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SunRail

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25 minutes ago, codypet said:

"Seminole County officials have brought up the possibility of extending SunRail to Orlando Sanford International Airport via an existing 4-mile freight spur. The Florida Department of Transportation has a contractual option to buy the spur from CSX for 30 years after 2007 for $10"  

If its the spur I think it is, then its the one that goes into Winter Springs and ends.  The one that connects to the Cross Seminole Trail into Oviedo.  Another leg of that same spur goes to downtown Sanford.

HUH?   I think you might be way off in the line you're referring to.  I think.

 

EDITED TO ADD: no, you're not, you're just taking it way way way way further than they need to go to SFB.  That line does eventually go to Winter Springs to the South and ends at a trailhead.

 

See below.  Existing SunRail in green.  Spur to SFB in red.

 

sfbline.jpg

Sanford SunRail station circled in red.

Edited by HankStrong
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4 hours ago, codypet said:

Oh yea.  I know I'm going past SFB, but I assume the $10 was to buy the whole spur.

For a whole $10, you'd hope so!!!

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For $10 Sunrail gets land and tracks, but has to let CSX use them for deliveries still, and then gets to spend all the money to flatten curves, add positive train control, and upgrade the crossing signals.  Oh and I'm sure they're going to have to add quiet zones because people in Sanford would all of a sudden be annoyed by the horns and demand them.  CSX wins out on that one.

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I think it would be a good idea to purchase the track , however someone else speculated a couple of years earlier that the reason it hasn’t been purchased is because once u buy it u have to maintain the track. This increases operation costs. Thus probably Sunrail is waiting for the right moment.

Also once that track is purchased there are so many things u can do with it. 

1. Opens up the possibility of moving the existing Sanford station into it’s downtown.

2. Extend the line to UCF via 419 area. Which then opens up the possibility of new stations in Winter Springs, Oviedo and of course UCF.

3. Also u can expand from MCO northbound via an existing spur (which terminates somewhere in Avalon Park) and then build towards Winter Springs and connect to the SFB spur.  This creates the possibility of stops in Avalon Park, Lake Nona, UCF , Oviedo, Winter Springs and SFB.  Thus u would have both major airports directly connected via one line.

4. If they want to be more ambitious Daytona International airport can be connected if they continue building track northward from SFB . Then that opens up the possibility of more stations in Osteen, Deltona East, New Smyrna Beach and of course Daytona International airport. Can u imagine having all 3 major airports connected via one line? 

Speculating is fun. I’m sure it will cost a pretty penny!! 

Edited by Urban Mail Carrier
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1 hour ago, spenser1058 said:

Is the state doing enough to make SunRail a success? The Sentinel thinks not:

SunRail — so much at stake
http://bit.ly/2KYycYh

That was a pretty pointless article, IMO.  I don’t disagree with the headline but it just said a lot of nothing 

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1 minute ago, Jernigan said:

That was a pretty pointless article, IMO.  I don’t disagree with the headline but it just said a lot of nothing 

I disagree a little bit - there really doesn't seem to be much in the way of marketing going on. Getting folks out of their cars and onto transit takes a lot of education and reminders that we haven't seen.

Of course, if you accept that the state's interest in SunRail was always more about CSX than moving people, it makes perfect sense. They're just waiting for the handoff in 2021.

One other thing I thought of was that, when I lived in Atlanta and was first pondering a regular commute via MARTA rail, I spent several weekends wandering around just to get familiar with it rather than ending up late for work because I had no idea what I was doing.

I wonder how much of that we're losing out on with SunRail due to a lack of weekend service.

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The part that got me was this:

———

The first two weeks seemed to bear out that promise. SunRail, which had languished at about 3,200 boardings each day, nearly doubled that number, thanks to the southern expansion.

That’s just dandy, but SunRail’s disappointing numbers up to now suggest something else is at work.

People just aren’t staying excited about the train. Initial enthusiasm is waning, not gaining, and it’s very possible that’s because the state isn’t doing enough to sell SunRail.

————-

Which I read as - ridership is up since the expansion but it went down last time so we suspect it’s going to go down again and even though we don’t know that it will let’s make more assertions from there in fact let’s write a whole article about it.

Again, agree with the headline I just think it’s timing and supportive arguements aren’t there and SunRail could use the media support that had some specific calls to action and/or criticism of specific players whether its government, employers, civic groups or whomever.   The criticism here was pretty nebulous.

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The difference with the southern expansion, as I see it, is that it actually takes people where they need to go in a much more convenient manner than driving. That gives me hope for maintaining the ridership levels and hopefully increasing over time.

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Agreed - to that end, I’d expand to Polk before DeLand if you were just aiming for ridership 

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5 hours ago, spenser1058 said:

One other thing I thought of was that, when I lived in Atlanta and was first pondering a regular commute via MARTA rail, I spent several weekends wandering around just to get familiar with it rather than ending up late for work because I had no idea what I was doing.

 I wonder how much of that we're losing out on with SunRail due to a lack of weekend service.

I'd agree with that. Infact, from the little bit of weekend Sunrail service we have had, it appears each train has been waaayyy busier on the weekends. I cant find avg #s but the Sentinel says Sunrail's peak day was a weekend, beating out the peak weekday in the service by a whopping 50% more people (and peak weekday service was January 2nd, the day after New Years and a Friday), and that was a paid day. And if memory serves me right, that was with less trains in the day...

I know when they did the formal Saturday trial, things got pretty messed up by Irma, and like pretty much every time we've had Saturday service, the service was only announced the day before it was actually happening, giving people little to no time to plan to use the Saturday service. It seems they really should give that trial another shot.

Also, they say Saturday service costs them $20,000/day to operate... it appears on many/most of the Saturdays they operated it, excluding the post-Irma disaster time, Sunrail actually did or would have if they charged fares covered their expenses or made a profit at the normal weekday rates, even assuming the average fare is only $2 (accounting for the 50% off reduced fare people and roundtrip discount) which it easily should be. This makes sense, as those going on the weekends are more likely to be going with their family and taking more seats/tickets, and also are more likely to wish to avoid parking fees as they aren't going to be covered by employers/expense accounts, or otherwise have spaces made available to them.

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