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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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Portland officials have selected the next route for that city's light-rail system.

See the pics.

The route is a perfectly ordinary road.  Nothing special at all.  The rail will run down the middle of the road.  It will also include a 12 mile bike route.  

Not complicated stuff.

It is amazing how other cities just find  solutions.  Orlando officials, meanwhile, ring their hands and whine.  When they do make decisions, they are unattractive half-measures.

https://www.oregonlive.com/expo/news/erry-2018/08/ec30ba366f2435/portlands-next-light-rail-will.html#incart_river_mobile_index

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Frito Lay is building a 130m plant across Poinciana Blvd from the Poinciana station.   Another PepsiCo brand, Gatorade is already located just south of the station.

Combined it’s about 400 jobs within walking distance of the station.  They currently have a plant near College Park so that also bodes well if employees that live in that area have to relocate 

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3 minutes ago, Jernigan said:

Frito Lay is building a 130m plant across Poinciana Blvd from the Poinciana station.   Another PepsiCo brand, Gatorade is already located just south of the station.

Combined it’s about 400 jobs within walking distance of the station.  They currently have a plant near College Park so that also bodes well if employees that live in that area have to relocate 

The Frito-Lay plant at JYP and Silver Star Rd. opened when I was a kid. Going past it on the school bus in the morning you could smell potatoes cooking and also what smelled like burnt oranges from the juice plant across the road. Talk about an odd aroma.

The other cool thing at Frito-Lay was a mechanical ramp on the side that could lift an 18-wheeler at an angle to dump a trailer full of potatoes into the building for processing. I'd be a bit sad if it closes.

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10 hours ago, Jernigan said:

Frito Lay is building a 130m plant across Poinciana Blvd from the Poinciana station.   Another PepsiCo brand, Gatorade is already located just south of the station.

Combined it’s about 400 jobs within walking distance of the station.  They currently have a plant near College Park so that also bodes well if employees that live in that area have to relocate 

https://m.facebook.com/PositivelyOsceola/

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58 minutes ago, HankStrong said:

The more I read about it, the more a Southern extension towards Lakeland makes all the sense in the world.

I agree. It’s not very far and people commute to Orlando from there. I don’t understand the proposal for a Daytona link though. It’s a very far distance, which would require a much larger ridership to make successful than I think it will get.  To keep the frequency, many more train sets would need to be purchased.

 

I think an eventual Brightline station at Cape Canaveral will do the trick for a beach connection.

Edited by WAJAS98
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1 hour ago, HankStrong said:

The more I read about it, the more a Southern extension towards Lakeland makes all the sense in the world.

It makes all kinds of sense, but remember that Imperial Polk County (yep, that's the legal name) is one of the most conservative places in Florida. If you thought the Treasure Coast was grumpy, just wait 'till you bump up against the Polk crowd (remember that Lakeland was one of the prime opponents to the SunRail deal.)

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I thought it was Paula Dockery and I thought it was related to her husband missing out on some contract with his company.

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8 minutes ago, codypet said:

I thought it was Paula Dockery and I thought it was related to her husband missing out on some contract with his company.

Given that right now they're fighting a battle royal in Lakeland over allowing the height restriction to be increased to 70', I'll let you come to your own conclusions.

(Can you imagine our UP 70-story Vertical Medical City fanboys going to war with that crowd? It boggles the imagination...)

Edited by spenser1058

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2 hours ago, spenser1058 said:

It makes all kinds of sense, but remember that Imperial Polk County (yep, that's the legal name) is one of the most conservative places in Florida. If you thought the Treasure Coast was grumpy, just wait 'till you bump up against the Polk crowd (remember that Lakeland was one of the prime opponents to the SunRail deal.)

http://polktpo.com/docs/librariesprovider2/tpo/sunrail-feasibility-study.pdf?sfvrsn=4

Polk County already paid for a nice study for Sunrail expansion.  The real issue over there appears to be re-routing CSX freight out of downtown, which would be expensive to take care of.

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On 8/19/2018 at 8:22 AM, I am Reality said:

Portland officials have selected the next route for that city's light-rail system.

See the pics.

The route is a perfectly ordinary road.  Nothing special at all.  The rail will run down the middle of the road.  It will also include a 12 mile bike route.  

Not complicated stuff.

It is amazing how other cities just find  solutions.  Orlando officials, meanwhile, ring their hands and whine.  When they do make decisions, they are unattractive half-measures.

https://www.oregonlive.com/expo/news/erry-2018/08/ec30ba366f2435/portlands-next-light-rail-will.html#incart_river_mobile_index

This has nothing to do with SunRail. 

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2 minutes ago, gibby said:

http://polktpo.com/docs/librariesprovider2/tpo/sunrail-feasibility-study.pdf?sfvrsn=4

Polk County already paid for a nice study for Sunrail expansion.  The real issue over there appears to be re-routing CSX freight out of downtown, which would be expensive to take care of.

The question is not about the government but the pushback from the citizenry. The politicians on the Treasure Coast weren't fighting Brightline until the neighborhoods went nuclear. I'm not convinced the same thing won't happen in Polk (and, relatively speaking, Lakeland is more progressive than most other areas of the county.)

 

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