News Wire: Brightline to begin private passenger rail service on Saturday

1290 views
14 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
Moderator
  • Member since
    January, 2011
  • From: Wisconsin
  • 888 posts
Posted by Brian Schmidt on Thursday, January 11, 2018 9:38 AM

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Finally: Brightline trains begin revenue runs on Saturday. The much anticipated and fought-about private passenger service slated to run on Florida East Coast Railway tracks begins Jan. 13 with an 8 a.m. departure from...

http://trn.trains.com/news/news-wire/2018/01/11-brightline

Brian Schmidt, Associate Editor Trains Magazine

  • Member since
    June, 2002
  • 13,787 posts
Posted by daveklepper on Saturday, January 13, 2018 12:48 PM

Hope a reader rides and posts his-her impressions.

  • Member since
    December, 2007
  • From: Georgia USA SW of Atlanta
  • 8,567 posts
Posted by blue streak 1 on Sunday, January 14, 2018 4:41 PM

 demand high probably persons trying it out ?  web site back in operation.             7t

  • Member since
    February, 2016
  • From: Texas
  • 818 posts
Posted by PJS1 on Tuesday, January 16, 2018 11:49 AM

My take on the news is that the train is now running between West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale.  When will the run be extended to Miami?

Rio Grande Valley, CFI,CFII

  • Member since
    September, 2010
  • 1,255 posts
Posted by Electroliner 1935 on Tuesday, January 16, 2018 4:58 PM

Here is a video of the first day.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lEMXsvKcHqg

Also:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4f25fc3HgIA

Wide aisles, quiet, seats look somewhat like Amtraks new ones. Nice restrooms. I hope this is succesful.

  • Member since
    September, 2014
  • 36 posts
Posted by Brian_Tampa on Tuesday, January 16, 2018 5:31 PM

I rode BrightGreen on Friday evening. The biggest impressions: very quiet and very smooth ride. Even when the doors between the cars opened, which was frequent, the sound level did not increase. I was in the select car next to the engine. Train horn was very quiet and no noise from the engine at all. Aisles are wide. Bathrooms are large and the areas at each end of the cars are very open and nothing like Amtrak. Also, the large windows provide a very good view as well.

  • Member since
    May, 2003
  • From: US
  • 13,890 posts
Posted by BaltACD on Tuesday, January 16, 2018 5:53 PM

Brian_Tampa
I rode BrightGreen on Friday evening. The biggest impressions: very quiet and very smooth ride. Even when the doors between the cars opened, which was frequent, the sound level did not increase. I was in the select car next to the engine. Train horn was very quiet and no noise from the engine at all. Aisles are wide. Bathrooms are large and the areas at each end of the cars are very open and nothing like Amtrak. Also, the large windows provide a very good view as well.

Aren't most of the communities between Ft. Lauderdale and WPB 'Quiet Zones'?  If the horn isn't sounded, it tends to be quiet!

         

Never too old to have a happy childhood!

  • Member since
    September, 2014
  • 36 posts
Posted by Brian_Tampa on Tuesday, January 16, 2018 6:18 PM

BaltACD

 

 

 
Brian_Tampa
I rode BrightGreen on Friday evening. The biggest impressions: very quiet and very smooth ride. Even when the doors between the cars opened, which was frequent, the sound level did not increase. I was in the select car next to the engine. Train horn was very quiet and no noise from the engine at all. Aisles are wide. Bathrooms are large and the areas at each end of the cars are very open and nothing like Amtrak. Also, the large windows provide a very good view as well.

 

Aren't most of the communities between Ft. Lauderdale and WPB 'Quiet Zones'?  If the horn isn't sounded, it tends to be quiet!

 

 

Quiet zones have not been implemented yet. The horn was constantly sounded for the 35 minute trip.

Edit: I think a lot of the reason for the quietness is because the trainset is integrated. Not loose cars. The vestibule area between the cars is sealed really good. I think Caltrans made the right decision by going with Brightline style integrated trainsets. The Midwest cars won't be as good as they could have been due to IDOT choosing loose cars.

  • Member since
    September, 2017
  • 226 posts
Posted by charlie hebdo on Tuesday, January 16, 2018 7:10 PM

Brian_Tampa

 

 
BaltACD

 

 

 
Brian_Tampa
I rode BrightGreen on Friday evening. The biggest impressions: very quiet and very smooth ride. Even when the doors between the cars opened, which was frequent, the sound level did not increase. I was in the select car next to the engine. Train horn was very quiet and no noise from the engine at all. Aisles are wide. Bathrooms are large and the areas at each end of the cars are very open and nothing like Amtrak. Also, the large windows provide a very good view as well.

 

Aren't most of the communities between Ft. Lauderdale and WPB 'Quiet Zones'?  If the horn isn't sounded, it tends to be quiet!

 

 

 

 

Quiet zones have not been implemented yet. The horn was constantly sounded for the 35 minute trip.

Edit: I think a lot of the reason for the quietness is because the trainset is integrated. Not loose cars. The vestibule area between the cars is sealed really good. I think Caltrans made the right decision by going with Brightline style integrated trainsets. The Midwest cars won't be as good as they could have been due to IDOT choosing loose cars.

