Sign in to follow this  
FLheat

The Brightline

Recommended Posts


aent    79

Wow - I had sort of thought this was pie-in-the-sky up until now.  When is the last time a mass transit project of this scale was taken up by private industry in this country?  

Its been many decades.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
prahaboheme    672

Orlando is really making out in this deal -- this little town is turning into a rail hub:

 

"All Aboard Florida would pay the airport $2.8 million annually for rent, plus up to $1.50 per train passenger who leaves from Orlando. The train company also would spend $50 million to build a maintenance facility at the airport and pay more than $580,000 a year to lease the land for it.

 

As many as eight trains – each comprised of two locomotives, six passenger cars and a café car – would be kept overnight at OIA. Up to 80 jobs could be created to maintain the trains, an All Aboard Florida spokeswoman said."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
gibby    198

Downtown Orlando will be a loser in this.  At best, Sunrail will connect to the airport but not on weekends and not with a schedule that matches the AAF schedule.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
sunshine    253

I dont think most people that take the train from miami will want to visit downtown orlando. Disney and Universal probably have buses waiting to shuttle them to the parks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
prahaboheme    672

Downtown Orlando will be a loser in this.  At best, Sunrail will connect to the airport but not on weekends and not with a schedule that matches the AAF schedule.

 

Downtown Orlando has been the loser in this game for decades.  But strides are being made. 

 

This is totally pie-in-the-sky, but I try to liken an Orlando airport hub to Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam, which is the regional hub and has direction connections via train to Amsterdam center.  If Orlando can begin to emulate this model, downtown would not lose out. 

 

The reality is, 50 million people visit Lake Buena Vista every year.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Downtown isn't the loser in this - it just isn't the winner yet.  But, the potential is there for future infrastructure to still make this a big plus for downtown.  I think we have to give credit where it is due - if it weren't for tourism, there would have absolutely been no chance of something like this coming out of the private sector.  I view this as an opportunity for Orlando to figure out how to take advantage of, not any sort of loss.  

 

My biggest concern is how SunRail eventually connects with the airport.  I really hope that all parties involved figure out how to have SunRail come directly to the airport, and that it doesn't just end up being a shuttle line from the airport to Sand Lake Station.  It is a lot to ask for customers to use three different trains...All Aboard to Shuttle to SunRail.  Especially with potentially disjunct schedules.  

 

An amazing eventual solution would be for All Aboard to expand into the long-awaited link between OIA and International Drive, with an additional stop at Sand Lake Station.  Then, everything makes sense.  Miami to Downtown - 1 transfer.  I-Drive to Downtown - 1 Transfer.  Airport to Downtown - 1 transfer.  

Edited by uncreativeusername
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
aent    79

Downtown Orlando will be a loser in this.  At best, Sunrail will connect to the airport but not on weekends and not with a schedule that matches the AAF schedule.

Actually, I'd say this is probably the best bet to get Sunrail to have service on weekends. Right now, Sunrail doesn't want to operate on weekends because they don't believe there will be the ridership. If AAF is bringing in a ton of potential riders on the weekends... that could be exactly what is needed to convince Sunrail to offer weekend service. As far as the connection, I suspect AAF or some other private group, will surely recognize the importance of having their system connected to Sunrail, and if no one else steps up before then, will likely make sure there is some kind of connection in place.

Edited by aent

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
JFW657    1082

I dont think most people that take the train from miami will want to visit downtown orlando. Disney and Universal probably have buses waiting to shuttle them to the parks.

I dunno.... if they build the new soccer stadium downtown, it could be an attraction for one of their major demographic groups.

Especially if they're up here visiting the theme parks anyway.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
jliv    55

I'm all for a SunRail spur line to OIA so long

as it doesn't end at OIA.  It should extend to Lake Nona, Boggy Creek / Narcossee, and St. Cloud.

