Brightline Expansion

General discussion of passenger rail proposals and systems not otherwise covered in the specific forums in this category, including high speed rail.

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Re: Brightline to Jacksonville

Postby chaz » Tue Sep 06, 2016 10:51 am

An obvious part of the Brightline business plan is to take advantage of the FEC right of way, to connect the business centers along the east coast, with comfortable, upscale, high speed, passenger service. Jacksonville easily qualifies. I don't know if St Augustine and Daytona Beach would qualify for stops. I imagine that 95 south of Jacksonville can get very busy, but I observe that a 6-lane, toll road next to 95...does not exist...is it does in the South. I'm sure there are lots of good reasons for stops in St Augustine and Daytona Beach. I'm just saying, they are not in the same business class as Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach.

P. Michael Rieninger, President of Brightline, commented that Brightline could adapt their business plan to operate on foreign tracks...specifically to Tampa...but not right away.
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Re: Brightline to Jacksonville

Postby electricron » Tue Sep 06, 2016 1:38 pm

Relative population of Florida metros:
Miami - Dade County = 2,496,436
Fort Lauderdale - Broward County = 1,898,425
West Palm Beach - Palm Beach County = 1,320,134
Orlando - Orange County = 1,145,956
Jacksonville - Duval County = 864,263
Daytona Beach - Volusia County = 494,593
St. Augustine - St. John's County = 190,039

And looking west of Orlando...........
Tampa - Hillsborough County = 1,229,226
St. Petersburg - Pinellas County = 916,542

If Brightline doesn't wish to lay tracks west to Tampa Bay's 2 million souls, I don't see them new laying tracks to Jacksonville. But they already have tracks in a corridor they own, so Jacksonville is a good possibility for future growth. But I don't believe 200,000 souls warrant train stations for this express train service, and 500,000 may not be enough. ;)
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Re: Brightline to Jacksonville

Postby Bonevalleyrailfan » Sat Sep 10, 2016 1:47 pm

Also don't forget Polk County in between Orlando and Tampa had around 1,000,000 residents mostly near I4.

The FDOT 2006 Passenger Rail Vision Plan has interesting total trip numbers between the regions of Florida. On page 3 you can see how much greater the number of trips made between Tampa Bay and Orlando/S Florida are compared to Jacksonville to Orlando/S Florida. 20.5M versus 6.5M trips.

This is why I have always thought Tampa will be the next place AAF expandstation to. Here is a link to the plan:

http://www.dot.state.fl.us/rail/Publica ... BB3n2359aQ
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Re: Brightline to Jacksonville

Postby Noel Weaver » Sun Sep 11, 2016 12:28 pm

At this point the main objective of Brightline is Miami - Orlando. Jacksonville will probably follow. As far as Tampa and area is concerned, Florida East Coast does NOT own anything on the other coast and Tampa is very, very unlikely at least for a long time. I won't say never but most of us will not live to see anything in Tampa. Part of the picture with the coming service out of Miami/Fort Lauderdale and West Palm is REAL ESTATE of which the FEC owns a huge chunk. They are paying taxes on their huge chunk of property and to put it to some very productive use makes a huge amount of sense. They might not turn much profit on the passenger trains but they stand to turn a huge profit on the very valuable property that they own along their railroad. Other railroad lines exist between Tampa and the rest of Florida and maybe sometime in the future our "do nothing" state government will get their behinds in motion and decide that rail passenger service after all is a very good alternative to jammed highways and expensive airport expansion. Tampa might happen way down the road but for the time being we will have to be satisfied with the existing Amtrak service which covers a fair share of the state even if not very frequently.
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Re: Brightline to Jacksonville

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Sun Sep 11, 2016 1:38 pm

A very interesting analogy, Mr. Weaver.

Henry built the FEC to bring vacationers to undeveloped Florida, and to the resorts he developed. Now his latter day descendants (not necessarily Saints), will take the same playbook and deliver business people to the developments that they have in play about the train stations. If you are from out of town, just fly into McCoy (MCO), and AAF will take you right to the basement of, or at worst, X the street. No transfers from PBI, FLL, or MIA.

Maybe, I will be eating that hat after all; that X'd my mind after I walked by the bakery area a few days ago of this "quite upscale" food emporium a mile from my house - and where my Little Red Lex, "is allowed", but must accept to be surrounded by Bimmers, Bennies, Mas'es, and Rovers.
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Re: Brightline Expansion: Jacksonville, Tampa, OTHER STATES!

