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Policy Wonk Mar 23, 2012 5:40 AM

They just hired Eugene Skoropowski out of retirement who ran the Capital Corridor in California to run the operation.

In any event - this proposal is mostly born out of the state republicans desire to privatize Tri-rail and Sunrail.

My understanding is they are going for MotivePower locomotives and Bombardier Bi-Level coaches. Top speed 111mph.

ardecila Mar 23, 2012 5:56 AM

That bodes well. The Capital Corridor is extremely well-run by American standards.

brickell Mar 23, 2012 3:17 PM

Bring it back!

http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5299/5...3aab49b2_b.jpg

eternallyme Mar 23, 2012 3:24 PM

More "local" stations would be good, I agree. That kind of service should have an "Express" level service (only the big cities) and a "Local" level service (mid-sized cities also served)

electricron Mar 23, 2012 5:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by eternallyme (Post 5638740)
More "local" stations would be good, I agree. That kind of service should have an "Express" level service (only the big cities) and a "Local" level service (mid-sized cities also served)

Aren't TriRail and SunRail formed for the purpose to provide that "Local" service? Leave FEC to run the more lucrative and profitable "Express" service. It's going to be hard to achieve 3 hours between Miami and Orlando if the "Express" trains have to stop at every station cities might build along the line.
Here's a refresher course for elementary school math:
240 miles / 3 hours = 90 miles/hour average.
240 miles / 4 hours = 60 miles/hour average.
240 miles / 5 hours = 48 miles/hour average.
Note: Amtrak - per their pdf train schedules - takes 5 hours and 3 minutes to traverse 265 rail miles between Orlando and Miami, averaging 53 miles/hour. Some of that is probably schedule padding. Never-the-less, the FEC route is 15 miles shorter, and possibly two hours faster. Much of the time savings will come by having fewer stops along the way, along with going faster.
Amtrak's trains at least stop at *Orlando*, Kissimmee, Winter Haven, Sebring, *West Palm Beach*, Delray Beach, Deerfield Beach, *Fort Lauderdale*, Hollywood, and *Miami*. Four stops vs ten, which do you think will be faster? With ten stops Amtrak averages 26 miles between stations, while with 4 stops FEC would average 60 miles between stations. How far are people willing to drive to catch a train, 30 miles on average or 13 miles?
I suggest having many more stops will just slow the train down. FEC is probably correct limiting station stops to as few as possible to increase average speeds of the trains. Personally, I would like to see another station added near Melbourne for capturing cruise line passengers at Port Canaveral, but that's about it for the "Express" service.
Combining "Express" and "Local" services on the same tracks would require far more passing sidings, more signals, and therefore far more money. I don't think FEC desires to get into the "Local" train business. Having two types of services automatically requires having two train sets. A single train set capable of transversing the route in 3 hours, could make two, possibly three round trips in a day, and still have 6 hours layup time for daily maintenance.

J. Will Mar 23, 2012 6:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by electricron (Post 5638942)
here's a refresher course for elementary school math:
240 miles / 3 hours = 90 miles/hour average.
240 miles / 4 hours = 60 miles/hour average.
240 miles / 5 hours = 48 miles/hour average.

ok

aquablue Mar 23, 2012 7:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by J. Will (Post 5638972)
ok

That's funny. If it really average 90mph, that would be faster than Acela! So much for America's premier rail service:yuck:

I would have preferred if they electrified the line though. Diesel trains are so yesterday. If they electrified the rail they could have run tilting trains at 125-150 mph.

electricron Mar 23, 2012 7:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by aquablue (Post 5639068)
That's funny. If it really average 90mph, that would be faster than Acela! So much for America's premier rail service:yuck:

I would have preferred if they electrified the line though. Diesel trains are so yesterday. If they electrified the rail they could have run tilting trains at 125-150 mph.

Florida gets hit by hurricanes fairly often. As is, FEC closes up when hurricanes are predicted to hit shore. Can you imagine taking months to resort service replacing downed power lines every time. With diesel locomotives, you don't need to wait for replacing downed power lines. Just waiting for the tracks to be cleared of fallen trees is already long enough.

aquablue Mar 23, 2012 7:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by electricron (Post 5639083)
Florida gets hit by hurricanes fairly often. As is, FEC closes up when hurricanes are predicted to hit shore. Can you imagine taking months to resort service replacing downed power lines every time. With diesel locomotives, you don't need to wait for replacing downed power lines. Just waiting for the tracks to be cleared of fallen trees is already long enough.

Good point, but so does Taiwan and Southern China. It hasn't stopped them. I don't buy that excuse. Come on now!

Anyway, if it really averages 90 with a top speed of 110mph, that is impressive for a diesel service! The tracks must be straight as an arrow if it can do this with few curves to slow it down. 3 hours is a decent time to compete with a plane. I assume the flight would be around 40mins or so.

They need to bring the train into downtown Miami though to make it convenient.

N830MH Mar 23, 2012 7:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rail>Auto (Post 5637673)
This is great news. What kind of speeds is FEC planning on? Unfortunately I doubt it will be the full 220 mph high speed rail but I'm hoping it will be faster than Amtrak.

