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» RAILforum » Passenger Trains » Amtrak » All Aboard Florida Happenings (Page 2)

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Author Topic: All Aboard Florida Happenings
DonNadeau
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Thank you.

All Aboard Florida wasn't kidding about the bright. Nice attractive livery that will get attention, as did Santa Fe's with its warbonnet, etc.

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Gilbert B Norman
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Siemens is well positioned to be a contender when Amtrak lets a 500 car A-III order. Something tells me they bid on the AAF order at at a 500 car rate simply to get in the running for that 500 car order Amtrak will have to place soon enough - or shut the NECorridor down.

Those AAF cars could well end up in Amtrak livery themselves.

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Gilbert B Norman
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From Best Western, Marion Il--

A little bedtime reading:

http://floridapolitics.com/archives/230723-orlando-building-train-station-not-sure-trains-will-arrive

Looks like the Airport Authority likes to dig things up. Nevermind a train.

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palmland
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I still wonder why Brightland doesn't provide a stop in the Fort Pierce / Jupiter area. That is a fast growing area and the NIMBY's would change their tune if they could get a fast train to the MCO terminal.

While the Washington players have changed, I'd think this is exactly the kind of thing the Administration would support if not champion.

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DonNadeau
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I also believe that the Orlando extension is exactly the type of project that would interest the president.

As a candidate President Trump mentioned transportation infrastructure many times.

AAF positives >

1) The president has not spent his life car-centric environment (far more it).
2) As a private entity AFF does not add another layer of government, and
3) At least once an infrastructure initiative helps pay for West Palm Beach - Orlando construction. the future of AAF seems financially viable.

In my opinion, any infrastructure initiative depends on strong Democratic support. Representative Mica may have been vanished in defeat, but his spirit lives on.

I just can't imagine enough Republicans supporting infrastructure spending before seeing such things as a lower tax rate for corporations repatriating foreign profits to the U.S. bring in enough tax revenue to support an infrastructure initiative without adding to the national debt.

On the other hand, politicians--Democrat and Republican--love pork for their districts.

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Gilbert B Norman
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From Holiday Inn Macon

AAF is likely to have to throw a bone or two to Martin, St Lucie, Indian River and Brevard with stops - not all trains but one or two a day.

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Gilbert B Norman
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From Holiday Inn Express Boca Raton (actually Waiting Room JM Lexus Margate; routine 45K)--

All I can say is quite the resemblance to OBB (Austria) RailJet equipment.

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Gilbert B Norman
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From "First and Third" Miami--

OK; I will concede that there is rail related infrastructure a building here. I have photos, but do not belong to any photo sharing site. So if someone wants to step up and help, i.e. someone at a photo sharing site, I'll gladly forward the photos to wherever you say.

But whenever I get the photos posted through someone's photo site, you will quickly see they aren't going to run any train out of there this July.

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Gilbert B Norman
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The inside scoop (literally)

Be sure to review the video of the "Dog and Pony Show" held for the media.

Indidentially, the second train, Pink, left Siemens this past Monday:

https://youtu.be/uySrVq3QWMo

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Vincent206
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Good to see a shot of the Charger locos for the Cascades trains.
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palmland
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Great video, GBN. What struck me is how can Brightline develop a whole new train with features superior to Amtrak and have it up and running in, I guess, at least half the time of the struggling viewliners?

Imagine, seat selection when you purchase tickets, plentiful connectivity for electronic gadgets, bike storage in your car, window shades that work, improved tray tables, and wide aisles. People might actually ride it!

I wouldn't be surprised to see them announce plans to go to Tampa at some point. Meanwhile, I see Amtrak will finally get into the new Miami stations:

MIC station

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Gilbert B Norman
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If what is seen is indicative of what Siemens can build, let's hope they are in the running for "the prize" from Amtrak.

Also, here is a video which is enjoyable as a whole, but most ominous is how this kid closes starting at 42:00.

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DonNadeau
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Yikes. NIMBY at its finest.

