Author Topic: Brightline ready to expand rail system to Tampa  (Read 214674 times)

thelakelander

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Re: Brightline ready to expand rail system to Tampa
« Reply #480 on: February 28, 2024, 04:34:02 PM »
^I think that's where Amtrak down the FEC could play a future role. While we tend to view these intercity systems as competitors, they are really serving different markets.
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thelakelander

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Re: Brightline ready to expand rail system to Tampa
« Reply #481 on: February 28, 2024, 04:36:08 PM »
^Curious, when on Brightline, what is its typical speed?  And, how smooth is the ride?

The ride is pretty smooth. I believe the top speed is around 125mph or 150mph. In the urbanized areas, I believe its closure to 79mph. Much better than flying or driving down I-95.
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marcuscnelson

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Re: Brightline ready to expand rail system to Tampa
« Reply #482 on: February 29, 2024, 08:27:12 PM »
Word got out yesterday that Brightline will be building its 7th station in Stuart. They were required to build one in Martin or St. Lucie County due to a settlement agreement from a few years back. A lot of people thought Ft. Pierce was going to be the winner because its downtown has more opportunity and political will for height/density than Stuart. Stuart is no doubt the better place to visit, as it has a really nice little downtown and some charm. Plus you have significantly more middle/upper middle class residents in close proximity. This decision further shows that Brightline is a premium service and that is their core focus. All the places they have put stops outside of the big cities are in affluent areas (Aventura, Boca, and Stuart), though you can also say all three are desirable places to visit/vacation.

Story below

https://www.tcpalm.com/story/news/local/martin-county/2024/02/26/brightline-will-build-new-station-in-stuart/72748966007/

A little surprised Stuart beat out the alternatives, I thought Fort Pierce would have won out for the reasons mentioned. All the same a win for the Treasure Coast to be joining the network. In the long run, it really seems like finding ways to add frequency will be a good extra step.

Re: a lot of the other convos here, things should get much more interesting later this year and into the next, as additional coaches are set to arrive and add up to 200 more seats per train. The volume should help keep costs from getting as high while still giving them the profit they need. Right now the trains hit 125mph along the Beachline from Orlando to Cocoa, then 110mph from Cocoa to West Palm where they slow to 79mph, but they seem to be suggesting that they'll push 150mph while on the way to Tampa, which could start construction perhaps next year.

I haven't had a reason to go to South Florida yet, but from what I've seen, while it might not be identical to a Shinkansen, Brightline is plenty comfortable and fast without needing to be the national priority scaled project that building the Shinkansen was for Japan. Likely only California High Speed Rail has the potential to deliver that kind of experience, but only at pretty excruciating cost (just like the Shinkansen).

^I think that's where Amtrak down the FEC could play a future role. While we tend to view these intercity systems as competitors, they are really serving different markets.

While FDOT has unfortunately dismissed the concept of state support for an Amtrak corridor service along the FEC (although as you say, that could always change if Tallahassee changes), the FRA has suggested that the FEC could be well suited for hosting an Amtrak service between Miami and Dallas-Fort Worth:



Ultimately this is up to Congress to fund, and could take time given the need for track improvements and more rolling stock, but it continues to demonstrate the potential for Jacksonville to reassert its role as a major hub for rail in Florida.
So, to the young people fighting in this movement for change, here is my charge: march in the streets, protest, run for school committee or city council or the state legislature. And win. - Ed Markey

thelakelander

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Re: Brightline ready to expand rail system to Tampa
« Reply #483 on: February 29, 2024, 10:15:10 PM »
^Yes, I was referring to an Amtrak intercity route on the FEC, not a state supported corridor service.
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marcuscnelson

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Re: Brightline ready to expand rail system to Tampa
« Reply #484 on: March 12, 2024, 12:02:46 PM »
Brightline formally announcing today that it will also pursue a station in Cocoa.

https://www.floridatoday.com/story/news/local/2024/03/12/brightline-gives-green-light-to-cocoa-stop-for-its-rail-service/72940551007/

The City of Cocoa’s commitment of $5 million in funding to build the station on top of the Space Coast TPO earmarking $15.5 million in future funds paved the way for the announcement.

