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Brightline/Virgin Trains USA

bpiper

Well-Known Member
Interesting article in the Sentinel on an innovated construction technique used for the 3rd time in the USA but used widely elsewhere to minimize road closure time.

Brightline’s track construction pushes train tunnel under Orlando’s Goldenrod Road

By Kevin Spear

Orlando Sentinel |

Sep 17, 2020 at 5:17 AM



Brightline jack-box tunnel installation


Brightline jack-box tunnel installation
A worker checks out the excavation below Goldenroad Road in Orlando during the installation of a unique jack-driven box tunnel for the Brightline Trains route being built from Orlando International Airport to South Florida, Friday, September 11, 2020. The pre-cast, box-jack system is only the third of its kind used in the U.S. and reduces construction time from nearly a year to just a few weeks. (Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel) (Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel)


The multibillion-dollar job of building track from Orlando to South Florida for Brightline’s high-speed passenger rail has been earthshaking.
Or so it seemed in Orlando recently at one of the most unique and surprising construction works in the nation.

“You feel that? We are moving,” said Scott Gammon, Brightline’s senior vice president for construction. “We are riding 6,000 tons.”

He was standing in the middle of Goldenrod Road just south of the Beachline Expressway near the northeast corner of Orlando International Airport. Beneath his boots was a slab of concrete that was the top of a box being pushed into place by hydraulic jacks.

That box, to serve as a tunnel for a pair of Brightline tracks, is 272 feet long, 30 feet tall and 43 feet wide. It weighs 13,748,194 pounds, or nearly as much as 393,000 concrete blocks, which, if stacked on top of each other, would tower 49 miles high.

Concrete tunnels usually are big and heavy. What’s different about the one at Goldenrod is that it was built on a temporary construction yard. It was then slid, despite its mammoth heft, nearly the length of a football field to a permanent position a few feet beneath the road’s surface, all to significantly reduce construction time.

Workers watch the excavation below Goldenroad Road in Orlando during the installation of a unique jack-driven box tunnel for the Brightline Trains route being built from Orlando International Airport to South Florida, Friday, September 11, 2020. The pre-cast, box-jack system is only the third of its kind used in the U.S. and reduces construction time from nearly a year to just a few weeks. (Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel)


Workers watch the excavation below Goldenroad Road in Orlando during the installation of a unique jack-driven box tunnel for the Brightline Trains route being built from Orlando International Airport to South Florida, Friday, September 11, 2020. The pre-cast, box-jack system is only the third of its kind used in the U.S. and reduces construction time from nearly a year to just a few weeks. (Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel) (Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel)

The massive box nosed forward in eighth-inch pulses, reluctantly urged into motion by 20 jacks able to propel a combined 12,000 tons. Optimal cruising speed was 3 feet an hour.

An Italian firm, Petrucco, is directing what workers sometimes call “the push.”

“It’s not that technically advanced but it’s fairly novel,” Gammon said. “They’ve come up with a very clever way of doing this.”

With a deadline of late 2022, Brightline’s $2.7 billion, 170-mile extension from a train station at Orlando’s airport to a station in West Palm Beach is riddled with engineering and design puzzles.

Among them is how to get trains under Goldenrod next to where it connects with the tolled Beachline, and where it carries 16,000 vehicles a day as a feeder to the airport’s road network.

One construction bid proposed to build a conventional bridge for Goldenrod traffic, with clearance for trains beneath. That would bring detours and partial closures of Goldenrod for a year, Gammon said.

The other bid recommended closing Goldenrod entirely for two weeks. With the participation of Petrucco and a U.S. firm, Granite Construction, that bid and its "box jacking” approach won.

Steel spacing boxes are installked as work continues undernearth Goldenroad Road in Orlando on the installation of a unique jack-driven box tunnel for the Brightline Trains route being built from Orlando International Airport to South Florida, Friday, September 11, 2020. The pre-cast, box-jack system is only the third of its kind used in the U.S. and reduces construction time from nearly a year to just a few weeks. (Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel)


Steel spacing boxes are installked as work continues undernearth Goldenroad Road in Orlando on the installation of a unique jack-driven box tunnel for the Brightline Trains route being built from Orlando International Airport to South Florida, Friday, September 11, 2020. The pre-cast, box-jack system is only the third of its kind used in the U.S. and reduces construction time from nearly a year to just a few weeks. (Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel) (Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel)

“It’s something we are taking a lot of detailed notes on so that we can take this across the country,” said Richard Brown, Granite’s project manager for the Brightline job.

The concept of going underground for road, rail or pedestrians by pushing a prefabricated tunnel into place rather than boring and building a tunnel has previously been performed in various ways.

Petrucco has been perfecting its “box jacking services” since the late 1970s and now markets itself as the world’s expert, having completed more than 1,500 projects in Europe and the Middle East – but none in North America until recently.

“Humbly speaking, we are the leaders on this,” said Diego Rodriquez, Petrucco’s project manager for the Brightline job. “I think we are going to get really busy.”

The company recently installed a box tunnel for New York’s Long Island Rail Road and another in Vancouver, Canada. The third in North America is Brightline’s passage under Goldenrod Road.

“It’s simple but not easy,” said Rodriguez of the project, which has been running 24 hours a day and which he described as bigger than most due to its length.

Work started months ago, building the box – beginning with two halves – at the east side of Goldenrod Road on a large floor made of concrete and called a casting slab.

The halves were constructed with typical concrete walls embedded with steel-reinforcement bars: the bottoms are 3 feet thick and the sides and tops are 2 feet 7 inches thick.

The push began this month, with the hydraulic jacks shoving the first half into place and then the second half with the two pieces ultimately fused together with additional concrete.

Altogether, the tunnel encloses enough space to hold a half-dozen bungalow homes of downtown Orlando, as well as Brightline trains with two locomotives, 10 passenger cars and 15 feet tall.

The tunnel box is being installed in a section of Goldenroad Road where it rises upward – elevated on compacted fill dirt – to cross over the Beachline Expressway.

First, the asphalt and road underlayers of Goldenrod were dug up. Then, as the box was pushed into the side of Goldenrod’s elevated base, a pair backhoes got busy digging a trench immediately in front of the oncoming box.

Securing the hydraulic jacks was a feat. Their backstop is a vertical slab of concrete 5 feet thick and 20 feet tall, and mostly embedded in the ground. Immediately behind the slab is a 100-foot hill of dirt.

The box was steered left and right by adjustments to the force of the 20 hydraulic jacks, and up and down by the amount of soil in front of the box. Leaving more soil than normal would coax the box upward and removing more than normal would let it sink downward.

Brightline required the box to be within 6 inches of the designed path. “We are now within a few inches,” Gammon said.

Brightline’s deadline is for Goldenrod to be repaved and reopen by Tuesday.

The construction has been a rehearsal for a larger, more demanding repeat next year. Brightline must also get its train under the Beachline Expressway in Brevard County.

Unlike with Goldenrod Road, the Beachline can’t be closed entirely for any length of time. Constructed from three sections, the box there will be bigger than the one used for Goldenrod and it will be installed while traffic passes over.

kspear@orlandosentinel.com
 

mkt

Disney's Favorite Scumbag
Premium Member
The Sentinel is reporting that Sun Rail and Brightline are in negotiations to allow Sun Rail trains to use Brightline tracks from the Meadow Woods station to both the Airport and to the Disney station.....

That would be a great commuter option for CM's.
 

Robbiem

Well-Known Member
That would be a great commuter option for CM's.
Great idea. Eveyone talks about tourists using the train but commuting cast members is another great benefit. If this goes ahead I hope disney puts plans in place to support this (shift times, transport for CMs from the station etc)
 

Bob Harlem

Well-Known Member
This has a bunch of construction videos showing of sections of the Brightline work, that are updated every week or so. It'll get more interesting, especially the section near Cocoa.

 

mkt

Disney's Favorite Scumbag
Premium Member

Miami To Disney On Brightline Is Confirmed; Direct Train Service To Orlando Begins In 2022​

Brightline and Disney announced that they have finalized an agreement for a new train station at Walt Disney World in Orlando.

The new station will allow passengers to arrive in Disney without a car, directly from Miami.

Around 1,000 workers are now building the tracks from Miami to Orlando Airport, with service on schedule to begin in 2022.

The trip from Miami to Orlando Airport will take around 3 hours and will cost around $100 per ticket.

After stopping at Orlando Airport, the proposed site of the next Orlando station is Disney Springs, a popular shopping, dining and entertainment complex.

“Brightline will offer a car-free connection to the millions of visitors from around the state and the world who plan to make Walt Disney World Resort part of their vacation plans,” said Patrick Goddard, president of Brightline. “Our mission has always been to connect our guests to the people and places that matter, and Walt Disney World Resort is a tremendous example of this.”

The new station at Disney Springs is proposed to include a lobby on the ground level, passenger facilities and an upper level train platform.

1606315777688.png



 

bpiper

Well-Known Member
Behind a paywall. I subscribe, so here is the text.

ORLANDO, Fla. — Brightline has completed construction in the first of the four construction zones in its expansion from West Palm Beach to Orlando, Fla., finishing the small but complicated 3.5-mile Zone 2 in and around Orlando International Airport.

“Our construction through OIA presented one of the most complex construction efforts of this entire project and our successful completion is a testament to partnership, teamwork and out-of-the-box thinking,” Michael Cegelis, Brightline executive vice president, development and construction, said in a press release. “The collective efforts of the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority, The Middlesex Corporation [the project’s general contractor] and our team resulted in the first-ever high speed rail corridor in one of the busiest airports in the nation.”

The Brightline video below outlines some of the project’s challenges and features, including dealing with roadways, active runways, and roadways used by airport equipment. As part of its agreement to build at the airport, Brightline constructed infrastructure including a new highway interchange and features designed to accommodate future transportation options such as light rail. Trains will operate at 35 mph in the airport area, then travel at 125 mph on new trackage being built to Cocoa, Fla., where they will join the existing Florida East Coast route south to West Palm Beach and Miami.

Overall, the 170-mile extension to Orlando is now 70% complete.

 

bpiper

Well-Known Member

bpiper

Well-Known Member
I found this article on the Sentinel's website. It has a little better idea on the route from the airport.

Looks like Brightline is willing to cave on the greenway route. Federal infrastructure dollars would pay for a SunRail line from their current running north-south on the CSX mainline over to I4 via W Taft-Vineland road to 538, a stop at the convention center and then into the median of I4. Looking at Google Maps, Taft-Vineland has right of way reserved for future widening of it that could be used for the tracks. It could veer off from Taft-Vineland at the Sam's club and follow some drainage canals over to join 535. The problem would be that Taft-Vineland has a ton of driveways on it, so the tracks would probably have to be elevated.

Brightline then would lease trackage right from SunRail from the convention center to the OUC spur line. SunRail would lease trackage rights on the OUC spur and the Brightline tracks past their maintenance facility and into the airport.

SunRail gets an east-west route from the convention center over to the airport, with a transfer station for north-south trains and Brightline trains.

Brightline gets a very complicated and expensive section of trackage that they don't have to pay for directly, just yearly trackage rights.

Big problem is that Disney wasn't at the big meeting, so who knows what they are going to think of this plan.

Brightline, SunRail pivot to fed money for tracks from Orlando airport​


By Kevin Spear

Orlando Sentinel |

Apr 05, 2022 at 5:51 PM


Brightline’s quest for passenger rail from Orlando’s airport to Disney World and Tampa is evolving toward a regional push to build a corridor for SunRail commuter trains from the airport to SunRail’s current north-south tracks, the Orange County Convention Center and south International Drive.

“I’m calling this the ‘jobs train,’” said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, who hosted dozens of private meetings in recent months between Universal Studios, Brightline and others to resolve what had been a deadlock over the route from the airport across southwest Orange County.

Under a vision emerging from those meetings, Brightline would lease rights to use that east-west SunRail corridor and would build its own tracks from Disney to Tampa.

Expecting to cover construction costs through private financing, Brightline had contended that the most affordable route by far would be from the airport along State Road 417 to Disney. Universal Studios and I-Drive merchants mounted fierce opposition to that proposed corridor, insisting the route should also serve I-Drive and the convention center.

