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eleven=11 Sep 4, 2012 7:14 AM


Originally Posted by mr jones (Post 5818717)
Proposed SFECC commuter rail with All Aboard Florida (yellow circles) and existing Tri-Rail:

What is the red line??

Also dont forget about the new WAVE trolley in FT lauderdale

Lakelander Sep 4, 2012 10:23 AM

double post.....

Lakelander Sep 4, 2012 10:42 AM


Originally Posted by Standpoor (Post 5819404)
I don't understand how previous plans make this less of a subsidy. Most of that would have been paid for by the feds. Its not like OIA was looking to expand without HSR but under the FEC's plans OIA will have to bear the financial burden with no guarantee that they will see a return. More to the point, OIA does not know if FEC will be profitable but is being asked to take on a large amount of the risk. Basically FEC is asking OIA to pay for something that marginally benefits the airport but that is essential to FEC's plans. Its good business for FEC, have others pay for your project and minimize risk but it definitely is a subsidy because There is no way around it. Now the question is whether the subsidy is net beneficial for OIA.

OIA has been talking about building that south terminal since I was in high school and I'm 35 now. There's nothing stopping them from scaling it back or simply running a shuttle bus out there short term. In addition, the State's Sunrail commuter rail system is supposed to tie into this as well. Sunrail will be operational by 2015, with or without FEC. No way, FEC should be paying 100% of the cost for OIA's long term wet dream. Also, as airlines continue to consolidate at Central Florida's six international airports, this connection definitely benefits OIA long term. To get things going, if OIA doesn't want to pay for the taj mahal in its current configuration, all of these entities should build a temporary surface lot and connect it to OIA's main terminal with a shuttle bus.


And the same goes for OOCEA. Why give free land to a company that is going to directly compete with you. The first priority should be to the bond holders and if FEC undercuts the tollway, then that would put the authority's financial position at risk. The 2011 annual report lists OOCEA's revenue bonds at $2.7 billion dollars. What effect will giving free land have on the bottom line? Will the new right of way be on the State's tax rolls? Basically, FEC wants as much as it can get from the people of the State of Florida without reverting to a direct infusion of money or loan guarantees. Now the question becomes whether or not the people of Florida think it is in their best interest to go along with the plan.
The last question is the easiest. Yes, the good chunk believe its in Florida's best interest to have FECI move forward with their project. We've been waiting for something like this for a few decades and even voted to have a 100% state subsidized version in 2000. As for OOCEA, this should be nothing new. The HSR plan we've talked about for the last 20 years was going to utilize the same ROW. However, FECI should be more beneficial to OOCEA. The State plan would have included a stop at Cocoa. This one won't. Also, the FECI thing is about land development. Flagler is a major industrial/commercial developer in this state and having them focus on developing along the Beach Line probably has OOCEA doing back flips behind closed doors. With 40 miles of undeveloped property to play around with between Port Canaveral and OIA, both OOCEA and FECI seem to be sitting pretty. That's a lot of land for future industrial/commercial/residential development, which means increased vehicle trips, which equals increased toll revenue.


I have no problem with private rail plans but it seems that private players rarely gauge the complexity of projects and the time necessary to actually implement large scale passenger works. I have always thought that this was too large of a project for FEC/Fortress, they simply are not big enough to commit $1 billion dollars buying and building an HSR line. However, as time goes on, their plan becomes clearer and relies on others to fill in the gaps. If they can get this project complete it will be an amazing business deal. If they get it done in the time frame they set forth, it will be a miracle.
To be honest, I don't see any of the obstacles mentioned above as huge. If anything, it sounds like a typical part of the negotiation process. I'm sure, you'll see these ironed out with some compromises and the project will continue to move forward. There's too much money to be made for FECI, OIA and OOCEA for them to kill it.

Lakelander Sep 4, 2012 10:59 AM


Originally Posted by Standpoor (Post 5819404)
Why should OIA pay almost $400 million to build a parking garage/depot that will directly compete with their current parking garages and directly benefit a business that will directly compete with the airlines that pay OIA landing fees.

Because its OIA's garage and the whole system complements OIA's airlines. It's a major coup to have tourist fly into OIA and still have direct access to South Florida.


