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-   -   The Brightline/Virgin Thread (https://skyscraperpage.com/forum//showthread.php?t=198371)

UrbanImpact Aug 5, 2019 5:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by plutonicpanda (Post 8648635)
The root of the issue is the private owned nature of the rail lines. It shouldn't so. This needs to be a government project for the greater good and not one looking to turn a profit. Norway is building an 30 mile undersea tunnel with fully directional interchanges and the U.S. is unable to build a 80 mile viaduct for a train? The train in its current form is mickey mouse bullshit. This country can do better. It's getting close for a 8 or even 10 lane expansion of I-95 throughout the state of Florida-- it would be nice to build rail and see if traffic count growth stalls so widening the freeway isn't necessary for a time to come.

PS, to induce riders rail needs to be built as efficiently as possible which includes eliminating at grade crossings, subsidizing higher frequencies, lower ticket fares, etc.


You're not getting the point. How are you going to remove over 75 miles of at grade crossings??? The rail lines run through the most urban areas of South Florida. There is no room to bridge the streets over.

electricron Aug 6, 2019 9:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by UrbanImpact (Post 8649861)
You're not getting the point. How are you going to remove over 75 miles of at grade crossings??? The rail lines run through the most urban areas of South Florida. There is no room to bridge the streets over.

The obvious answer is to raise the tracks onto a viaduct vs raising the streets. Besides being very expensive considering it’s length, it ignores grade problems with industry and other freight tracks along the line. You shouldn’t park freight cars on ramps. All those industries built their loading docks and servicing tracks at grade with the existing tracks, not 20 feet above grade. What they would end up with is a roller coaster mainline, more unacceptable to the comfort of passengers on trains than level grade crossings.

So, more likely a split level track configuration would be the answer, with freight trains running on the existing tracks and passenger trains running 30 feet above grade the entire way. Something that may be done if Brightline (Virgin) was spending $50 billion vs the $2 to $3 billion. The better solution would mean no Brightline (Virgin) train services at all because the costs would have been far too expensive. As it is, they are barely raising the $3 billion to re-double track most of the way, using lift bridges already built decades ago.

plutonicpanda Aug 7, 2019 11:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by UrbanImpact (Post 8649861)
You're not getting the point. How are you going to remove over 75 miles of at grade crossings??? The rail lines run through the most urban areas of South Florida. There is no room to bridge the streets over.

An entire viaduct in the urban areas and a combination of placing over or underpasses for streets and trains to ensure the absence of a constant roller coaster type ride by strategically doing so.

Quote:

Originally Posted by electricron (Post 8651142)
The obvious answer is to raise the tracks onto a viaduct vs raising the streets. Besides being very expensive considering it’s length, it ignores grade problems with industry and other freight tracks along the line. You shouldn’t park freight cars on ramps. All those industries built their loading docks and servicing tracks at grade with the existing tracks, not 20 feet above grade. What they would end up with is a roller coaster mainline, more unacceptable to the comfort of passengers on trains than level grade crossings.

So, more likely a split level track configuration would be the answer, with freight trains running on the existing tracks and passenger trains running 30 feet above grade the entire way. Something that may be done if Brightline (Virgin) was spending $50 billion vs the $2 to $3 billion. The better solution would mean no Brightline (Virgin) train services at all because the costs would have been far too expensive. As it is, they are barely raising the $3 billion to re-double track most of the way, using lift bridges already built decades ago.

With the supposed 50 billion number(I doubt it is that high) what is the higher ridership due to the increased speeds and impact on regional transportation? Rural areas don't have this problem. Freight rail has its own set of issues which can be dealt with on its own tracks and faster speeds is all the more better.

electricron Aug 7, 2019 12:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by plutonicpanda (Post 8651507)
Freight rail has its own set of issues which can be dealt with on its own tracks and faster speeds is all the more better.