Postby Jeff Smith » Thu Jan 18, 2018 12:13 pm

https://www.moderncities.com/article/20 ... her-states

BRIGHTLINE LAUNCHES, EYES EXPANSION TO OTHER STATES
...
As reported by Modern Cities in the past, the privately funded passenger rail system has already expressed its intentions for expansion into Tampa and Jacksonville. Reiterating those plans prior to last week's launch, Wes Edens, co-founder of Fortress Investment Group, Brightline's parent company, explained their unique opportunity to expand to Florida's remaining large cities. Expansion to Jacksonville comes with the advantage of operating on existing Florida East Coast Railway corridor already co-owned by Brightline. While service to Orlando won't likely start before 2020, an extension from Orlando to Tampa would possibly take advantage of the Interstate 4 corridor. After the opening of the Orlando segment, additional stops could be added in Brevard County, the Treasure Coast, Vero Beach and Stuart.
...
Brightline is also considering taking their passenger rail concept to other regions across the country. Believing the model could be replicated between congested cities, the rail company is also looking at the possibility of links between Atlanta and Charlotte, Houston and Dallas and between Dallas and Austin.
...
Next stop, Willoughby
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Re: Brightline Expansion: Jacksonville, Tampa, OTHER STATES!

Postby Ridgefielder » Thu Jan 18, 2018 12:26 pm

It's easy to understand how they'd reach Jacksonville over the FEC. How would they cover Atlanta-Charlotte, though? Partner with Norfolk Southern or CSX? And if Norfolk Southern-- what about the Crescent?

Same question goes for the other city pairs mentioned. Seems like unless you're talking about sinking billions into ROW acquisition and track construction, you've to partner with the existing freight carriers. And I don't see how you can do that without getting in a legal tangle with Amtrak. FEC seems a unique case-- a former Class I that had already discontinued all it's passenger service by A Day.
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Re: Brightline Expansion: Jacksonville, Tampa, etc.

Postby lpetrich » Wed Jan 24, 2018 11:49 am

I've found Brightline - Wikipedia

I've calculated distances using Google Maps: Miami - West Palm Beach: 72 mi, Miami - Orlando: 240 mi, Orlando - Jacksonville: 140 mi, Orlando - Tampa: 84 mi.

So the FEC's lack of Orlando - Tampa trackage will make Jacksonville more likely than Tampa, despite being farther away from Orlando.

I thought of an extension to Florida's capital, Tallahassee, but that city is too small and it is too far from the state's most populous cities. Tallahassee's metro-area population: 0.38 m. Jacksonville: 1.6 m, Orlando: 2.4 m, Miami: 5.6 m. Tallahassee's distance from Jax: 170 mi, Orlando: 240 mi, Miami: 470 mi.

I've thought of another possibility. With all the urban-rail and regional-rail and intercity-passenger lines extended to airports, it might be possible to extend the Brightline system to a spaceport: the Kennedy Space Center on Cape Canaveral. Or at least to nearby Titusville. But space travel is still far from being as routine as air travel is, let alone rail travel. So I suspect that it would essentially be a tourist shuttle.
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Re: Brightline Expansion: Jacksonville, Tampa, etc.

Postby scratchy » Wed Jan 24, 2018 12:57 pm

yeah, a bit too soon to be riding Galaxy Express 999.
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Re: Brightline Expansion: Jacksonville, Tampa, etc.

Postby lpetrich » Wed Jan 24, 2018 10:51 pm

scratchy wrote:
lpetrich wrote:...
I've thought of another possibility. With all the urban-rail and regional-rail and intercity-passenger lines extended to airports, it might be possible to extend the Brightline system to a spaceport: the Kennedy Space Center on Cape Canaveral. Or at least to nearby Titusville. But space travel is still far from being as routine as air travel is, let alone rail travel. So I suspect that it would essentially be a tourist shuttle.

yeah, a bit too soon to be riding Galaxy Express 999.

I think that the Kennedy Space Center is the world's most accessible spaceport (List of rocket launch sites - Wikipedia). Most others are in much more out-of-the-way locations. It's like airports but much worse.

The closest town to the KSC is Titusville, with population 44 thousand. It's also on the coast between Miami and Jacksonville, while Orlando is inland. Distances: Titusville: 13 mi, Orlando: 46 mi, Jacksonville: 150 mi, Miami: 220 mi (20 km, 74 km, 240 km, 350 km).