From Trains (link wouldn't work if you don't subscribe) & copyright issues prevent me from copying entire article. Bold is my emphasis.

"Bills introduced in Florida’s House and Senate would require the Florida Department of Transportation to create a new state bureaucracy “to regulate railroads where not federally pre-empted” — an effort which appears aimed at All Aboard Florida’s Brightline passenger service.

"The legislation, proposed by lawmakers representing the 'Treasure Coast' area north of West Palm Beach, would add liability, funding, and reporting obligations for railroads operating trains above 80 mph, and give any community the ability to dictate train speeds through its town."

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yukon11
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More:

https://is.gd/phmDf0

Have the politicians debated, yet, what the paint scheme should be?

Richard

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DonNadeau
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Such a forceful and knowledgeable comment by M.E. Singer.

That provides the basis for a great PR campaign, as well as a lawsuit.

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Gilbert B Norman
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Well volks, the slippage continues:

https://therealdeal.com/miami/2017/07/01/all-aboard-florida-delays-brightline-launch/

Fair Use:

  • All Aboard Florida has delayed the startup of its Brightline passenger train service.
    The Brightline service had been scheduled to start between Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach in August and to include service to Miami in September.
    All Aboard Florida now expects to hold a grand opening for its Brightline rail service sometime in fall.
    The service is expected to extend from South Florida to Orlando by 2019

The landscape is a might bit different than when the program was announced, as both the railroad over which AAF were to operate were one in same. Now the railroad is owned by Mexican interests, and AAF remains owned by the "shell" remaining of FEC Industries.

The Treasure Coast opposition has hardly been appeased, and the ability to obtain financing for the West Palm-Cocoa segment - let alone the new ROW into McCOy, is hardly done deal - especially since Fortress - now owned by Japanese interests - has no connection anymore with either the railroad or AAF.

I think even the optimists must accept that there are storm clouds ahead - and I think anyone knows "it hasn't a prayer" as some kind of Miami-WP "Super Shuttle".

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daniel3197
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Thank you Gilbert for you very informed and wise update on AAF--Brightline. I say start a new run of the Brightline cars--equipment by Siemens in Sacramento CA . This would finally give us in California more needed equipment for Amtrak California standard rail services. This Brightline stock is real equipoment that has been delivered now and meets ALL current safety standards in 2017.

A very interesting topic to follow for us California passenger railfans.
---Daniel

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Gilbert B Norman
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Daniel, I hold that contractual negotiations with FEC's new owner, Groupo Mexico, are hardly a done deal.

First in comparison with Amtrak, they do not have the law of the land on their side. The Amtrak member roads are mandated under RPSA 70 to negotiate in good faith over access for routes and frequencies. At the advocacy comminity must have wondered just how much "good faith" was shown when the "laundry lists" were presented by the roads for routes and frequencies mandated under PRIIA 08, and none of such were ever challenged.

There is no such law of the land, and no such bi-lateral treaty in place to compel Groupo to "come to the table". I hold there is no assurance they even want to. For all we know, Groupo does not consider AAF any kind of "must have", and is seeking to."cut losses" before they are dug in any deeper.

It is an ominous note to me how the several local agencies - all badly needing additional equipment - have "higgled and piggled" over placing the two Talgo sets into revenue service. If the Siemens rail equipment I have ridden overseas over the past three years - and what I'll ride next month (I detest outdoor concerts; too many distractions, so to get my "Summer Fix", I have to go either to New York for Mostly Mozart or to Salzburg for the Festival), is quality equipment - and the only negative I have is excessive "groaning" when moving through turnouts or around sharp curves. All told if AAF is stillborn, or flops after the MIA-WPB segment is inaugurated, I cannot be sure there will be a ready market for the surplus equipment.

And a final thought, lest we forget that Mexico is a land where passenger trains, save two routes that are best considered excursions, are extinct. When US roads made investments in the State owned rail system, the private sector investors laid a non negotiable condition.on the table - no more passenger trains; and don't even THINK of a "Mextrak". Needless to say, trains such as the "El Regiomontano", El Tapatio" and "Aguila Azteca" - all of which I rode - have vamanosed.

