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Rumor Higher Speed Rail from MCO to Disney World

Lilofan

Well-Known Member
Who’s talking about long distance rail? We are talking about MCO to Disney! Lol. I mean I’ve taken Amtrak to Disney world and Disneyland many times but i, as Sam eagle would say, am a weirdo!

If by handful of large cities you mean the majority of major cities then sure I agree with you. :)
Amtrak is a good way to travel. I took the Auto Train from Sanford to Lorton VA outside DC. Huge reclining seat like in first class in planes , lunch and dinner served and saved about 13 hours of driving.
 

UNCgolf

Well-Known Member
Who’s talking about long distance rail? We are talking about MCO to Disney! Lol. I mean I’ve taken Amtrak to Disney world and Disneyland many times but i, as Sam eagle would say, am a weirdo!

If by handful of large cities you mean the majority of major cities then sure I agree with you. :)

Is it really the majority? I honestly don't know. New York obviously has a ton of riders, and I think the whole northeastern corridor is pretty busy. I think Chicago is well used as well. I know the ridership in LA has been plummeting over the last decade, though (we were on completely empty cars more than once when I was there a couple of years ago). Atlanta definitely doesn't have that many riders compared to the overall population, although a huge portion of the city and surrounding areas aren't served by MARTA at all so that obviously makes a difference. I don't think the big cities in Texas have a ton of ridership.

Regardless, the kind of people I was talking about, again, mostly do not live in major cities so they don't have that experience (a lot of them are also likely to think major city transit trains are too dangerous to ride -- I would put an eyeroll emoji here but for some reason those options are all greyed out for me).
 
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TrainChasers

Well-Known Member
Is it really the majority? I honestly don't know. New York obviously has a ton of riders, and I think the whole northeastern corridor is pretty busy. I think Chicago is well used as well. I know the ridership in LA has been plummeting over the last decade, though (we were on completely empty cars more than once when I was there a couple of years ago). Atlanta definitely doesn't have that many riders compared to the overall population, although a huge portion of the city and surrounding areas aren't served by MARTA at all. I'm pretty sure most US cities aren't even close to European cities in terms of overall ridership -- I think I read Paris has like 3-4x daily ridership compared to NYC, although I'm not positive about that.

Regardless, the kind of people I was talking about, again, mostly do not live in major cities so they don't have that experience (a lot of them are also likely to think major city transit trains are too dangerous to ride -- I would put an eyeroll emoji here but for some reason those options are all greyed out for me).
You keep changing what you meant to say so I no longer know what point you are trying to make.

I was saying the majority of major US cities have rail transit. If we are using anecdotal evidence the last time I was on the Disney world monorail I had the cabin to by myself... I guess ridership is plumenting!!!

(LA Rail saw a significant drop in 2019 Because lines were completely closed for construction. Before 2019 ridership was steady - see chart for actual numbers)

https://isotp.metro.net/MetroRidership/IndexRail.aspx
 

UNCgolf

Well-Known Member
You keep changing what you meant to say so I no longer know what point you are trying to make.

I was saying the majority of major US cities have rail transit. If we are using anecdotal evidence the last time I was on the Disney world monorail I had the cabin to by myself... I guess ridership is plumenting!!!

(LA Rail saw a significant drop in 2019 Because lines were completely closed for construction. Before 2019 ridership was steady - see chart for actual numbers)

https://isotp.metro.net/MetroRidership/IndexRail.aspx

I haven't ever changed what I meant to say. I'm still making the exact same point I made in the first comment without changing anything.

I thought you were saying the majority of major US cities have rail transit that's used regularly, not that it just exists. My discussion was about actual ridership numbers.

Interesting about the LA stats, though, because I just read an article that said it had been steadily declining every year since 2013. I'm not sure why they thought that because the numbers they're officially reporting certainly don't show that.
 

TrainChasers

Well-Known Member
I thought you were saying the majority of major US cities have rail transit that's used regularly, not that it just exists. My discussion was about actual ridership numbers.
I’ve ridden most of them and they are usually well-used. Obviously some more than others for a variety of reasons.
 

