Brightline fka All Aboard Florida Orlando - Miami FL FEC

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

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Fri May 25, 2018 7:01 pm

Here beginneth the "Battle of the Bonds":

Florida News Service courtesy Orlando Sentinel

Fair Use:

Members of Florida’s congressional delegation are split over bonds for the Orlando leg of the controversial Brightline passenger train service that expanded south to Miami last week.

In separate letters, delegation members urged U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao to support or suspend $1.15 billion in federally authorized tax-exempt bonds that Brightline’s parent company, All Aboard Florida, intends to use to finance a northern expansion of the service through the Treasure Coast to Orlando

We should note that Private Activity Bonds are exempt from Federal Income Tax, but are not guaranteed by any party other than the issuer. If there is to be a default, then I'd dare say the only assets the creditors could attack are the trains, as apparently the stations and other buildings are held by a separate entity.

Essentially, they would be unsecured.

Once again, a major rating agency, Fitch, has labeled any such issue "junk". The other two, Moody's and S&P, will surely follow suit. While AAF could successfully "float" them, it would be a private placement to parties, such as "High Yield" mutual funds, willing to accept a lot of risk.
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Re: Brightline fka All Aboard Florida Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Mon May 28, 2018 1:50 pm

Here is a recent CNBC interview with Fortress CEO, West Edens:

https://www.cnbc.com/video/2018/05/25/f ... oject.html
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Re: Brightline fka All Aboard Florida Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Postby electricron » Tue May 29, 2018 1:15 am

Gilbert B Norman wrote:Here beginneth the "Battle of the Bonds":

Florida News Service courtesy Orlando Sentinel

Fair Use:

Members of Florida’s congressional delegation are split over bonds for the Orlando leg of the controversial Brightline passenger train service that expanded south to Miami last week.

In separate letters, delegation members urged U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao to support or suspend $1.15 billion in federally authorized tax-exempt bonds that Brightline’s parent company, All Aboard Florida, intends to use to finance a northern expansion of the service through the Treasure Coast to Orlando

We should note that Private Activity Bonds are exempt from Federal Income Tax, but are not guaranteed by any party other than the issuer. If there is to be a default, then I'd dare say the only assets the creditors could attack are the trains, as apparently the stations and other buildings are held by a separate entity.

Essentially, they would be unsecured.

Once again, a major rating agency, Fitch, has labeled any such issue "junk". The other two, Moody's and S&P, will surely follow suit. While AAF could successfully "float" them, it would be a private placement to parties, such as "High Yield" mutual funds, willing to accept a lot of risk.

The new railway right-of-way between Orlando and Cocoa will be where most of the bonded money will be spent. Who would own it?
The double track FEC corridor between Cocoa and Miami could be use by FEC freight and local transit agency commuter trains. If the freights can't use all the extra capacity, they'll be hard pressed to deny it to others.
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Re: Brightline fka All Aboard Florida Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Postby D.Carleton » Tue May 29, 2018 12:37 pm

electricron wrote:The new railway right-of-way between Orlando and Cocoa will be where most of the bonded money will be spent. Who would own it?
The double track FEC corridor between Cocoa and Miami could be use by FEC freight and local transit agency commuter trains. If the freights can't use all the extra capacity, they'll be hard pressed to deny it to others.
The ROW along the Beechline Expressway has been and will continue to be owned by the State. The track will be the property of the builder. Between Cocoa and Miami AAF and its parents will not build anymore capacity than is necessary for FEC's and Brightline's purposes.
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Re: Brightline fka All Aboard Florida Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Postby Noel Weaver » Thu May 31, 2018 2:27 pm

From a good source I have heard that Brightline service will increase in mid to late June and again sometime in July. They are aiming high.
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Re: Brightline fka All Aboard Florida Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Postby Bonevalleyrailfan » Thu May 31, 2018 4:11 pm

I would not say they are aiming high, just that they are in the process of ramping up service to the promised level of 16 roundtrips per day. They have intentionally run fewer trains due to trackwork not being finished as well as for quality control purposes. Meaning crew training, operational training and testing concepts, etc... to make sure they have the assurance they can deliver and maintain brand quality when they ramp up to full service levels.

If you recall what AAF has said over the years, their goal is to provide exceptional service and to be an "experience" not unlike a hotel, cruise line, or theme park would be. They have always said they are not just providing a seat between points A and B. That's how they feel they can charge a premium price for their service.

