Virgin Rail née Brightline/AAF Orlando - Miami FL FEC

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ExCon90
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Virgin Rail née Brightline/AAF Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Post by ExCon90 » Wed Mar 21, 2012 2:28 pm

The March Railway Age reports as follows:
"Florida East Coast Railway has named Eugene Skoropowski Senior Vice President -- Passenger Service Development, based in Orlando, Fla." A bio follows, mentioning among other things his 10 years as managing director of the CCJPA Capitol Corridor. Hold on to your hats?

Station Aficionado
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Amtrak and the FEC, MIA to JAX.

Post by Station Aficionado » Thu Mar 22, 2012 7:39 am

Interesting that he'll be based in Orlando--does this mean FEC would be interested in operating Sunrail (or whatever the new commuter service will be called)?

Mackensen
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Re: Amtrak and the FEC, MIA to JAX.

Post by Mackensen » Thu Mar 22, 2012 11:07 am

Apparently they're even more ambitious than that; see this press release: http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/2" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; ... ns-Private. Sounds like FEC wants to operate a full-blown service itself. Full website here: http://www.allaboardflorida.com/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;.

amtrakowitz
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Re: Central Florida Regional Rail (SunRail, Orange Blossom E

Post by amtrakowitz » Thu Mar 22, 2012 1:03 pm

Don't know if FEC's "All Aboard Florida" is part of a Central Florida network since it's supposed to really connect South Florida with central; if not, then perhaps this post can be split off.

Businesswire
Florida East Coast Industries, Inc. (FECI), the owner of Florida’s premier passenger rail corridor, is developing a privately owned, operated and maintained passenger rail service to connect South Florida and Orlando, which will be operational in 2014. By connecting the most visited city in the United States with South Florida’s business and vacation destinations, the passenger rail project, called All Aboard Florida, is designed to serve Florida’s growing number of business travelers, as well as families and tourists traveling for pleasure.

The All Aboard Florida passenger rail project will connect South Florida to Orlando through a 240-mile route combining 200 miles of existing tracks between Miami and Cocoa and the creation of 40 miles of new track to complete the route to Orlando. Eventually the system could be expanded with connections to Tampa and Jacksonville. …

All Aboard Florida is an intercity passenger rail project that will connect South Florida to Orlando with intermediate stations in Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach. This rail service will give Floridians and visitors a viable transportation alternative to congested highways and airport terminals. All Aboard Florida will provide a high-quality experience for passengers and will be the first privately owned, operated, and maintained passenger rail system in the United States.
Well obviously not the first, but certainly the first in a very long time.

Ocala Mike
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Re: Amtrak and the FEC, MIA to JAX.

Post by Ocala Mike » Thu Mar 22, 2012 1:14 pm

That's a game-changer, if it comes to pass. Can't see how they can get that up and running in two years, but I'm staying tuned.
Ocala Mike (formerly Hillside Mike and Deer Park Mike)

Paulus Magnus
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Re: Amtrak and the FEC, MIA to JAX.

Post by Paulus Magnus » Thu Mar 22, 2012 1:16 pm

That's going to completely rock American passenger rail and potentially put Amtrak's contracts for corridor services in jeopardy if they can bring investment and/or greatly lowered subsidies elsewhere.

trainmaster611
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Re: Amtrak and the FEC, MIA to JAX.

Post by trainmaster611 » Thu Mar 22, 2012 1:18 pm

40 miles of new track in 2 years? That sounds incredibly ambitious (which says a lot about American infrastructure environment). But still, I don't see how they could pull this off in that amount of time.

electricron
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Re: Amtrak and the FEC, MIA to JAX.

Post by electricron » Thu Mar 22, 2012 1:25 pm

Ocala Mike wrote:That's a game-changer, if it comes to pass. Can't see how they can get that up and running in two years, but I'm staying tuned.
It'll take two years to build the missing 40 miles of track between Orlando and Coco Beach, after taking who knows how many years to buy the corridor. Is there an old abandoned railroad corridor available they could use, or are they planning on buying some of the Beeline Expressway right-of-way?
It'll also take more than two years to build brand new railcars, so a very early startup probably means buying or leasing existing railcars. Which railcars might be available within two years? TRE RDCs (100%)? Amtrak's Horizons (50%)? Wisconsin's Talgos (50%)? Are there other possibilities suitable for a 250 mile trip?

trainmaster611
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Re: Amtrak and the FEC, MIA to JAX.

Post by trainmaster611 » Thu Mar 22, 2012 1:45 pm

I have a feeling their betting on using the Beeline Expressway since that's the only ROW of any kind between Cocoa and Orlando. As far as rolling stock is concerned, aren't the horizons going to be displaced by the new bilevels? Even if that doesn't pan out, if they act fast enough they can piggyback an order with Amtrak's current order for bilevels.