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Gilbert B Norman
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Before this topic gets banished to the archives, here is an update from the objective Cox Enterprises' Palm Beach Post and, to me, their insightful Business reporter:

http://www.mypalmbeachpost.com/business/brightline-west-palm-miami-year-end/4gFiNtGTUAXyOHcjqnHAzI/

Fair Use:
  • All Aboard Florida’s Brightline passenger train service will start carrying passengers between West Palm Beach and Miami by the end of the year, offering introductory fares and “buy-one-get-one free” offers to entice commuters to ride.

    Brightline had said the first leg of its service was expected to start service in late summer, with a grand opening ceremony expected to be held in the fall. But during a tour of the company’s sprawling MiamiCentral station on Monday, Brightline’s CEO Dave Howard said trains will begin carrying passengers later this year.

    The exact schedule is expected to be released in the coming weeks, and ticket prices will be announced about 10 days before service begins, company officials said.

    “No one has done this in more than 100 years,” Howard said of the company’s plan to return passenger train service to Henry Flagler’s historic railroad corridor. “There really is no template. We want a safe and successful launch
Unlike Gannett's Treasure Coast Newspapers, the Post does not appear to be the "house organ" for the "anti-AAF" factions to the North, but at this time, it appears the August "launch" date is quickly sliding by. Possibly they are holding out for a Miami-WP "launch", but either way, they will have a Miami-WP "Super Shuttle" that, let's be honest, "hasn't a prayer".

WP-McCOy continues to be set back; I will get no personal "I told you so" satisfaction, as I would have definitely taken a "bumper post to bumper post" joyride.

That the railroad and FECI, AAF'S parent, are now owned by Mexican and Japanese interests respectively "hardly helps the cause". Likewise the "in the B's" financing is hardly a "slam dunk". Use FECI's "pot of Gold" from selling the railroad forAAF? Sorry folks, "we don't do it that way no more". "Debt free is for sissies and makes you ripe for a takeover."

While extending Tri-Rail to Miami Central makes a lot of sense (even if the existing airport service will have to be "rationalized"), that won't happen so long as AAF operates MIA-WPB.

All told, I think the AAF end game will be a B-School case study. I think there will be many an avenue for students to analyze "what went wrong".

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Gilbert B Norman
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Mcclatchy's Miami Herald has a recent wide ranging AAF article:

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/business/real-estate-news/article165962727.html

Takeaways:

Good video of Miami Central construction (not going to handle a passenger train anytime soon).

A test train has now operated into Miami -photo of such at "Zika scare" Wynwood Art District 36th St N.

No "launch" of service this month - think "Christmas present".

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Gilbert B Norman
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AAF's favorite columnist is at 'em again!!

I've been saying from the start that a stop in each of the three Treasure Coast counties would have gone a long way to "make the medicine go down".

Even without TC opposition, AAF has two strikes against it. Sale of the Railrway to Mexican interests, Industries to Japanese. Financing hardly a "slam dunk". Guarantee if all they do get up and running is MIA-WPB, "it hasn't a prayer".

But when I "come on down" during February, if anything's running, I'll take a joyride

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Gilbert B Norman
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I'd guess this material means AAF plans to run a simulation today with however many trains they plan for still unannounced "opening day".

Additionally, I've learned that AAF is planning to build a station at Cocoa-Rockledge, Brevard County. To me, if there is any foundation to this, means that AAF is compromising their business plan seeing a need to offer intermediate stops (others I'd bet would be Stuart in Martin County, Fort Pierce in St. Lucie, and Vero Beach in Indian River) or they realize that the Bee Line into MCO is a "non happen" and the best they can hope for is a bus operating along the Expressway.