Orlando's SunRail commuter-rail system currently runs between Sand Lake Road and DeBary, a distance of about 32 mi. It is being extended southward to Poinciana (Southern Expansion), will make it extend 61 mi. Adding a planned station to the north, DeLong, gives about 71 mi. This means that the line will extend about 30 - 35 mi north and south from Orlando. Titusville is 40 mi east of Orlando, and I don't know what rail lines might be available for that.

So SunRail is also a possibility for the KSC.
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Re: Brightline Expansion: Jacksonville, Tampa, etc.

Postby BandA » Fri Jan 26, 2018 4:01 am

Will Brightline through-ticket? Such as ORL-Moon
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Re: Brightline Expansion: Jacksonville, Tampa, etc.

Postby Bonevalleyrailfan » Tue May 08, 2018 6:37 pm

lpetrich wrote:I've found Brightline - Wikipedia

I've calculated distances using Google Maps: Miami - West Palm Beach: 72 mi, Miami - Orlando: 240 mi, Orlando - Jacksonville: 140 mi, Orlando - Tampa: 84 mi.

So the FEC's lack of Orlando - Tampa trackage will make Jacksonville more likely than Tampa, despite being farther away from Orlando.

I thought of an extension to Florida's capital, Tallahassee, but that city is too small and it is too far from the state's most populous cities. Tallahassee's metro-area population: 0.38 m. Jacksonville: 1.6 m, Orlando: 2.4 m, Miami: 5.6 m. Tallahassee's distance from Jax: 170 mi, Orlando: 240 mi, Miami: 470 mi.

I've thought of another possibility. With all the urban-rail and regional-rail and intercity-passenger lines extended to airports, it might be possible to extend the Brightline system to a spaceport: the Kennedy Space Center on Cape Canaveral. Or at least to nearby Titusville. But space travel is still far from being as routine as air travel is, let alone rail travel. So I suspect that it would essentially be a tourist shuttle.

Interesting numbers quoted to make a point for expanding to Jacksonville first before Tampa.

My Internet search came up 190 miles from MCO to Cocoa to Jacksonvile. Over double the distance from MCO to Tampa.

Also, the population of the Tampa Bay metro area is estimated to be at 3.1 million by end of 2018 versus 1.6 million for Jacksonville metro.

http://www.tampabay.com/news/business/Tampa-Bay-area-s-population-projected-to-grow-to-3-1-million-this-year_165732637

There is no way that AAF will build to Jacksonville before Tampa. There is also over $4 Billion of real estate under development taking place just in downtown Tampa alone.
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Re: Brightline Expansion: Jacksonville, Tampa, etc.

Postby Jeff Smith » Wed May 09, 2018 10:32 am

I think JAX-Miami would be a huge success, running close to the Atlantic, on existing FEC track, along the lines of the previously contemplated Amtrak service over the FEC. What's missing is the I-4 corridor/connection, as the MIA-MCO connection is farther south. But a straight FEC only shot along the east coast is a definite possibility.
Next stop, Willoughby
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Re: Brightline Expansion: Jacksonville, Tampa, etc.

Postby Bonevalleyrailfan » Thu May 10, 2018 3:33 pm

Jacksonville will probably eventually happen. But because AAF is more of a real estate development company that happens to operate a passenger rail service, my thought is that they will expand to cities that offer the most potential for RE development. Orlando happened because the airport was willing to build the station and associated infrastructure to integrate it into the airport. Plus, you have to go to Orlando if you want to have successful service in Florida!

Tampa will happen first because of the much greater potential for RE development near the station. Downtown Tampa is second to Miami in Florida for planned and current development. And RE is the main reason that Fortress/FECI created AAF. They didn't want just to run trains as that does not justify the investment needed. It is all about ROI, not just the initial cost to build.

Another reason for Tampa being built first is that the overall numbers of trips made between Tampa and Orlando, and from Tampa to South Florida is significantly more than between those two areas and Jacksonville. See the 2006/2010 Florida Rail Vision Plan by FDOT for the complete data.
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Re: Brightline Expansion: Jacksonville, Tampa, etc.

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Thu May 10, 2018 9:49 pm

Mr. Bone Valley, I do not dispute a word of what you immediately say. AAF is a "tool" to enhance the rental value of real estate properties FECI/Softbank has, or intend to acquire, along their service route.

As a result, we likely will never know if AAF is a profitable "stand alone" venture.

Over at the original AAF topic, I've been mistaken about everything to date other than that FECI wanted to sell the FEC Ry. I never envisioned it would come this far. But again I csution, we will likely never know if the venture standing alone is or is not profitable.
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