This is an actually a big deal for Jacksonville too, because any future service between North Florida and Orlando or Tampa would likely stop in Cocoa and change directions in order to head west along SR-528. It’d also potentially enable a sooner (but less convenient) start to service for Jacksonville by completing FEC upgrades north of Cocoa first and having passengers transfer at Cocoa so that we don’t have to wait for track capacity improvements in South Florida.
So, to the young people fighting in this movement for change, here is my charge: march in the streets, protest, run for school committee or city council or the state legislature. And win. - Ed Markey

iMarvin

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Re: Brightline ready to expand rail system to Tampa
« Reply #485 on: March 12, 2024, 01:30:15 PM »
Not a huge fan of the station location in Cocoa but I guess they're hoping to grab tourists heading to Port Canaveral and the Space Center.

I'm guessing this opens in the next 2-3 years. Kinda crazy to think that Jacksonville would probably be getting a station around the same time if city leaders would give just a fraction of what they're planning on spending on the U2C.

marcuscnelson

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Re: Brightline ready to expand rail system to Tampa
« Reply #486 on: March 12, 2024, 02:24:04 PM »
It’s definitely not the center of town but it’s ideally located besides that. Big plot of land to build the station and transit oriented development on, convenient access to stuff like the seaport & spaceport, shortest possible distance to Jacksonville if trains have to shuttle initially. Lot of ways to get creative.

I’ve said it myself before, now’s really the time for the city to start teeing up to attract Brightline just as Stuart and Cocoa have if we want work to be underway before this decade is out. The $3 million JTA asked for in the gas tax is not taking this seriously.
So, to the young people fighting in this movement for change, here is my charge: march in the streets, protest, run for school committee or city council or the state legislature. And win. - Ed Markey

jaxlongtimer

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Re: Brightline ready to expand rail system to Tampa
« Reply #487 on: March 12, 2024, 03:09:55 PM »
How much would it take to seduce Brightline and FEC to enable an extension to Jax?

marcuscnelson

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Re: Brightline ready to expand rail system to Tampa
« Reply #488 on: March 12, 2024, 03:42:40 PM »
Depends on the exact scope. Given inflation and their previous spending, it’d probably cost in the neighborhood of $2-3 billion. FDOT has mentioned the challenge of our market being smaller than Central and South Florida, which is naturally going to necessitate some partnership.

Big thingis probably stations, as we’re seeing in most of their stations that the public is making some sort of investment. I’ve been saying for a little while now that we should probably stop trying to study a shrinking commuter line on the FEC and instead focus on a JRTC multi-tenant station, a St. Augustine station, and maybe an Aventura-style Avenues Walk station later (plus of course Daytona Beach but that’s further south). All of those will likely need to involve TOD around them to support the business case. Then you actually need to make the track improvements, which could very well mean some big investment to deal with capacity issues like the detested San Marco Train, as well as replacing or refurbishing bridges and adding Positive Train Control.

Best hope for all that is securing a Federal State Partnership grant, but there’s a lot of competition and the funds are shrinking unless Congress expands the program, which means needing to act fast and put together a very good proposal. As I’ve discussed before, Corridor ID is probably the chance to make that push but the city needs to take it seriously, and letting a quarter billion dollars go to self driving cars doesn’t indicate that.
So, to the young people fighting in this movement for change, here is my charge: march in the streets, protest, run for school committee or city council or the state legislature. And win. - Ed Markey

thelakelander

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Re: Brightline ready to expand rail system to Tampa
« Reply #489 on: March 12, 2024, 04:52:44 PM »
I’ve been saying for a little while now that we should probably stop trying to study a shrinking commuter line on the FEC and instead focus on a JRTC multi-tenant station, a St. Augustine station, and maybe an Aventura-style Avenues Walk station later (plus of course Daytona Beach but that’s further south).

This is more practical and realistic than JTA commuter rail on the FEC.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali