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Passenger Trains > M.E.Singer on Brightline, Virgin and Amtrak


Date: 12/06/18 08:55
M.E.Singer on Brightline, Virgin and Amtrak
Author: Lurch_in_ABQ

https://www.railwayage.com/passenger/intercity/mind-the-widening-gap-amtrak/
Singer's last paragraph: 
"...Frankly, as we see how the stars are now converging in such a favorable alignment, my sense is that by Amtrak’s 50th anniversary in 2021, Virgin Trains USA will be well on its way toward filling Amtrak’s gaps; competing with Amtrak on current corridors; and preparing to enter the national stage as a viable alternative to Amtrak’s despondent malaise, costly flying from regional into hub airports, and time-consuming driving."



Date: 12/06/18 10:05
Re: M.E.Singer on Brightline, Virgin and Amtrak
Author: Jishnu

Methinks he is dreamin' a lot. I will be happy if Brightline manages to start service between WPB and Orlando by the end of 2021.



Date: 12/06/18 10:09
Re: M.E.Singer on Brightline, Virgin and Amtrak
Author: cchan006

Lurch_in_ABQ Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> "...Frankly, as we see how the stars are now
> converging in such a favorable alignment, my
> sense is that by Amtrak’s 50th anniversary in
> 2021, Virgin Trains USA will be well on its way
> toward filling Amtrak’s gaps; competing with
> Amtrak on current corridors; and preparing to
> enter the national stage as a viable alternative
> to Amtrak’s despondent malaise, costly flying
> from regional into hub airports, and
> time-consuming driving."

Sounds like "legal" IPO hype to me.

I'm surprised YOU haven't made any snide humorous remarks about the whole thing. Frankly, I'm a little disappointed as I was looking foward to some snickering.



Date: 12/06/18 12:21
Re: M.E.Singer on Brightline, Virgin and Amtrak
Author: Lackawanna484

BrightLine is a very polished, but over staffed operation. It's very much the same as a Ritz-Carlton, people everywhere, eager to help.   On one trip, I counted 14 BL people in the West Palm Beach station. Greeters, ticket people, security gate staff, gift shop person, person restocking the first class lounge, platform people, etc.

MIA and FLL BL stations are similar, lots of people.



Date: 12/06/18 12:32
Re: M.E.Singer on Brightline, Virgin and Amtrak
Author: cchan006

Lackawanna484 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> BrightLine is a very polished, but over staffed
> operation. It's very much the same as a
> Ritz-Carlton, people everywhere, eager to help.  
> On one trip, I counted 14 BL people in the West
> Palm Beach station. Greeters, ticket people,
> security gate staff, gift shop person, person
> restocking the first class lounge, platform
> people, etc.
>
> MIA and FLL BL stations are similar, lots of
> people.

In the height of the Dot Com Hype, my colleagues and I had a pastime, where we drove-by the offices of companies getting ready to IPO during the lunch hour. Those companies had lots and lots of people hanging around the front entrance - lots of activity. The #1 motivation for us? Lots of young, attractive women in the crowd.

Once IPO happened, the activities ceased over time, and the young women disappeared. Seems Brightline/Virgin Trains is trying to repeat history.



Date: 12/06/18 12:37
Re: M.E.Singer on Brightline, Virgin and Amtrak
Author: Lackawanna484

I mentioned a few months ago that I thought BrightLine had cornered the market on good looking young people who seemed genuinely interested in hospitality.  I also mentioned the place was wildly overstaffed for the business they were doing.

Neither observation has changed after 10-12 rides on BL.



Date: 12/06/18 12:42
Re: M.E.Singer on Brightline, Virgin and Amtrak
Author: cchan006

Lackawanna484 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I mentioned a few months ago that I thought
> BrightLine had cornered the market on good looking
> young people who seemed genuinely interested in
> hospitality.  I also mentioned the place was
> wildly overstaffed for the business they were
> doing.
>
> Neither observation has changed after 10-12 rides
> on BL.

I made a comment about Virgin America in another thread, about the plane's "night club" atmosphere, and the great-looking attendants. Sorry to disappoint the critics, but the attendants were well-trained in their craft, so they weren't picked for their looks alone. So whether BL's "playbook" happened in relation to Sir Richard Branson or not, it is an interesting coincidence.



Date: 12/06/18 14:47
Re: M.E.Singer on Brightline, Virgin and Amtrak
Author: gbmott

I don’t see a lot of talk about where the money will come from for all the additional track he mentions or for commercial contracts with Class 1’s.  Also not sure about the vague reference to “open access”, 

Gordon



Date: 12/06/18 14:54
Re: M.E.Singer on Brightline, Virgin and Amtrak
Author: cchan006

gbmott Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I don’t see a lot of talk about where the money
> will come from for all the additional track he
> mentions or for commercial contracts with Class
> 1’s.  Also not sure about the vague reference
> to “open access”, 
>
> Gordon

And many of us not having and direct associations with the Brightline/Virgin IPO, we are allowed to discuss issuees like this, thank goodness.

Countless tech companies lost gobs of money during and after IPOs, and touted "revenue growth" as the engine for stock pricings. Wall St. has become calluous (and gullible) to this tactic, so I expect the same for this IPO. Let's see how good Brightline's management is, to take advantage of this opportunity for the good of passenger railroading. A government bailout as an end game won't bother me, depending on what they accomplish.



