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Christmas Eve 2019 / MCO Intermodal Construction:   Facing South Facing east  

Thing is, with the private vs. public thing, the service evolved into more of a luxury item than a utilitarian item.  I would rather have it subsidized by our government and more accessible to "r

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51 minutes ago, Uncommon said:

Looks like no current plans to extend Sunrail to the airport, which is a huge missed opportunity. Would’ve been to be able to take a train from, say Park Ave to Miami directly.

You can - it’s called Amtrak.

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On 7/27/2020 at 3:36 PM, Uncommon said:

Looks like no current plans to extend Sunrail to the airport, which is a huge missed opportunity. Would’ve been to be able to take a train from, say Park Ave to Miami directly.

Virgin Trains is, as of the last update, moving ahead with a connection to Sunrail along with the WDW stop. It kind of makes the Sunrail airport stop obsolete.

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On 7/30/2020 at 8:33 PM, aent said:

Virgin Trains is, as of the last update, moving ahead with a connection to Sunrail along with the WDW stop. It kind of makes the Sunrail airport stop obsolete.

Can you explain this idea more? How would a direct connection to an airport be obsolete? 

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11 minutes ago, prahaboheme said:

Can you explain this idea more? How would a direct connection to an airport be obsolete? 

The Virgin Trains Tampa route to Walt Disney World might — and I emphasize the word might — include a connection to the Meadow Woods station. Hasn’t been an update on this since November though.

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1 hour ago, prahaboheme said:

I don’t see how that makes a Sunrail stop at the airport obsolete. That would assume someone would need to get on a Virgin train at meadow woods right?

There's been 2 Sunrail proposals:

1) Eliminate half of the southbound trains and redirect them to the airport. The southbound routes would need to get off the train further north, and get onto the next train to get to the airport.

2) Run a seperate train between a Sunrail stop and the airport.

Virgin Train stop at the Meadow Woods Sunrail station is a better option than either of those choices, minus any transfer fees, but something can probably be worked out there.

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50 minutes ago, aent said:

Virgin Train stop at the Meadow Woods Sunrail station is a better option than either of those choices, minus any transfer fees, but something can probably be worked out there.

SunRail absolutely needs to connect to the airport.

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1 minute ago, prahaboheme said:

If it’s not a fully connected Sunrail ticket, it’s not going to work.

Agreed! Have you tried the current airport connection via Link 111? The mismatched ticket system is painful, especially when you’re trying to get a transfer at the SunRail platform as a train is arriving. It’s stressful. 

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19 hours ago, Jerry95 said:

Agreed! Have you tried the current airport connection via Link 111? The mismatched ticket system is painful, especially when you’re trying to get a transfer at the SunRail platform as a train is arriving. It’s stressful. 

I think you guys have to realize that Virgin Trains tickets fully work on a smartphone and seems like it was designed in the past decade, unlike the Sunrail system. Should make it far easier to handle.

It just doesn't seem like a train that comes every 4 hours or so to connect to the airport during off peak periods, which is when many arrivals tend to be, is useful at all.

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It would certainly work.  It’s not an ideal 1-seat trip but given the cost of airport parking the demand between a 1-seat and 2-seat trip won’t be very different. 
 

Frequency is more important than seats in the long run.

https://humantransit.org/2009/04/why-transferring-is-good-for-you-and-good-for-your-city.html

Let’s not use LYNX and SunRails missteps as a reason to worry.  they’ve been absurdly bad together from the start and a lot of it could change overnight and hopefully will once the locals take over SunRail...one day 

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46 minutes ago, Jernigan said:

It would certainly work.  It’s not an ideal 1-seat trip but given the cost of airport parking the demand between a 1-seat and 2-seat trip won’t be very different. 
 

Frequency is more important than seats in the long run.

https://humantransit.org/2009/04/why-transferring-is-good-for-you-and-good-for-your-city.html

Let’s not use LYNX and SunRails missteps as a reason to worry.  they’ve been absurdly bad together from the start and a lot of it could change overnight and hopefully will once the locals take over SunRail...one day 

Thats my point! Virgin Trains is going to provide a more frequent service, more destinations, and an-all rail transfer to Sunrail, making Sunrail's infrequent 4 hour schedule offering at an extremely high price redundant and infeasible.

If we can get a change in our local leadership, maybe if OBX is developed into a second commuter rail, it can start/end at the airport and provide a second connection to Sunrail, and if we can get Universal to be a part of a rail link from the airport to the I-Drive/attractions area, that could potentially provide a third connection, but as it is, Virgin Trains is the only connection that makes any sense. Yes, it requires a transfer, but as you said, the demand between a 1 and 2 seat trip or a second ticket on a smartphone shouldn't really affect the economics of avoiding airport parking. Plus Virgin Trains offers a premium experience and free refreshments and whatnot so you can be more comfortable before/after your flight, unlike Sunrail.

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I also think this is an area that we romanticize the memories we have in other cities.  Chances are, even as a tourist travelling from activity center to activity center, you transferred.  If you weren’t on the right line in Chicago to begin with you transferred to the right one to get to the airport.  You’ve also never taken Caltrain to SFO.  

One thing that will need to be figured out at Meadowoods is building a more comfortable station.  Perhaps Virgin will help fund that.   SunRail stations (especially suburban ones) are lacking amenities by design with the idea that you park and get whisked away by an on-time train.   They also want to avoid it becoming a “hangout”.  Waiting on an asphalt-surrounded pad isn’t going to cut it for a transfer station.

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I think there already is a development plan to turn Meadowoods into an office center.  I thought they were just waiting on the private sector to do something like that.   Flagler Properties might be happy to do that if Brightline connects to it.   Just spitballing here.

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17 minutes ago, Tim3167 said:

I just saw on an OBJ tweet that Brightline and Virgin have ended their partnership. Any thoughts on the impact of this?

Given that Virgin had control of various train routes taken away from them for various problems by the government in the UK (and by the Tories no less), I think it can only be viewed as a positive.

Dare we hope for competence instead?

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The two companies announced a licensing partnership back in November 2018, which was to rebrand Brightline as Virgin Trains USA.

The Virgin Trains branding is no more for Brightline locomotives. 

Brightline announced in a recent report to bondholders that it has terminated its licensing deal with Virgin Group. 

The bond report also states that Virgin disputes the validity of the termination notice. 

Virgin Group did not immediately respond to a request for comment Friday afternoon. A representative from Brightline said he was unable to comment on anything beyond what was stated in the report. 

The two companies reached an agreement in November 2018 to rebrand Brightline as Virgin Trains USA. Work on a route that will connect to Orlando at Orlando International Airport is around 33% complete so far and is expected to be completed by 2022. 

Only some progress was made toward rebranding the transit line connecting Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach since the agreement was reached. The entrance to the company's Miami station changed to display the Virgin branding, but the system's trains and advertising continued to display the name Brightline. 

As part of the termination of the licensing deal, the company plans to change its official name back to Brightline Trains LLC. It has been known as Virgin Trains USA LLC in county and city records. 

The bond report states that Virgin now has no affiliation with Brightline or its parent company. 

Brightline operated three stations before the pandemic forced the company to cease operations.

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