Well, have you forgotten one very important fact? Yes you have! This railroad corridor and tracks is owned and operated by FEC, a freight company railroad.
They are being friendly sharing their freight tracks with Brightline (Virgin). Now you want to expel them from their own corridor eliminating freight services to every industry that built along this corridor. The opposite is more likely to happen if that issue of who will remain ever arises.

plutonicpanda Aug 7, 2019 1:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by electricron (Post 8651548)
Well, have you forgotten one very important fact? Yes you have! This railroad corridor and tracks is owned and operated by FEC, a freight company railroad.
They are being friendly sharing their freight tracks with Brightline (Virgin). Now you want to expel them from their own corridor eliminating freight services to every industry that built along this corridor. The opposite is more likely to happen if that issue of who will remain ever arises.

I did not know that. Regardless if reaffirms why I think this project should have more money devoted to it and be state ran project. This corridor, under my proposal, would see increased speeds for both freight and passenger rail. I am not sure why the freight companies would have a problem with that.

aquablue Aug 9, 2019 4:51 AM

The railroad seems to be more about the real estate than about the trains themselves. Those apartments are the real money makers, the train a mere afterthought. A simple tool to promote luxury apartments at every stop. Can't believe RB thinks this is a serious railroad. I wouldn't be surprised if they packed it all in once they made their cash.

lrt's friend Aug 9, 2019 2:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by aquablue (Post 8653688)
The railroad seems to be more about the real estate than about the trains themselves. Those apartments are the real money makers, the train a mere afterthought. A simple tool to promote luxury apartments at every stop. Can't believe RB thinks this is a serious railroad. I wouldn't be surprised if they packed it all in once they made their cash.

I hope you are wrong and that the railway has merit and a business case on its own. What you describe is much like the LA red cars, which was simply a loss leader for real estate sales. Once the real estate was all sold, there was no economic reason to keep red cars in service. The red cars were bleeding money big time.

electricron Aug 10, 2019 4:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by plutonicpanda (Post 8651575)
I did not know that. Regardless if reaffirms why I think this project should have more money devoted to it and be state ran project. This corridor, under my proposal, would see increased speeds for both freight and passenger rail. I am not sure why the freight companies would have a problem with that.

There is a state, local government railroad operations 2 to 5 miles west of Brightline (Virgin) called TriRail. Maximum speed limited to 79 mph, and will never go faster. Meanwhile, north of West Palm Beach private enterprise is going to provide 110 mph maximum speeds and west of Cocoa 125 mph max speeds.
So who is actually doing better in Florida, private enterprise or the state?

N830MH Aug 13, 2019 9:33 PM

Virgin trains (Brightline) still considering stations at FLL airport & Hollywood
 
https://www.thenextmiami.com/virgin-...NzCMa04SKTSVLo

Virgin Trains (Brightline) still considering at FLL airport & Hollywood.

Hopefully they will be approved soon.

Let the speculation begin!

N830MH Aug 14, 2019 2:52 AM

Lots of cities want Brightline stations. Here’s where the next ones are likely to go.

Quote:

“There’s a tremendous demand for the services we’ve built in South Florida,” said Ben Porritt, senior vice president of corporate affairs at Brightline, which is being rebranded as Virgin Trains USA. "While Boca Raton, PortMiami and Aventura are our top priorities today, there are other cities along the South Florida corridor we are hearing from, listening to and getting an understanding of what their vision is for the future.”
https://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/tr...sXw1YZR8z7Xk5E

Hatman Aug 14, 2019 4:33 PM

That's a lot of new stations. I guess that is because the commuter business is stronger than they anticipated? Adding all these stops to the Miami-Orlando express trains seems like a bad idea, so I'm guessing that they are going to start offering local and express services... which probably means even more than 32 trains per day running through the treasure coast cities. I bet they're going to be so happy! :D

Allandale25 Aug 22, 2019 9:16 PM

Just read this article about the construction progress:

https://www.orlandosentinel.com/news...5be-story.html

Does anyone have a link to the PDFs showing the track plans or civil drawings for the part along the BeachLine Expressway between Orlando's airport and Cocoa?

N830MH Aug 23, 2019 1:34 AM

VIRGIN TRAINS NOW SAYS NEW STATIONS WILL BEGIN CONSTRUCTION BY YEAR END 2019 (AVENTURA, PORTMIAMI & BOCA COMING)

Quote:

The company told investors in a filing yesterday that it was making progress on three new stations at PortMiami, Aventura and Boca Raton.