 

That was a mistake.  European long distance trains are quieter than ours in terms of noise levels, not because of horn blowing.

  • Member since
    June, 2009
  • From: Dallas, TX
  • 3,050 posts
Posted by CMStPnP on Tuesday, January 16, 2018 7:43 PM

Brian_Tampa
The Midwest cars won't be as good as they could have been due to IDOT choosing loose cars.

The Midwest should have stuck with the bi-level design most of the passenger platforms in the Midwest are fairly short and the single level car design means someone will need to pay hundreds of millions to fix the passenger platform issue.   Additionally the bi-levels have higher passenger capacity.    This is what happens when you have politicians weighing in on decisions.    Getting the cars faster is more important than choosing the best car for the service.

  • Member since
    September, 2014
  • 36 posts
Posted by Brian_Tampa on Tuesday, January 16, 2018 9:07 PM

CMStPnP

 

 
Brian_Tampa
The Midwest cars won't be as good as they could have been due to IDOT choosing loose cars.

 

The Midwest should have stuck with the bi-level design most of the passenger platforms in the Midwest are fairly short and the single level car design means someone will need to pay hundreds of millions to fix the passenger platform issue.   Additionally the bi-levels have higher passenger capacity.    This is what happens when you have politicians weighing in on decisions.    Getting the cars faster is more important than choosing the best car for the service.

 

I appreciate your position on bilevels as that is what IDOT designed the Chicago-St Louis route for. However, IMO bilevels are not the best choice for 300 mile long trips. The Midwest bilevel decision was at its heart a compromise that was political in nature due to constraints in funding and selecting where the trains would stop.

Having been on the Brightline trainset, I guess I am impressed with the accessibility throughout the whole train and how open the trains are. My experience with bilevels has been that they are cramped and not very efficient with boarding/exiting due to the narrow stairs. Not sure why IDOT did not negotiate with UPRR to install bypass or gantlet tracks at each station in order to facilitate high level boarding. From what I have read, UPRR gained alot in the deal and perhaps IDOT should have asked for more than they received in the end.

  • Member since
    November, 2013
  • 815 posts
Posted by VOLKER LANDWEHR on Wednesday, January 17, 2018 4:33 AM

Brian_Tampa
The Midwest cars won't be as good as they could have been due to IDOT choosing loose cars.

The cars will be basically the same but different in details because of different specifications.

On Brightline trains the cars are semi-permanently coupled with a SC44 Charger at each end. IDOT trains will be conventionally coupled.

According to Siemens the Brightliner coaches are designed to be equipped alternatively with knuckle couplers.

 

From my German experience with ICE HSP trains and loose car HSP trains the different kind of connection doesn't make any difference.

Different track can make a great difference.
Regards, Volker

  • Member since
    June, 2009
  • From: Dallas, TX
  • 3,050 posts
Posted by CMStPnP on Wednesday, January 17, 2018 8:01 AM

Brian_Tampa
However, IMO bilevels are not the best choice for 300 mile long trips.

Perhaps not for 300 mile trips but the bi-levels were choosen for the entire Midwest HSR Consortium which includes trips longer than 300 miles, including Chicago to St. Paul (and possibly into the western burbs)......Chicago to Detroit (into the Northern burbs), etc.    Wisconsin has short platforms as well, so do some of the Chicago to Detroit stops.

" gantlet tracks at each station in order to facilitate high level boarding."

I am not an operations railroader from UPRR or any other railroad for that matter but you might want to inquire from one of them opinion on gantlet tracks they are viewed as inherently dangerous operational wise (accident prone) from my past reading on the subject and most passenger railroads view them as an item to eliminate if they exist.    I know from past reading they existed or still exist on the South Shore line and South Shore management does not or didn't like them and wanted to get rid of them and even had past accidents on them.    I can't see UPRR ever agreeing to installing gauntlet tracks on any of it's routes.

  • Member since
    November, 2013
  • 815 posts
Posted by VOLKER LANDWEHR on Wednesday, January 17, 2018 10:48 AM

Brian_Tampa
Not sure why IDOT did not negotiate with UPRR to install bypass or gantlet tracks at each station in order to facilitate high level boarding.

The Brightline cars are optimised for a platform height of 48'' and a distance of track centerline to platform edge of 73''. The freight plates are 128'' wide. With 9'' from plate edge to platform edge there shouldn't be the need for a gauntlet track.

If this can be kept when trap door are fitted I don't know.
Regards, Volker

  • Member since
    September, 2011
  • 3,615 posts
Posted by MidlandMike on Wednesday, January 17, 2018 10:26 PM

The brightline cars have extender plates that extend at the station.  The FEC freights roar by the platform at 60mph.  See yesterday's NewsWire.

Join our Community!

Our community is FREE to join. To participate you must either login or register for an account.

Search the Community

Newsletter Sign-Up

By signing up you may also receive occasional reader surveys and special offers from Trains magazine.Please view our privacy policy