I hope to dear god the train will actually go downtown instead of just to the airport like Florida's HSR was supposed to do. The route they chose and the airplane icon on the map worries me.
http://mms.businesswire.com/bwapps/medi ... 6781&vid=5

electricron
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Re: Amtrak and the FEC, MIA to JAX.

Post by electricron » Thu Mar 22, 2012 3:47 pm

I don't think they're planning on building any stations at all initially, using those already built, which means using some SunRail and TriRail tracks, which are effectively owned by the State of Florida. There's also a power line corridor they could use a few miles north of the Beeline, assuming the power company owns the route entirely (air and ground). The coal power plant to the east of Orlando already has rail to it from the west, which conveniently runs around the south end of Orlando's airport with a wye at the junction with SunRail's mainline. The Beeline corridor gets very tight as it approaches Orlando, but it also crosses the same rail line to that coal power plant.
Yes, they could jump aboard California's and Midwestern states Superliner orders, but they wouldn't get any new railcars until after them, and that's far more than two years out. What can they get within two years was the heart of my earlier question? It's a shame the ex-Santa Fe HiLevels aren't available, they would have made great railcars for this route.

mtuandrew
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Location: the Manassas Gap Independent Line

Re: FEC South Florida - Orlando Proposal

Post by mtuandrew » Thu Mar 22, 2012 4:27 pm

Interesting. I wonder whether FECI plans for Disney to provide financing for the estimated $1 billion cost.

If FEC wishes to go into business on this route for its own account, perhaps they intend to seek the MIA-JAX contract as well and keep Amtrak off their lines altogether.

mtuandrew
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Location: the Manassas Gap Independent Line

Re: Amtrak and the FEC, MIA to JAX.

Post by mtuandrew » Thu Mar 22, 2012 4:47 pm

electricron wrote:
trainmaster611 wrote:As far as rolling stock is concerned, aren't the horizons going to be displaced by the new bilevels? Even if that doesn't pan out, if they act fast enough they can piggyback an order with Amtrak's current order for bilevels.
Yes, they could jump aboard California's and Midwestern states Superliner orders, but they wouldn't get any new railcars until after them, and that's far more than two years out. What can they get within two years was the heart of my earlier question? It's a shame the ex-Santa Fe HiLevels aren't available, they would have made great railcars for this route.
I wouldn't worry. :grin: There are many used railcars that would be available for the right price, including:
-Comet Is, IBs, IIs and IIIs (from NJT, SEPTA, UTA and elsewhere)
-Heritage cars from Amtrak (diners and remaining sleepers), VIA (Northern Spirit sleepers), and private companies (the 261 group and others)
-the SPVs from whoever owns them now
-gallery cars from the US Army, VRE or another group
-the orphaned Talgos in Milwaukee
-Bombardier bilevels from Metrolink or elsewhere

I'm sure I'm missing some options as well, beyond the possibility of FEC purchasing new from Rotem, Bombardier, NipponSharyo, CAF, or Kawasaki. My bet is on the Metrolink cars coming east, but that's just a W-A-G.

My bet would be on the Metrolink Bombardiers, but we'll see.

jstolberg
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Location: Atlanta, GA

Re: FEC South Florida - Orlando Proposal

Post by jstolberg » Thu Mar 22, 2012 5:24 pm

If the funding is private, while the rail cars need to be built to North American standards, they don't need to be built in the USA. The car maker doesn't need to set up shop, hire workers, train them and then be prepared to shut down again when the contract is done. That takes months off the process and drops the paperwork by magnitudes.

However, Talgo will be done with their Oregon order in a few months and plans on closing the Wisconsin plant. They would probably jump on an order very quickly if given the opportunity.

Champlain Division
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Location: Conyers, Georgia

Re: FEC South Florida - Orlando Proposal

Post by Champlain Division » Thu Mar 22, 2012 8:23 pm

Quick prediction: All Aboard Florida will never happen. Amtrak on the FEC will......3 years max until it happens.
Richard E. "Rick" Shivik
HO D&H Champlain Division
Piedmont Division NMRA
Conyers,GA

tnbirke
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Re: FEC South Florida - Orlando Proposal

Post by tnbirke » Thu Mar 22, 2012 8:50 pm

I worked for an engineering firm in Kansas City that designed a coal fired power plant for the City of Orlando. It was sited between the CSX and FEC mainlines east of Orlando. The CSX got the contract but the interesting thing is that there is a transmission corridor that runs due east of the city that intersects the FEC somewhere near Coco Beach. If the Florida Toll Road Commission (or whatever it is called) isn't receptive perhaps the power campanies will be. But the 40 miles is mostly across "wetlands" or swamps.
Tom Birkett
Bartlesville, OK

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