Building a parking garage that is no where near the terminal does not make much sense on its own. Do they need more parking space? Does it make sense to build a garage a mile away from the terminal instead of a more centrally located position? It will only make sense if the parking fees are greater than the construction bonds, plus any loss in landing fees/current parking fees, plus any operating expense of moving passengers from the new garage to the terminal. In the end, they might come to a deal that is beneficial to both parties but it seems that they are farther apart then what FEC wanted to be. Also, in the end it is still a subsidy. It does not matter if it is mutually beneficial. If FEC wants to use OIA's borrowing power and wants them to pay for their parking, then that is a subsidy.
It's a part of OIA's expansion plans and that's where OIA wants it. If you check out a google earth aerial, you'll see they've already been setting up infrastructure for this future airport terminal. Also, I'll have to go back and verify but I don't believe OIA's airport terminal was included in the original HSR capital costs either.

There are multiple parties that benefit from this so it makes sense that the costs should be shared on the airport's side. It's hard for me to classify this situation as a "subsidy" when its mutually beneficial. Without FECI involved, the taxpayer would be funding all of this (FECI's rail and OIA's desired infrastructure development) or it simply wouldn't happen.

Standpoor Sep 4, 2012 6:52 PM


subsidy: noun; a grant by a government to a private person or company to assist an enterprise deemed advantageous to the public

Tis but thy name that is my enemy;

O, be some other name! What's in a name? that which we call a [subsidy] By any other name would smell as sweet
and still cost huge quantities of money.

Lakelander Sep 4, 2012 7:32 PM

I guess you're right. If FECI pays for infrastructure OIA wants, but isn't actually needed for the basic rail service to operate than they would be subsidizing OIA to a degree.:blink:

Anyway, it hasn't been stated exactly what part or how much of the terminal complex that OIA has been asked to share the cost in. Once that's out, we'll have a better idea on if this particular request is a subsidy or not.

mr jones Sep 6, 2012 12:50 AM


Originally Posted by eleven=11 (Post 5819428)
What is the red line??

Also dont forget about the new WAVE trolley in FT lauderdale

Not sure what you mean? Red (and green) are a proposed commuter train running on the FEC tracks, with the exception of the red with a direct transfer with Tri-Rail at the Pompano station. Click on the web site below the map

Lakelander Oct 23, 2012 1:08 AM

Here are renderings of the potential train sets.

Lakelander Oct 23, 2012 1:09 AM

AAF has made their initial filings with the STB (Surface Transportation Board) on their immediate plans for the FEC ROW.

Per Trains Newswire:

ORLANDO – All Aboard Florida, the organization behind the restoration of high speed passenger service between Miami and Orlando, revealed a number of details of its plans in a filing with the Surface Transportation Board earlier in the month. The filing includes two parties under the All Aboard Florida banner, one for operations and one for stations.

The passenger train operator will rebuild a second track along the Florida East Coast Railway between Miami and Cocoa, Fla., and build entirely new track on right-of-way leased from the Florida Department of Transportation and Orlando-Orange County Expressway Authority. This would place about 40 miles of new rail line alongside or in the median of state Route 528, which runs between Cocoa and the Orlando airport and is operated by the OOCEA.

All Aboard Florida will not seek public operating subsidies for the project, but is exploring the possibility of obtaining construction financing through the Federal Railroad Administration's Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing Program. Through the program the railroad can apply for direct loans and loan guarantees through the FRA.

The filing stipulates the new passenger service will not be a part of the interstate passenger rail network and should be exempt from federal oversight. All Aboard Florida will not participate in any through ticketing program with Amtrak. It also says no freight service will be operated by All Aboard Florida, or over the new right-of-way to Orlando. It does say that, for flexibility in operations, FEC dispatchers will have the option of using either track on the shared right-of-way for freight and passenger traffic.

Construction of the project is expected to generate 6,000 new jobs in the state, 1,000 permanent jobs, and even more job opportunities from transit-oriented development around the stations.

All Aboard Florida expects to have trains running by Jan. 1, 2015, and plans to operate 16-19 daily trains, allowing for hourly service during peak times. The filing specifies the trains will be 900 feet long and be equipped with Wi-Fi and meal services. Trains will operate up to 79 mph on the share portion of the route and 110 mph on the newly built portion. Details on the type of equipment to be used are still unknown.