Finally, it looks like my '18 Florida trip will be limited to a two nighter in Miami for a Cleveland Orchestra concert (Mahler's 9th) last weekend of January. It will be a fly down and back with no car rental. Looks like an AAF joyride will not be until '19 - if it's still running, instead of "suspended until full completion". I could conceivably do a "drive down" during March without going to the $350ni Marriott (a $185ni Express in Boca as destination), and should I (maybe a concert up at Kravis in WPB) do so, I'll of course work in a joyride. Again, let me reiterate I am not opposed to AAF; just skeptical.

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Gilbert B Norman
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Tronc's Sun Sentinel, normally a mite bit more upbeat than the columnists that write for Gannett's "Treasure" up the line, does a bit of opinionating regarding the public nuisance Brightline's "sim" will create within their reporting of the event:

https://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/transportation/fl-reg-brightline-test-runs-20171205-story.html

Fair Use:
  • South Florida drivers will face something new in traffic this week: Brightline high-speed passenger trains will be running up to 20 times per day between Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach.

    These are test runs for training crews, so no passengers will be aboard.

    Brightline officials have said service between the new Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach train stations would begin before the end of the year and service to the MiamiCentral station would be added early in the new year.

    No exact start date or ticket pricing has been revealed.
For the "sim", the many X-ings are being guarded by sworn peace officers. Once regular operations start, that Law Enforcement presence cannot be expected to be maintained. Safe bet is somebody will get "clipped".

Finally, the video clip is saying 2020 for "all the way".

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Vincent206
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Cascades trains have been testing on the soon-to-be-opening Lakewood Bypass since summer. It's given the communities a chance to get used to the trains and, so far, I haven't seen reports of any collisions or accidents with the trains. But inevitably, someone is going to get crunched by a train and the lead story on every local TV newscast will be focused on the accident.
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Gilbert B Norman
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I'm certain the pro-AAF contingency around here disagrees with this Cox Palm Beach Post columnist, but for the vast majority of Gold Coast residents, who must X the FEC (I was horrified once at a train of theirs doing at least 60 near an entertainment "strip" in Delray Beach), and have no intention of using AAF, their sentiments could well be portrayed here:

http://www.mypalmbeachpost.com/staff/frank-cerabino

Fair Use Quotation:
  • I’ve got to hand it to the people at Brightline. They’ve come up with a brilliant move: Simulated train service. I can’t wait to be sitting at a Florida East Coast Railway train crossing in my car waiting for the big moment. Will it be one of those soul-crushing, three-engine freight trains that go on for miles and sometimes slow to a crawl?
As I noted earlier, my now committed Florida trip will be a two nighter "fly down and back" to Miami for a Cleveland Orchestra concert last weekend in January. So there will be no time to reasonably work in a joyride if AAF is running. But who knows, I just might plan a second trip staying at a "perfectly nice" Express in Boca (Turnpike and Glades), and with an auto (my own or rented), a joyride would be "doable".
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Gilbert B Norman
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Here's a video taken under "sim" conditions:

https://youtu.be/OVJOPlrCLTU

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DonNadeau
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> "I've been saying from the start that a stop in each of the three Treasure Coast counties would have gone a long way to "make the medicine go down".

I totally agree. Why the inflexibility? How long could three or so extra stops take? AAF doesn't even have to have every train stop at each. Amtrak doesn't have every Acela stop at the same stations. Baltimore yes. Princeton Junction no.

> "Guarantee if all they do get up and running is MIA-WPB, 'it hasn't a prayer'".

Again totally agree. Due to sheer number of tourists alone Miami and Orlando are ideal for frequent high-speed service.

Due in part to its low population and commercial density Palm Beach County travelers will likely choose cars over rail.

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Gilbert B Norman
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The Cox Palm Beach Post reports that AAF is looking to a State economic development agency, the Florida Development Finance Corporation , for the financing needed to complete the AAF project

Sure seems like $600M, let alone $1.2B, is a bit more than this FDFC agency has chewed upon in the past. Review the list of recent projects they have been involved with and you'll see most have been within the NFP sector - and $8M is a "bigun" for them. The use of the term "Revenue Bonds" implies that there is no guarantor beyond the revenue that AAF - a subsidiary of a subsidiary - can generate.