Also, they received a 7 month extension today to sell their PAB allocation.
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Re: Brightline fka All Aboard Florida Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Thu May 31, 2018 7:37 pm

Here is Palm Beach Post reporting of the PAB development noted immediately by Mr. Bone Valley.

Fair Use:

The Brightline passenger train won an extra seven months to issue more than $1 billion in tax-exempt bonds to pay for its expansion to Orlando, federal transportation officials said Thursday. The ruling is a boost for Brightline and its ambitions to operate shiny new passenger trains throughout the country, and a setback for congressional critics who questioned granting tax-exempt status to bonds issued by a for-profit rail company.

The federal Transportation Department in December told Brightline it could issue private activity bonds totaling $1.15 billion. The rail company had until May 31 to sell the bonds.

However, Brightline is still seeking investors and asked the federal government for more time. On Thursday, the Transportation Department agreed, informing Brightline by letter that it has until Dec. 31 to issue the bonds

I don't think any of us have seen a passenger rail project "slay the infidels" to such extent as have the AAF sponsors. They have defeated every opposing interest to date, whether it be the yacht marinas along the New River, the Treasure Coast opponents, The issuance of PAB's, Al-E-Gator, Morty the Manatee, the trains were delivered on time and roadworthy - these folks sure have the Silver Spoon.
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Re: Brightline fka All Aboard Florida Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Postby Bonevalleyrailfan » Thu May 31, 2018 8:53 pm

Morty The Manatee? LOL

Well the good folks at FECI/Fortress did hire a bunch of excellent people to fill the technical, operational, and management positions at AAF over the years. They truly represent the best team put together in modern passenger rail history. From Gene Skoropowski, Mike Reininger, Myles Tobin, Tom Rutkowski, Adrian Share, to Olivier Picq they have always had the best team! That is why they have been so successful. I don't mean to leave anyone out.

Unlike some other passenger rail entities, AAF does care about customer service and the quality of their product.
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Re: Brightline fka All Aboard Florida Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Postby Rockingham Racer » Fri Jun 01, 2018 7:11 am

Can anyone tell us how the salary is for engineers compared to Amtrak? More, less, about the same?
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Re: Brightline fka All Aboard Florida Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Postby BandA » Sun Jun 03, 2018 9:37 pm

Interest rates will be higher in December than May. But they will have a couple quarters of WPB-MIA operating results to show the bond buyers.
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Re: Brightline fka All Aboard Florida Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Postby Noel Weaver » Tue Jun 12, 2018 6:01 pm

Here's some more good news:
Effective June 18th Brightline service will increase as follows:
Weekdays from 8 trains in each direction to 11 trains in each direction with the longest gap between trains all day is two hours.
Weekends every two hours in each direction with a total of 8 trains and an extra late evening train on Saturdays.
Another increase due in July, maybe to hourly weekday servicve and more on weekends as well.
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Re: Brightline fka All Aboard Florida Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Postby Noel Weaver » Thu Jun 14, 2018 6:03 pm

Later item, I heard Wednesday PM that the next change in Brightline schedules after the one this momth will probably take place in early to mid August. Again from a good source but don't shoot the messenger.
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Re: Brightline fka All Aboard Florida Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Postby Noel Weaver » Sat Jun 16, 2018 6:08 pm

Next timetable revision is scheduled for August 6th. At that time we will have 16 trains each way between West Palm and Maimi with hourly service from early AM to late evening except for a one hour gap around noon time. Saturday will still be 9 round trips every two hours and Sunday 8 round trips every two hours. At least if I wanted to go to an evening sports event or concert in Miami I could still get back to Fort Lauderdale by train.
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Re: Brightline fka All Aboard Florida Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Thu Jun 21, 2018 9:12 am

I just got "bombarded" by a Brightline marketing survey. I did something "I never do" - responded.

I gave an overall rating of "9" (favorable, of 10) and my written comment was "The Brightline rail travel experience emulates that found overseas".

Anyone who has followed my material posted at this site knows I'm not into the "aewsome", "great" and "wow" kind of comments.
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Re: Brightline fka All Aboard Florida Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Postby Noel Weaver » Thu Jun 21, 2018 6:39 pm

Gilbert B Norman wrote:I just got "bombarded" by a Brightline marketing survey. I did something "I never do" - responded.

I gave an overall rating of "9" (favorable, of 10) and my written comment was "The Brightline rail travel experience emulates that found overseas".

Anyone who has followed my material posted at this site knows I'm not into the "aewsome", "great" and "wow" kind of comments.


I would easily say it is the best experience you will find on any passenger train in North America baring NONE.
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