Author Topic: Brightline ready to expand rail system to Tampa  (Read 219872 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

CityLife

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Re: Brightline ready to expand rail system to Tampa
« Reply #490 on: April 23, 2024, 09:26:57 AM »
Couple of Brightline related tidbits that I will post separately.

One, Brightline West just held its groundbreaking for a $12 billion, 218 mile project linking Las Vegas with the LA Metro. They are hoping to be open in time for the Summer Olympics in 2028. It will be a true high speed train that gets up to 180 MPH, which is probably easier to do through the desert. I've made the drive from Vegas to So Cal before and it is totally desolate for the first half. Crazy thing about the line is that the furthest west it goes is Rancho Cucamonga, where it will become the Pride of Cucamonga (for any Deadheads out there).



https://www.railwayage.com/passenger/high-performance/brightline-west-breaks-ground/
« Last Edit: April 23, 2024, 10:21:36 AM by CityLife »

Jax_Developer

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Re: Brightline ready to expand rail system to Tampa
« Reply #491 on: April 23, 2024, 09:39:35 AM »
Couple of Brightline related tidbits that I will post separately.

One, Brightline West just held its groundbreaking for a $12 billion, 218 mile project linking Las Vegas with the LA Metro. They are hoping to be open in time for the Summer Olympics in 2028. It will be a true high speed train that gets up to 180 MPH, which is probably easier to do through the desert. I've made the drive from Vegas to So Cal before and it is totally desolate for the first half. Crazy thing about the line is that the furthest west it goes is Rancho Cucamonga, where it will become the Pride of Cucamonga (for any Deadheads out there).



Good luck to them. They need the DT LA connection though... I worry about their ability to sell like they have in Florida without it. Rancho is easily an hour plus to the "middle" of LA. You need a car to survive in LA & the flights are so cheap they are hard to beat given traffic.

CityLife

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Re: Brightline ready to expand rail system to Tampa
« Reply #492 on: April 23, 2024, 09:49:09 AM »
Secondly, I hear that it is likely that Brightline will open a station in Palm Beach Gardens in the near future, possibly even a joint Tri-Rail station. The City of Palm Beach Gardens has done a lot of TOD/Transit/Mobility planning and there is a substantial amount of employment, housing, and commercial activity near the station location.

The thing that will ultimately put it over the top though is that NextEra/FPL is slowly relocating its corporate HQ from Juno Beach (10 minutes away) to a campus right near the future station location. They have one building built already, but I believe will eventually build somewhere between 4-6 total. They have tons of employees and visitors that travel to HQ from all over the country/world. Because of this, they are offering to buy a certain amount of Brightline trips yearly if Brightline builds the station. I've heard it's a huge number.

How does it impact Jax? If Zahn (and whoever else) hadn't blown the JEA deal, there is no doubt NextEra/FPL could have helped encourage Brightline to expand north to provide easy access to a big asset in Jax. Of course this alone wouldn't have had a huge impact, but it would have helped.

The bigger lesson for Jax though is that you have to leverage your assets to help attract Brightline. As I've said before, NE Florida needs to combine all of the business/chamber and tourism agency assets from Duval to Volusia to work together and show Brightline why it makes sense to expand up to NE Florida.
« Last Edit: April 23, 2024, 09:50:55 AM by CityLife »

CityLife

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Re: Brightline ready to expand rail system to Tampa
« Reply #493 on: April 23, 2024, 10:29:27 AM »
Couple of Brightline related tidbits that I will post separately.

One, Brightline West just held its groundbreaking for a $12 billion, 218 mile project linking Las Vegas with the LA Metro. They are hoping to be open in time for the Summer Olympics in 2028. It will be a true high speed train that gets up to 180 MPH, which is probably easier to do through the desert. I've made the drive from Vegas to So Cal before and it is totally desolate for the first half. Crazy thing about the line is that the furthest west it goes is Rancho Cucamonga, where it will become the Pride of Cucamonga (for any Deadheads out there).



Good luck to them. They need the DT LA connection though... I worry about their ability to sell like they have in Florida without it. Rancho is easily an hour plus to the "middle" of LA. You need a car to survive in LA & the flights are so cheap they are hard to beat given traffic.

Yeah, it's a bit strange, but Cucamonga connects to Metrolink, which connects to LA to the west and San Bernandino/Riverside to the east.  and the Victor Valley station connects to the California High Speed line to the Bay Area. As we all know, Brightline is a real estate development company as much as they are transit provider. They probably think there are some opportunities near the new stations. Especially with Cali's affordability crisis. The mountains are really beautiful west of LA and you even have 5 ski resorts in that area, so it could be a desirable area for some to live.

Because it's a true high speed train, it will still be faster to take Metrolink to Cucamonga from LA (hour and 15) and then from Cucamonga to Vegas (2 hours) than it is to drive from LA to Vegas (4 hours). If you ever ride Brightline in the night in South Florida, you generally get a party vibe. The same thing will happen on the Vegas route too. You will have lots of groups of people pre-gaming before going to Vegas and because it is a really easy trip to make, you will even have people ride over for the day and back. Especially now that you have something like the Sphere and pro sports in Vegas.

Jax_Developer

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Re: Brightline ready to expand rail system to Tampa
« Reply #494 on: April 23, 2024, 10:42:59 AM »
Those $69 one-way Southwest flights get rowdy, trust!   :D