I guess they can oversee the issue of Private Activity Bonds under IRC Sec 141(a).

Going to this agency seems to me a "grandstand play". If there is so much expectation [Razz] [Razz] that this venture will generate a fair return, then why hasn't parent company Softbank reached in to their pocket and pulled out some loose ¥.

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Did some Googling about SoftBank, and learned, to my surprise, that it is the third largest public company in Japan! Only Toyota and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial are bigger. I had never heard of SoftBank until Gil mentioned it.

And I also learned that SoftBank is into telecommunications and computers, and almost nothing else. Buying AAF is thus, to me, really, rally odd.

And, as I have said many times here and on other forums, no one can ever really "make money" operating passenger trains, because we passengers -- NOT "customers", please! -- are very expensive to transport, because we need a lot of things that freight never needs:

Air
Water
Food
BATHROOMS!
Seats
Windows
HVAC
Smooth ride
On-board crew
Dependable schedules
Stations with everything passenger railcars have

All of the above costs a lot of money. And it is wrong to count only operating costs and to ignore capital costs when stating what passenger trains cost to operate.

To me, AAF would only make sense if it is a commuter operation, serving people who need to go between their homes and their jobs as their "anchor tenants" if you will. What I do not know is where the present-day demand is for transit that AAF could serve quite well, if the services went where people needed to go. And it is not rocket science to learn where that demand is.

In thinking about this today, I compared AAF to the Northern California Capital Corridor service, which runs between San Jose and Auburn now, but at first ran only between Oakland and Sacramento.
That service is very successful. But! Unlike AAF, the Capitol Corridor trains operate on a line that is owned by a Class 1 railroad and has been operating for more than 100 years, and has been double-track for a long time. And Oakland and Sacramento are only around 70 miles apart by air and 90 miles apart by rail.

But Miami and Orlando are almost 3 times as far apart by air as are Oakland and Sacramento, and around 2-1/2 times as far apart by rail as are Oakland and Sacramento.

So -- doing the math shows me that it really makes no economic sense at all to try to run a passenger train service between Miami and Orlando, at least not unless there is profitable freight business between Miami and Orlando. (This could conceivably include a reborn RPO service, but that would have to happen nationally first. And would that really be a bad idea? )

Yes, I know -- AAF is only intended to run between Miami and West Palm Beach, which are about 65 miles apart by rail, which is a quite practical distance for a commuter rail service, but Orlando did get talked about here as a destination that some people think is the best end-point for AAF. That is why I wrote about Orlando as the true intended end point for AAF.

Trains run on private rights of way -- which are just about worth their weight in gold, when it comes to being able to get places without having to drive and sometimes getting stuck in traffic. Rail transport is also a lot more efficient than road, and is a lot more practical and fairer to people economically.

I am very interesting in what happens next with AAF.

Thanks, everyone, for all your fascinating comments!

And thanks, Gil, for keeping these TrainWeb forums alive and interesting. I always look forward to whatever info you have found.

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Gilbert B Norman
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http://www.miamitodaynews.com/2017/12/05/brightline-rail-service-bonds-get-noninvestment-grade/

Fair Use:
  • The startup luxury Brightline rail service that is now expected to link Miami with West Palm Beach by the end of March 2018 has received a non-investment grade rating on about $600 million in revenue bonds that are to be issued by the Florida Development Finance Corp. on behalf of the line’s owners.

    Fitch Ratings, which was hired by owner All Aboard Florida-Operations to rate the bonds, last week initially rated the bonds BB-, contingent on the final pricing of the bonds.