 

A spur from OIA to SunRail would be easy to fund and implement, giving any trains (either All Aboard Florida or SunRail) access to downtown Orlando.  Here is a crude map I created in MS Paint (I'm not a graphic artist by any stretch):

 

 
Half of the potential right-of-way is already preserved; a rail line runs south of the airport.  The rest is a combination of airport land and sparsely populated land that would encounter little NIMBYism.  Not sure which railroad company owns and operates the line south of the airport; however, a short stretch like the one proposed in the map could either share the rails or be used to add additional track.  
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
gibby    198

I agree completely.  The rail line is owned by OUC.  The line would actually need to continue on the OUC r/w toward the southeast then shoot straight north into OIA property.  The only land owners involved would be the airport, OUC and then the state/csx on the Sunrail line.  It's a shame that AAF is not planning to do this right now.  Thanks for putting together that map.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

steve_o    33

This doesn't say much for Orlando considering its landing at an airport located in sprawl.  

 

There is all this talk about making downtown better and though I know there is no conventional way to make the train come downtown that would be an answer in how to put foot traffic in the city center.  

 

Sad that Orlando is only linked to this for its tourists and will benefit with a maintenance yard.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
jrs2    376

^^

the article doesn't talk about Orlando at all.  It's about Miami and this plan they have to revitalize its downtown.

 

If Orlando didn't think they would benefit from AAF they wouldn't have it dock at OIA.  The mere fact that this is coming will benefit Orlando in so many ways:

1) more tourists coming

2) OIA speeding up its expansion timetable

3) Maglev proposing an entire system because of it

4) OCCC increasing it's position in the convention marketplace (b/c of Maglev--and AAF)

5) Orlando as a tourist destination also increasing its clout

6) Sunrail (and the desirable stops) may benefit from this as well ala new ridership and tourists

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
steve_o    33

I am in no way meaning to downplay it just highlight the fact that they didnt talk about orlando because they are not making a significant investment in downtown real estate like they are the other cities.  4.2 million sf and 1/2 dozen buildings (one topping 70 stories) along with a possible 4.7 million people walking the streets could have been helpful to our city center.  Looks like the benefit will be to take some of the 60 million annual orlando visitors and get them to south florida to spend some money in their developing urban centers.  

 

It all sounds very nice, just wish some of the giltz and glam was coming to a part of Orlando the residents use (like the S Fla stations).  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jernigan    1000

I don't know if I understand the development implications of a high speed intercity rail any more than I understand building residential adjacent to a downtown SunRail station because of SunRail...

Downtown would be nice for business travelers though for the AAF project

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
gibby    198

This doesn't say much for Orlando considering its landing at an airport located in sprawl.  

 

There is all this talk about making downtown better and though I know there is no conventional way to make the train come downtown that would be an answer in how to put foot traffic in the city center.  

 

Sad that Orlando is only linked to this for its tourists and will benefit with a maintenance yard.

Exactly.  It is sad.  I think it could have been possible to require them to continue into downtown as a condition for building the $250mm airport station for them.  Getting from downtown to this "central station" will be a complicated mess and will be extra tricky on weekends.  Downtown would benefit greatly from having a station downtown.  It's a real shame.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
jrs2    376

Downtown isn't a tourist draw for AAF riders.  The original HSR proposal was to dock at OIA.  The AAF proposal copied that.  Part of the logic is that AAF will compete with OIA direct flights down to Miami/Ft.; partly; and get drivers off of the Turnpike/I-95.  If the City/ County didn't think they would benefit from this they wouldn't approve its construction in Orange County. 

 

Its a shame about no downtown station but there's a much larger plan here that will benefit the metro.  If Maglev does get built and is a success Orlando will have two viable systems running and a third system connecting it to Miami.  I'm sure by then there will be other viable proposals for the other busy travel corridors of the metro that otherwise wouldn't have a prayer of mass transit b/c of the difficulty in getting public funding.