Date: 12/06/18 15:19
Re: M.E.Singer on Brightline, Virgin and Amtrak
Author: Lackawanna484

I believe Jishnu mentioned that BrightLine is doing some engineering in the Cocoa Beach area.

I haven't seen any work on the Jupiter or Stuart bridges.

Posted from Android



Date: 12/06/18 16:23
Re: M.E.Singer on Brightline, Virgin and Amtrak
Author: steamloco

I just hope they survive, I really like the service but t way too many employees. If they had service and good parking in Jacksonville that’s as far as I would drive in Florida because the Florida East Coast Railroad tracks goes through the center of every town on the east coast. You could make a vacation with different stops going down the line if you wanted.



Date: 12/07/18 07:24
Re: M.E.Singer on Brightline, Virgin and Amtrak
Author: abyler

Lurch_in_ABQ Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> https://www.railwayage.com/passenger/intercity/min
> d-the-widening-gap-amtrak/
> Singer's last paragraph: 
> "...Frankly, as we see how the stars are now
> converging in such a favorable alignment, my
> sense is that by Amtrak’s 50th anniversary in
> 2021, Virgin Trains USA will be well on its way
> toward filling Amtrak’s gaps; competing with
> Amtrak on current corridors; and preparing to
> enter the national stage as a viable alternative
> to Amtrak’s despondent malaise, costly flying
> from regional into hub airports, and
> time-consuming driving."

Flying is cheaper and safer than ever.

Driving outide the NYC, DC, LA, and SanFran areas has never been faster thanks to really interstate high speed limits and powerful cars.

No one will be competing with Amtrak on any corridors.  Virgin rail won't even be operating to Orlando yet.

Just the facts.



Date: 12/07/18 07:26
Re: M.E.Singer on Brightline, Virgin and Amtrak
Author: abyler

Lackawanna484 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I believe Jishnu mentioned that BrightLine is
> doing some engineering in the Cocoa Beach area.
>
> I haven't seen any work on the Jupiter or Stuart
> bridges.

We did that engineering 4 years ago.  Its done.

That tells you a lot about the state of the project's finances that they haven't turned a lick of dirt along the Beeline or built a single stick of track north of West Palm Beach.



Date: 12/07/18 07:29
Re: M.E.Singer on Brightline, Virgin and Amtrak
Author: Jishnu

Frankly completing Phase 2 to Orlando and building out to Tampa, and making a viable business of it, is what will make or break them. The Vegas thing will happen only if the Florida thing flies (in a manner of speaking). The rest is just people's fertile imagination running wild.

My speculation is Brightline will not touch any corridor where they cannot potentially fill at least ten round trips a day, and have significant dispatching control. But of course, we'll see.



Date: 12/07/18 07:31
Re: M.E.Singer on Brightline, Virgin and Amtrak
Author: Lackawanna484

abyler Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Lackawanna484 Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > I believe Jishnu mentioned that BrightLine is
> > doing some engineering in the Cocoa Beach area.
> >
> > I haven't seen any work on the Jupiter or
> Stuart
> > bridges.
>
> We did that engineering 4 years ago.  Its done.
>
> That tells you a lot about the state of the
> project's finances that they haven't turned a lick
> of dirt along the Beeline or built a single stick
> of track north of West Palm Beach.

I've mentioned from time to time that real estate development drives the rail project, not the other way around.  Nothing so far changes my mind on that.



Date: 12/07/18 07:34
Re: M.E.Singer on Brightline, Virgin and Amtrak
Author: Duna

Lackawanna484 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> abyler Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > Lackawanna484 Wrote:
> >
> --------------------------------------------------
>
> > -----
> > > I believe Jishnu mentioned that BrightLine is
> > > doing some engineering in the Cocoa Beach
> area.
> > >
> > > I haven't seen any work on the Jupiter or
> > Stuart
> > > bridges.
> >
> > We did that engineering 4 years ago.  Its
> done.
> >
> > That tells you a lot about the state of the
> > project's finances that they haven't turned a
> lick
> > of dirt along the Beeline or built a single
> stick
> > of track north of West Palm Beach.
>
> I've mentioned from time to time that real estate
> development drives the rail project, not the other
> way around.  Nothing so far changes my mind on
> that.

Exactly. It's always been this way. The Pacific Electric being a prime example. The real money was in real estate, trains (from horsecars on) were just part of the marketing plan.



Date: 12/07/18 07:35
Re: M.E.Singer on Brightline, Virgin and Amtrak
Author: Lackawanna484

Jishnu Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Frankly completing Phase 2 to Orlando and building
> out to Tampa, and making a viable business of it,
> is what will make or break them. The Vegas thing
> will happen only if the Florida thing flies (in a
> manner of speaking). The rest is just people's
> fertile imagination running wild.
>
> My speculation is Brightline will not touch any
> corridor where they cannot potentially fill at
> least ten round trips a day, and have significant
> dispatching control. But of course, we'll see.

I agree with that.  Getting the matter in Stuart / Martin County resolved goes a way toward loosening the restrictions.  If they can get Indian River County (Vero Beach, etc) squared away, that should relieve the last governmental obstacle.

The recent election was noteworthy in that Rep Brian Mast (R-18) was re-elected over an opponent who also advocated a "go slow" approach on BrightLine. Mr Mast has been a vocal opponent of the railroad.



Date: 12/07/18 10:18
Re: M.E.Singer on Brightline, Virgin and Amtrak
Author: Jishnu

I think Mast will keep busy with Lake O matters and will only spend minimal time on Brightline. The former is a much biggere threat to everyone in South Florida anyway.



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