Dyer said that the passage last year of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act quickly changed the conversation, allowing participants to see a funding scenario that supported the route to I-Drive and the convention center.

Dyer said also that a link for SunRail from its current north-south track to the airport would be the beginning of the commuter train’s larger east-west spine. Connecting to the airport would obligate SunRail to expand service to run more often, later into the night and on weekends, he said.

SunRail’s service spans 49 miles and 16 stations in Volusia, Seminole, Orange and Osceola counties.

A meeting in Washington, D.C., on March 30, was attended by the county, Orlando, Universal, Brightline and others.

“I would like to briefly summarize my understanding of the proposed project,” Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings said in letter sent Monday to Disney, Universal, local government officials and the Florida Department of Transportation.

“I am sharing this information with you because it is my desire to see our community work together to advance a transportation infrastructure grant application that is not only competitive, but one in which we can all support,” Demings said, concluding that “time is of the essence.”

U.S. Rep. Darren Soto, D-Kissimmee said he has briefed many of the stakeholders who are seeking a rail route in southwest Orange County.

“They know what I know, that a decision must be made by summertime, Soto said. “Those first announcements for rail and for highways are going to be big ones, the biggest in the nation. We want to make sure there is consensus locally because it’s so competitive. If we don’t have consensus it’s going to be very difficult.”

Brightline is in the final months of construction of a rail extension from South Florida to Orlando International Airport, with service scheduled to start next year.

“This is the type of big vision project that Central Florida needs and one that will improve the quality of life for Central Floridians while ensuring an economic advantage for decades,” said Christine Kefauver, senior vice president of corporate affairs for Brightline Trains in a statement.

“Building momentum for a project of regional significance requires strong leadership and the backing of the entire community and we’re seeing that coming together in Central Florida,” Kefauver said

Demings said discussions have wrapped around a vision called the “Sunshine Corridor Program.”

The corridor program calls for a track route heading west from the airport to a new transfer station along SunRail’s tracks.

The route would then follow a short segment of SunRail tracks and then veer to an alignment along Taft Vineland Road and State Road 528 to arrive at the convention center.

From there, the route would follow Interstate 4 to south International Drive.

Demings said the next steps include digging into and locking down the path for funding applications, confirming a route and stations and inviting the state Transportation Department and Walt Disney World to an upcoming meeting.

The International Drive Resort Area Chamber of Commerce launched a campaign in October called “Orlando Right Rail” to urge a rail route to I-Drive.

Maria Triscari, the chamber’s president and chief executive officer, said her group is very supportive of the Sunshine Corridor Program.

“This is a very important initiative that will provide infrastructure for mass transit, Sunrail and Brightline from OIA to I-Drive,” Triscari said. “The southwest region is a major economic engine with over 75,000 employees and 20,000 residents.”

The Sunshine Corridor Program calls for a SunRail schedule of a train every 15 minutes between the airport and south I-Drive.

Brightline’s schedule, previously disclosed, would run a train in both directions every hour between the airport and Tampa from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.
 

lazyboy97o

Well-Known Member
An interesting solution, one that seems like it may be sneaking in commuter rail service to Walt Disney World.

Hopefully Disney isn’t dumb enough to renege on having a train station. They’ve now be amenable to a station with stops elsewhere for over a decade, so to flip back now would be a very bad look.

It’s good to see OUC coming around. My understanding was that they have long been hesitant to let anyone use their tracks due to concerns about coal deliveries to Stanton that don’t occur more than a few times a week and usually in the middle of the night. Hopefully this is the start of getting access to more of that line for SunRail service.

If I were Brightline my big concern would be over the schedule slipping. I know they’re behind schedule from what they first announced as All Aboard Florida but government rail projects in the US have a tendency to be even worst. I’d also be worried about the vehemently anti-rail politicians who now have more honest ammunition for their claims that Brightline is just a subsidy grift since this portion would not be privately funded.
 

lazyboy97o

Well-Known Member
Trains are big and follow a track. They’re not jumping people from behind a corner. It’s ridiculous how we blame trains but not people who walk along track or try to go around gates. The same nonsense is spouted about SunRail. I guess if I ever want some time on Florida TV I could go walk into a parked TECO streetcar.
 

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