New stations will begin construction before the end of 2019, the company said for the first time yesterday. Operations at the new stations will begin in 2020.
https://www.thenextmiami.com/virgin-...9A2NWNbFKRP8vg

urbanview Aug 24, 2019 9:10 PM

People are dying on the tracks because of train collisions recently. Call them idiots or whatever, but people are people, not everybody is train-wise. Bring back the bloody horn! A bit of noise is worth it if it means you save a human life. Nice work for taking the cynical, cost cutting route rather than doing proper and safe grade separation /s. No money saved is wroth a human life.

aquablue Aug 24, 2019 10:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by urbanview (Post 8668268)
People are dying on the tracks because of train collisions recently. Call them idiots or whatever, but people are people, not everybody is train-wise. Bring back the HORN! A bit of noise is worth a human life. Nice work for taking the cynical, cost cutting route rather than doing proper and safe grade separation /s. No money saved is wroth a human life.

Good points. I agree that this railway that runs on freight tracks was poorly/cheaply designed and now it's a KILLER railroad to boot. Typical American cost cutting and shortcuts when it comes to rail and transit. Not only is it slower/bumpier than it could have been with separation, it's more dangerous for those in the surrounding areas.

And yes, the horn needs to return. Screw the sensitive-eared little pansies living near the tracks. Haha, they wouldn't have lasted a second in the industrial revolution.

If they can't handle it, they can move. Just like those moronic noise aware types that are afraid of airport expansion. They are the enemy of progress.

N830MH Sep 13, 2019 4:28 AM

State extends Virgin Trains' deadline for Orlando to Tampa right of way negotiations
 
https://www.bizjournals.com/tampabay...m7abpEry80NRPM

Quote:

The state is allowing more time for Virgin Trains USA to enter an agreement for right of way to connect from its Orlando station to Tampa.

Miami-based Virgin Trains USA, formerly known as Brightline, had a September negotiation deadline with the Florida Department of Transportation to lease the right of way along Interstate 4. FDOT told the Tampa Bay Business Journal the negotiations with all parties are ongoing and the deadline was extended to Oct. 3. However, FDOT did not provide a reason why.
They still need more time to negotiations.

electricron Sep 13, 2019 2:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by aquablue (Post 8668289)
Good points. I agree that this railway that runs on freight tracks was poorly/cheaply designed and now it's a KILLER railroad to boot. Typical American cost cutting and shortcuts when it comes to rail and transit. Not only is it slower/bumpier than it could have been with separation, it's more dangerous for those in the surrounding areas.

And yes, the horn needs to return. Screw the sensitive-eared little pansies living near the tracks. Haha, they wouldn't have lasted a second in the industrial revolution.

If they can't handle it, they can move. Just like those moronic noise aware types that are afraid of airport expansion. They are the enemy of progress.

If you are trespassing on airport property and are walking or standing in the middle of the runway, who's fault is it when you get sucked up into the jet engines of a jet liner and get turned into hamburger?
Do not place the blame on the jet or the train being in the places they are supposed to be. Please put the blame on the person out of place.

sammyg Sep 13, 2019 2:33 PM

If you think trains are dangerous, have you heard about these things called cars?

N830MH Sep 14, 2019 4:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sammyg (Post 8686071)
If you think trains are dangerous, have you heard about these things called cars?

Exactly!!! It's too extremely dangerous. They could being killed by trains. Don't go over the trains tracks. You have stop. STOP! Don't cross the tracks. Look both way!

Hatman Sep 19, 2019 3:28 PM

California to Assist Financing of High-Speed Train Between Victorville and Las Vegas
https://ktla.com/2019/09/18/californ...and-las-vegas/

$300 million in tax-exempt bonds approved for this year with that same amount pre-approved for next year. VTUSA is still on track to begin construction next year, apparently.
Quote:

Ma, a Democrat, said she rode on one of Virgin’s trains in Florida and described it as swankier than a traditional train. Building such a project between Las Vegas and California will provide economic development, ease travel and improve the riding experience, she said.

“It is like moving people to the next level of train travel where train travel is going to be really hip and fun,” she said.


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