 

AAF wouldn't be a possibility if Orlando wasn't a big tourist center.   The OIA station wouldn't happen if OIA wasn't a very busy airport.  The Maglev proposal wouldn't happen without OIA being busy and the AAF, and, the busy corridor to I-Drive.  If Maglev is a success, then the rest of the metro has a good chance of seeing future expansions and/or systems.  But without these systems at their present proposed locations none of this will or could happen.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
HankStrong    360

How exactly would people suggest AAF get from OIA to downtown with higher speed rail?  (It's not HSR, just higher speed)

 

 

I understand the corridor from Miami to Ft Lauderdale to West Palm to I-95/SR 528.  This is an existing rail corridor that has existed for more than 100 years.

 

I understand the corridor from I-95/SR 528 to OIA because this will only go alongside the path of an existing controlled-access highway through land specifically designated for this train and onto the property of the airport itself.

 

Where is the path to downtown from the airport for this type of train?  Straight up 436 and hang a left at 408?  Keep going West on 528 and hang a right on OBT?

 

Where would a train like this go to get downtown?

 

 

 

EDITED TO ADD:

You can't say the OUC spur out of the airport to the same tracks that SunRail runs on because these are owned by two entirely different entities.

Edited by HankStrong

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
gibby    198

How exactly would people suggest AAF get from OIA to downtown with higher speed rail?  (It's not HSR, just higher speed)

 

 

I understand the corridor from Miami to Ft Lauderdale to West Palm to I-95/SR 528.  This is an existing rail corridor that has existed for more than 100 years.

 

I understand the corridor from I-95/SR 528 to OIA because this will only go alongside the path of an existing controlled-access highway through land specifically designated for this train and onto the property of the airport itself.

 

Where is the path to downtown from the airport for this type of train?  Straight up 436 and hang a left at 408?  Keep going West on 528 and hang a right on OBT?

 

Where would a train like this go to get downtown?

 

 

 

EDITED TO ADD:

You can't say the OUC spur out of the airport to the same tracks that SunRail runs on because these are owned by two entirely different entities.

The State owns the Sunrail tracks so the State should be able to allow AAF to cruise straight into downtown on those tracks (except for midnight to 5 am or whatever the CSX agreement says).  There is also a rail spur (owned by OUC) going from the Sunrail tracks near Taft past the airport and then to the OUC plant along the Beachline.  That spur passes very close to the proposed new airport terminal and the proposed AAF station.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
HankStrong    360

The State owns the Sunrail tracks so the State should be able to allow AAF to cruise straight into downtown on those tracks (except for midnight to 5 am or whatever the CSX agreement says).  There is also a rail spur (owned by OUC) going from the Sunrail tracks near Taft past the airport and then to the OUC plant along the Beachline.  That spur passes very close to the proposed new airport terminal and the proposed AAF station.

 

I'm not a railroad engineer, but I'm pretty sure the 28 (14 each way) train trips of AAF and the 30-40 (I believe 17 each way is the daily average) train trips of SunRail  (even without hoped-for increased train use) as well as the 6-8 Amtrak train trips a day aren't compatible on that stretch of track. 

 

So, the State would then negatively impact the SunRail project, likely leading inconvenienced users to abandon it, and allow a private company (FECR owns their own lines for the rest of the route and has an agreement for the SR 528 portion) to run on that route instead?

 

I know the Amtrak is already been delayed (per Amtrak fans on their message boards that I found by Googling) on what seems like a fairly regular basis by SunRail and gets delayed by Tri-Rail in So FL on a regular basis as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
HankStrong    360

There is also a rail spur (owned by OUC) going from the Sunrail tracks near Taft past the airport and then to the OUC plant along the Beachline.  

Specifically on this spur, that spur is currently being looked at for the SunRail expansion into OIA.

 

The largest issue with that is that OUC doesn't seem especially keen on letting them put SunRail on it, much less AAF *and* SunRail.  There is the whole matter of them actually using their own line to deliver coal to their own power plant being their #1 priority.  I can certainly understand and appreciate that.  It does belong to them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.