    Fitch said the bonds’ relatively low grade “reflects Brightline’s standing as a new-market, US luxury rail project that exhibits uncertain demand and revenue generation potential.” The service also pointed to the uncertain nature of the market’s “willingness to pay” for the luxury rail as opposed to use of passenger cars.
I think we should note that, first, you'll never catch me with any of those bonds in MY portfolio (I took "a little bathing" with a Lehman Brothers that was AA when I bought it, but we all know how that turned out), and secondly, if an issue of $600M doesn't have the "seal of approval" from a rating agency, good luck floating the $1.2B needed to go."all the way".
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Gilbert B Norman
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"Five Days and a Wake-up" - Tick, Tock, Tick Tock.

As I've previously noted at this discussion, and forgive if I reiterate previous points, I am not opposed to AAF; just skeptical. That a major rating agency has labeled one debt security issue of $600M as "junk", I wish them luck with their $1.2B. That the issues will qualify as "Private Activity" and hence are Exempt from Federal Income Tax, does not mean there is anything beyond the revenue AAF generates to meet the debt service. Now selling - "floating" - them becomes a new ball game. Sure in their Executive Suite they can talk about "a low B" rating meaning 5% today. That could well be their coupon rate. But what if the Market says that this "junk" with its "C" rating is only good for a 7.5% effective interest rate? that means the $1.8B face would only raise about $1.0B - and for that, they'd just be back for more, and the chance AAF will ever be a private sector enterprise obviated.

I think that with the railroad now sold to Mexican interests and AAF's parent, FECI, sold to Japanese, is simply complicating matters. Who says that these foreign entities have the interest in this "just might make it" venture that the one entity there when the project was first announced during '12 apparently had. FtL-W Palm "hasn't a prayer" and the best it could be is an employee training ground. Even a Miami-W Palm "Super Shuttle" I doubt has much expectation of success. Maybe, just maybe, McCoy-Miami could make a go of it, but simply "making book" with the farebox (the measurement Amtrak thinks "they're almost there") is not what private enterprise expects. The foreign ownership of both entities makes it unlikely they could ever expect a public subsidy such as a guarantee on the debt service.

These "any day now" announcements just further my skepticism.

At first, I thought AAF was a "fatten the steer" ploy to sell the railroad to the State, as they are the greatest "party in interest" to ensure the JAX Gateway remains open. Any other major East Coast port has two railroads serving it; the maritime industry does not enjoy being at the mercy of one road, which would be the case for the Florida ports if either CSX or NS got its hands on the FEC. On that point, I was evidently mistaken.

At this time, AAF's "bailout costs" are minimal. I'm certain that either a Local rail passenger agency or Amtrak themselves would take the Siemens locomotives and cars, and I'm certain Miami Central will be a going concern with or without AAF. If Neo-PANAMAX traffic is to grow for the Florida ports, then the double tracking that's been done along the Gold Coast will be put to use. The Shops are little more than a metal shell over a "pit stop" as I'm sure any "heavies" would be contracted out. The real "White Elephants" will be the two station structures at FTL and WPB. If they remain standing, they will be monuments to a business plan that went amok and B-School's will have as a case study for a long time to come.

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palmland
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Some positive news. Service to West Palm will start Jan. 8, sooner than the March date discussed earlier. No date for Miami but work towards Orlando to begin in 2018.

Brightline start up

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Gilbert B Norman
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Looks like it will be a "wait until next year (2019)" for me.

I'm going to Miami end of January, but it will be a fly in Saturday, no rented car, fly back Monday. This to attend a Cleveland Orchestra concert Saturday night. Sunday is free, but I think "a bit much" to ride Metro Rail to the Airport, Tri Rail to W Palm, joyride to FtL, and reverse route.

I guess along the lines of an alternative, it could be Mover-Metro-Tri Rail to Ft. Lauderdale, walk 2.1 miles East along Broward Blvd (might be hazardous to your health) to 2nd Ave NE where the AAF station is (Mr. Google already knows), joyride to W Palm and reverse route back to Miami 16th and N. Bayshore. A two mile walk is "something I do every day".

Finally, and even if they offer introductory freebies, will anyone show up to ride other than the railfan and curiosity seeker crowd?