The two filings with the STB are located here:

Petition of Exemption:

Motion to Dismiss or Discontinue:

ardecila Oct 23, 2012 2:52 AM

Sucks about the cross-ticketing. I wonder whether this is ideological or FEC just couldn't reach a deal with Amtrak.

electricron Oct 23, 2012 5:10 PM


Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 5875997)
Sucks about the cross-ticketing. I wonder whether this is ideological or FEC just couldn't reach a deal with Amtrak.

Freight railroads are administered by the STB because most freight loads are shipped across state lines, passenger railroads only need to be administered by the FRA. That's why FEC is already split into FEC(R) and FEC(I), with R including just the freight railroading business and I everything else. The All Aboard Florida passenger trains will remain a part of I. For that reason alone, it's idealogical. The STB shouldn't administer the AAF trains as long as they don't cross-ticket with Amtrak. AAF can still do business with all other modes of interstate transportation like cruise lines, airlines, and buses; even with commuter rail that doesn't cross the state line; just not with Amtrak.

There's a fairly long video at YouTube from a recent meeting AAF held. All these legal issues was discussed. Here's the link to the video.

Also in the video is a long question and answer session with interesting answers. They will need to buy 10 train sets to run up to 14 trains a day. Each train set would have 9 vehicles; 2 locomotives on either end and 7 passengers cars with one diner, one first/business class, and five coaches. As I understand it, although they wouldn't mention the manufacturer as yet, they're looking at buying lighter weight trains from overseas- from a manufacturer that already has American facilities - although they don't have to buy American made. I don''t think AAF is considering buying Hi-Liner equipment.

The rolling stock will take the longest time to complete, from 20 to 30 months, and is therefore what will set when service can start. Design has only reached the 30% stage, so many specific details asked couldn't be answered. Never-the-less, many questions were answered.

ardecila Oct 23, 2012 9:00 PM


Originally Posted by electricron (Post 5876578)
As I understand it, although they wouldn't mention the manufacturer as yet, they're looking at buying lighter weight trains from overseas- from a manufacturer that already has American facilities - although they don't have to buy American made. I don''t think AAF is considering buying Hi-Liner equipment.

So... Siemens, Talgo, Nippon Sharyo, Alstom... am I forgetting anyone? Bombardier is Canadian but not "overseas".

electricron Oct 24, 2012 12:16 AM


Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 5876877)
So... Siemens, Talgo, Nippon Sharyo, Alstom... am I forgetting anyone? Bombardier is Canadian but not "overseas".

I wouldn't discount Bombardier, as they make many trains in Europe.

At one time, XpressWest expressed some interest in Bombardier EMU models, I wonder if they make DMU versions as well?
Siemens diesel powered ICE TD trainsets would be my initial choice for a "Premium" higher speed trainset that could attract higher fares. But they're only four car sets, the video suggests FEC wants 9 car sets including the headend power.
Talgo also makes diesel powered HSR sets capable of 125 mph, but the cars in the sets are shorter, we'll be discussing 14 cars instead of 7 in a set, so I'm inclined to count them out.

ardecila Oct 24, 2012 8:07 AM

Is it that difficult to change the number of cars in a trainset? In a DMU, each car literally pulls its own weight, so it shouldn't be too hard to add more.

However, I think AAF will shy away from articulated connections.

Lakelander Nov 5, 2012 3:33 PM

Here are some station planning concepts from their environmental study:


Fort Lauderdale:

West Palm Beach:

eleven=11 Nov 5, 2012 6:17 PM

wow those plans are spot on!

any news on the orlando airports stations?
does sunrail also have plans for a airport depot?

orulz Nov 5, 2012 9:54 PM


Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 5875997)
Sucks about the cross-ticketing. I wonder whether this is ideological or FEC just couldn't reach a deal with Amtrak.

Sounds to me like the lack of cross-ticketing is an effort to sidestep certain regulations more than anything. Probably they would be more heavily regulated if they were classified as an interstate carrier. Not sure what regulations these are.

ardecila Nov 6, 2012 12:29 AM

Wow, 51-inch platforms. Cool. No commuter rail operation will touch that outside of the Northeast. The report also says AAF is looking at single-level cars. I'm thinking they want to use an off-the-shelf foreign trainset with a waiver.

The Miami option is elevated on a viaduct, BTW. It's hard to see that from the image you posted.

Lakelander Nov 6, 2012 2:51 AM

You can see the elevated portion in this graphic.

eleven=11 Nov 10, 2012 8:59 PM

Dade/miami just spent $300 million for new trains
on the metro system due in 2015!!!

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