Author Topic: Brightline's prospects in Indiana (privately owned express passenger rail)  (Read 900 times)

Huckleberry

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https://itineranturbanist.wordpress.com/2017/03/14/the-brightline-model/

In this Itinerant Urbanist blog above, it talks about the July launch of Brightline passenger rail service in Florida, which will connect Miami to West Palm, and later with Orland. Brightline is the first privately owned company to develop and operate express passenger rail system since the early '80s. What's interesting is the blog's overview on what other potential markets could be ideal for Brightline that connect "mid-length corridors somewhere between 250 and 400 miles in length."

You can read the entire blog, but below were the mentions of possible Brightline service in Indiana ... his words, not mine ...

Hoosier State

"This is perhaps the most obvious candidate; despite the collapse of Iowa Pacific’s attempt at running the train five days per week, returns were good during their tenure, and Indiana remains obsessed with privatization. The biggest challenge is certainly infrastructural; the trip from Chicago to Indy is just so sloooowww and CSX, which owns much of the track used, is rarely a cooperative partner. That being said many of the rights-of-way used are very straight and suitable for high-speed running if a private investor thinks they’re worth sinking money into."

Chicago, Fort Wayne, and Eastern

"The arrow-straight former Pennsylvania Railroad mainline from Chicago into Indiana and Ohio is often mentioned as a strong candidate for passenger conversion; it is only tenuously necessary for freight service and is in fact leased from CSX to regional railroad CF&E at the moment. That being said CF&E’s rights end in the relative middle of nowhere in Ohio and Fort Wayne itself is a borderline candidate to be the sole terminus of a service operating under Brightline’s model. Access to larger cities in Ohio, such as Columbus or Cleveland, would almost certainly require working with a Class 1. And the line itself needs significant work. There are a lot of ifs here, but the line is in many ways the perfect 125 mph diesel corridor if they can be worked out."

Railfan9

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I would have to say if anyone would be able to do it BrightLine may be the best to have a go at it.

bn13814

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https://itineranturbanist.wordpress.com/2017/03/14/the-brightline-model/

In this Itinerant Urbanist blog above, it talks about the July launch of Brightline passenger rail service in Florida, which will connect Miami to West Palm, and later with Orlando.

Old article. Service between West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale began January 13 this year. The Miami extension begins this weekend, probably Saturday, May 20. I rode Brightline on April 26 and shot video trackside on April 27.

ckpcpqq

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Don't get your hopes up.  As the article points out, Brightline is in a "near-perfect situation in Florida–sharing track with a supportive parent freight company that is well-known for its fast, scheduled freights and high-quality infrastructure."

There's no such supportive parent for an Indiana route. 

scraphauler

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Florida is the perfect storm so to speak.  Large tourist attraction at south end. HUGE tourist attraction at other end.   Both very popular with Japanese tourists. Already own line from Miami to Cocoa. State providing right of way to Orlando.  Owner is huge developer in FLA, very well conected politically, 4th largest company in Japan and 38th largest company in world.  Again perfect storm.  And good for them. Glad to see it, will use it.  Live to see more of it. But dang hard to duplicate.
The opinions, views, and incoherent ramblings presented here do not necessarily represent the view point of any company I work for or own,  any logical thinking being, or even me.

rrnut282

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Let's not forget, Brightline is a property development company.  They are unique in using a train to make their property more valuable by its access to fast transportation.  The other riders are just gravy. 

Somebody needs to own large tracts of property at both ends and have money to build something useful to use Brighline's business model.  I don't know of anyone that fits that bill.  (BTW, the other secrets to their success also have to be in-place, too) 
rrnut2-8-2
(Mike)

mononradio

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Brightline in Indianapolis
« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2018, 03:53:58 PM »
Huge congestion issues in south Florida, and very little developable land left that is not Everglades, below flood levels, or off limits for other environmental reasons.  Can't build new highways, add more lanes, and pave over much more without displacing endangered species (humans included in that definition). 

Just mostly a thin ribbon strip down the coast where everything is at, with ocean on one side, and swamps on the other.  Population and growth 10X that of Indiana.  But like Indiana in one respect, an aging and increasingly more diverse population that would love to get rid of their automobiles if it were possible to get by without them.

Indiana does not have the disadvantage of being hemmed in by non-developable land or environmental barriers.  Developers will always find farmers willing to sell their outlying acreage in order to create more suburban sprawl, and lawmakers will convince the taxpayers that they should pay the infrastructure costs needed to enrich the developer.

Next most likely place for rail-based transit systems might be Texas, if the political situation can be overcome.  Big state, but becoming very congested in the metro areas.

Properly done though, money talks and BS walks.  TOD's (transit oriented developments) make all the difference in attracting private money.   Creating transit and commuter hubs is just a means of enhancing the value of otherwise underutilized land.

A perfect opportunity existed in connecting the Indianapolis airport with some form of rail-based transit.  Sadly, I did not see any mention of it in the grand plans announced a few days ago.

StateLine-IndianaCity

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Let's not forget, Brightline is a property development company.  They are unique in using a train to make their property more valuable by its access to fast transportation.  The other riders are just gravy. 

Somebody needs to own large tracts of property at both ends and have money to build something useful to use Brighline's business model.  I don't know of anyone that fits that bill.  (BTW, the other secrets to their success also have to be in-place, too)

Here's a blog that parallels your post: http://coldspringshops.blogspot.com/2018/05/development-oriented-transit.html