.
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Re: Brightline aka All Aboard Florida Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Postby Jeff Smith » Tue May 16, 2017 10:45 am

Next stop, Willoughby
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Re: Brightline aka All Aboard Florida Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Postby Noel Weaver » Thu May 18, 2017 4:40 pm

Yesterday, Wednesday, May 17th, I led a group of seniors on a Tri-Rail/Metro-Rail trip to Miami and we passed by the construction of Miami Central in downtown Miami. I did not get off Metro-Rail but from my spot I saw plenty and was quite impressed. It appears that the bridgework for the tracks is finished but much station and other work needs to happen before they will be ready. They have a target date of September but I am not sure they will make that one. There was a lot of construction activity in the area and there were a couple of street closings as well. I think they will be handling passengers between Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach this summer and I intend to be one of the first to make this historic trip. It is all very interesting to ;see, the very first private rail passenger event in this country in a long, long time. Big things will happen here, it's only a matter of time.
Tri-Rail and Metro-Rail were uneventful, all trains decent and on time, seats for everybody but ridership on Tri-Rail is doing quite well. A big crowd got on at Fort Lauderdale Airport and a big crowd got off at both Metro-Rail Transfer and Miami Airport stations. Interesting day.
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Re: Brightline aka All Aboard Florida Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Thu May 18, 2017 5:13 pm

OK Mr. Weaver, I will accept that Ft Laud, and even Miami, will operate to West Palm. If that truncated operation rises to the level for me to eat my hat, in the same manner as Labor Secretary Mitchell did during 1959, then so be it. Standard Market's bakery has quite a selection of cakes; some actually resemble Bowlers.

But absent completion of the project to Orlando, what chance does this "Express Snuttle" have of making it?

I respect your optimism, but I'm not about to share it.
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Re: Brightline aka All Aboard Florida Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Postby gokeefe » Thu May 18, 2017 10:11 pm

You forget to specify type of cake and frosting flavor. :-D
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Re: Brightline aka All Aboard Florida Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Postby Matt Johnson » Sat May 20, 2017 10:49 pm

Bonevalleyrailfan wrote:I too am somewhat surprised by the continued skepticism as well. Especially after AAF has made so much progress. Of course, in the first years one could reasonably question whether the project would be built.


If a picture is worth a thousand words, this photo of a naively optimistic me back in 2003 tells the story of why even seeing new rolling stock doesn't eliminate my skepticism!
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