Yes, this is world fastest train. I like more speed. How about 300mph? Can they do that?

aquablue Mar 23, 2012 7:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by N830MH (Post 5639090)
Yes, this is world fastest train. I like more speed. How about 300mph? Can they do that?

?

Are you OK? World's fastest train in Florida? HAHAHAHA

NO, it requires MAGLEV for that. This is America, where they can't even get a regular High Speed rail line that France had in the 60's.

N830MH Mar 23, 2012 8:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by aquablue (Post 5639095)
?

Are you OK? World's fastest train?

NO, it requires MAGLEV for that.

Oh yes, I feel fine. I don't have any problem at all but, thanks for your concern.

Lakelander Mar 23, 2012 8:25 PM

Don't forget that this is a freight rail company. The goal isn't making a HSR line. It's providing efficient reliable intercity rail service at an affordable cost.

tayser Mar 24, 2012 12:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by aquablue (Post 5639088)

Anyway, if it really averages 90 with a top speed of 110mph, that is impressive for a diesel service!

Many of the mainlines in the UK have been doing 125mph/200kph since the 70s.

Video Link

ardecila Mar 24, 2012 3:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by electricron (Post 5639083)
Florida gets hit by hurricanes fairly often. As is, FEC closes up when hurricanes are predicted to hit shore. Can you imagine taking months to resort service replacing downed power lines every time. With diesel locomotives, you don't need to wait for replacing downed power lines. Just waiting for the tracks to be cleared of fallen trees is already long enough.

Power lines get destroyed because trees or buildings fall on them. Power lines or railroad catenary has very little cross-section in the wind, so I doubt there would be much of an issue if the poles have strong foundations and any nearby trees are removed along the line.

You could also use a third-rail system, but that's not a good idea in flood-prone areas for obvious reasons.

aquablue Mar 24, 2012 4:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tayser (Post 5639497)
Many of the mainlines in the UK have been doing 125mph/200kph since the 70s.

Video Link

What do they average on a similar journey length?

waltlantz Mar 24, 2012 8:52 AM

There has got to be more to this than meets the eye.

Then again it is a Florida only service and I doubt the freight companies would take on extra duties if they didn't think they could make some money off of it.

I don't know how much of an effect this will have on influencing companies and governments nationwide though. On the one hand it could show that rail IS viable in America today. On the other it could set up the prerequisite of "100% private or bust". And then what of places that have extensive commuter services that constantly have to haggle with the freight companies.

Sure Japan and the UK do have private service, but they are remnants of an even LARGER public service before, in many cases passenger service would be brand new to the public (as few people take Amtrak outside the Northeast regularly).

Again VERY INTERESTING, but I wanna see some more info..

tayser Mar 25, 2012 1:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by aquablue (Post 5639668)
What do they average on a similar journey length?

There's more variables to take into account.

In 2006 I was on the Flying Scotsman (the name historically given to the 10am departure from King's Cross to Edinburgh on the East Coast Mainline) - only stopped at Peterborough, York and Newcastle before Edinburgh. If memory serves me correctly it was 4h and 20 minutes.

The ECML is 632km / 393m long, so the average speed would have been roughly 160kph/100mph

Lakelander Mar 25, 2012 1:12 AM

More details:

Quote:

Private passenger train vision calls for double-tracking Florida East Coast
TRAINS.com

March 23, 2012

MIAMI – Even if 40 miles of new track are not built by 2014, a new privately-run passenger service in Florida may run anyway, the head of passenger rail development for Florida East Coast Industries tells Trains News Wire.

Eugene Skoropowski, who was named senior vice president of passenger rail development earlier this month, said the railroad would run on the existing FEC from Miami to Cocoa, and until the new extension was completed, it could offer connecting service at Cocoa to Orlando.

Skoropowski said that while months of studies remain, the company envisions operating trains on one-hour headways. He told Trains columnist Fred Frailey that the existing FEC would need to be double-tracked for the service. “The FEC once was double track, and all the sub-ballast and the bridges are still there,” Skoropowski said...

Skoropowski, well known in the railroad industry for his successful management of California's Capitol Corridor passenger service, said he looks at the new service as "Capitol Corridor East" but with a much bigger market.

...Financing the project may not be as large a hurdle as it would appear. Florida East Coast Industries’ parent Fortress Investment Group has $43.7 billion in assets and raised $4.2 billion in capital during 2011... Florida East Coast Industries has real estate expertise since it also owns Flagler Development Group, one of South Florida’s largest development companies. It owns 5,000 acres of land in the state, including nine acres in downtown Miami that would be used for new development, including a new passenger station.

Skoropowski said if the project moves ahead, the railroad would likely run trains at 79 mph from Miami to West Palm Beach, 110 mph from West Palm Beach to Cocoa, and 125 mph on the new segment to Orlando. He said two possible alignments are under consideration for the new Orlando route.
http://www.trainorders.com/discussio...721261,2722298

ardecila Mar 25, 2012 2:37 AM

Wait, they're not asking for government money? This is amazing.

I don't get how the FEC is a "much larger market" than the Capital Corridor, though. SF Bay + Sacramento have more people than South Florida + Orlando.


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