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Tick Tock....

Four days to go.

No fares, no schedules.

Tick Tock....

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palmland
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It is strange tickets aren’t for sale. But, as late as last week it sounds like it’s still on for Jan. 8.
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AAF has run some non-revenue training runs early this week. Here is reporting from Cox Palm Beach Post and their "heads up" business reporter, who to this admitted "newssnob" is as good as they come in Mid-Market journalism, on the apparently imminent "launch".

I'm pleased that they chose to invite the President of the FEC Historical Society for the employee training runs.

Me on the list? "don't think so".

Tick Tock....Four days left in the "week of Jan 8" to announce fares, schedules, and for that matter the Launch.

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Vincent206
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Let's let Brightline take its time to fully train its staff and be completely prepared for the opening. Amtrak's recent history shows what can happen when training is rushed to meet a deadline.
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I couldn't agree more with your immediate thought, Mr. Vincent.

The whole "saga of Brightline" is starting to resemble a "countdown" that the Canadian National had during their '60's passenger train initiative with UAC Turbos. Every day they were running newspaper ads "10 days until Turbo"...Finally the inauguration day (that's Launch in newspeak) was there - and a set of conventional equipment was there for the run. When they finally did run them, there were reports of the trains being rescued by locomotives. The CN eventually sold the sets to Amtrak, but guess what? One of 'em derailed during delivery resulting in a "total".

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Allow me to be first to note AAF has now announced an inaugural date - This coming Saturday, January 13:

Here is reporting by Jennifer Sorentrue at the Palm Beach Post who in, again, this admitted "newssnob's" opinion is the best of the bunch reporting on this "saga".

Fair Use (startup):
  • ...will launch introductory service on its passenger trains on Saturday , with round-trip fares starting at $20 for rides between its stations in Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach.

    During the week, the company plans to run 10 round-trip trains a day between the two cities. There will be nine round-trip trains on the weekends.

    Trains will depart as early as 6 a.m. and as late as 11 p.m. The schedules will differ between weekdays and weekends, Brightline said.

    Introductory “Try Our Train Fares” will be $10 each way for a seat in one of Brightline’s Smart Service cars. One-way tickets for a Select Service seat will cost $15, the company said
However, Ms. Sorentrue reports that there remains no resolution of the Quiet Zone matter. The thought of apparently twenty more trains a day blowing at the 200 some X-ings WILL cause disruptions in a lot of people's lives.

Fair Use (QZ):
  • ...But as Brightline prepares for its launch, the company continues to draw criticism from some longtime supporters of the project who are upset that it didn’t make good on a promise to create a continuous quiet zone to silence train horns along its route.

    The zone will run from 15th Street in West Palm Beach south to the county line. It will silence the horns of both Brightline’s trains and freight locomotives that travel along the FEC tracks
Of interest, has Broward enacted a QZ ordinance? My Father will be yelling from his grave if they haven't - even if such is in Tuxedo Park, NY.

Finally, here is the AAF website, which at this time appears to be a work in progress:

https://gobrightline.com

Posts: 8586 | From: Clarendon Hills, IL USA (BNSF Aurora Sub MP 18.71) | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Gilbert B Norman
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Here is a message I sent to the Palm Beach Post reporter that I believe is "the best of the bunch" reporting on AAF affairs:
  • May I commend you, Ms. Sorentrue.

    I have been following the "Brightline Saga" since it was first announced during 2012. Admittedly I have been and still remain highly skeptical of this initiative and have shared thoughts at several discussion sites, I am glad to see they are inaugurating service in time for my annual journey "down below" (I reside in the Chicago area). Here is one discussion site, at which I post using my given name, and where thoughts have been shared by both hobbyists and those who are or have been employed within the railroad industry:

    http://www.railforum.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi/topic/11/7971.html

    But with the above having been said, I have found your reporting of AAF affairs to be the most objective and informative of any of the South Florida publications covering the story. Thank you for your continued efforts.

    Gilbert B Norman

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