UNCgolf

Well-Known Member
I’ve ridden most of them and they are usually well-used. Obviously some more than others for a variety of reasons.

Oh definitely, I don't think any of them are just running empty trains constantly. MARTA here in Atlanta has solid ridership all things considered, since it's a pretty limited system overall. It's mostly useless for me because I can drive to my office in Midtown in less time than it would take for me to drive to a MARTA station I could use, although I do sometimes use it to head to the airport (just park and leave my car at the office).

I was just saying there's a significant population of Americans that won't ride them (definitely not saying it's the majority; I don't think it is) -- I think most of that population are people that don't live in big cities to begin with, but there are definitely people who live in them who also won't ride. Here in Atlanta it's at least partially due to a fear that criminals are going to get them on the train; there are a lot of economic, social, and racial biases built in to that (obviously). I've also heard multiple people planning trips to NYC who say they won't use the subway because it isn't safe -- and I've heard people say that on the street in Manhattan, too. My guess is they're almost all tourists and not people who live there.
 

M:SpilotISTC12

Well-Known Member

The route to Disney from Orlando International Airport would cost $1.03 billion-$2.1 billion, depending on which alignment is selected, and the company hopes to start service on the segment as early as third-quarter 2026.
Good thing they cancelled MDE starting in 2022! Can't wait for the 4+years until I can take the train to "replace" it!
 

TrainChasers

Well-Known Member
So about Brightline not willing to provide local service... they’ll do it if someone else pays!

Brightline will be operating a 13.5 mile line for the city of Miami. Brightline has said they may brand it different and it could be operated as a seperate subsidiary.

That’s kind of what I’m guessing will happen with MCO to Disney.

https://www.miamitodaynews.com/2021...uildout-brightline-to-run-new-intercity-rail/
 

joelkfla

Well-Known Member
So about Brightline not willing to provide local service... they’ll do it if someone else pays!

Brightline will be operating a 13.5 mile line for the city of Miami. Brightline has said they may brand it different and it could be operated as a seperate subsidiary.

That’s kind of what I’m guessing will happen with MCO to Disney.

https://www.miamitodaynews.com/2021...uildout-brightline-to-run-new-intercity-rail/
Providing local service doesn't fit their business plan, but if they were to operate it as a completely separate line of business, that's a different story.
 

jt04

Well-Known Member
Some guests could really like that train operating like right now. There is a shortage of rental cars at MCO and an economy car Kia is going for $300 per day. That is if there is any in inventory.
Wow! No way I would pay that.

You can get a lot of trips from Uber/Lyft for that kind of money.

Definitely could use a shuttle train on the Brightline tracks or else parallel tracks that can serve the same function.
 

marni1971

WDW History nut
Premium Member
Some guests could really like that train operating like right now. There is a shortage of rental cars at MCO and an economy car Kia is going for $300 per day. That is if there is any in inventory.
Read further into the CNN article and it’s not just MCO, and they expect things to improve in the coming weeks.
 

Twirlnhurl

Active Member
I think that if SunRail doesn't run a shuttle service on the Brightline tracks between MCO and Disney, Brightline might. I was doing some back of the envelope calculations, and the costs of running trains every 15 minutes instead of every hour are pretty close to the plausable revenue for such a service. These costs above the cost of running hourly service include:
  1. Signals to allow closer train operation
  2. Trainsets to serve the extra runs
  3. Fuel to run the trains
  4. Staff to operate the trains
  5. Maintenance costs of the trains
Item 1, signaling, is fairly inexpensive. It is even less so especially in a low complexity environment with few stations, junctions, and low intersecting train traffic such as either proposed route. The Brightline presentation to CFX on March 11 indicated that this costs approximately $80,000 with the current design (page 24).

It is not clear what the maximum frequency of service can be supported by this signaling system. But we also know that Brightline is already planning on this capability because they are actively courting SunRail to run a service that would need to utilize these additional signals. Even still, assume that a signaling system necessary to operate trains every 15 minutes is three times as expensive as what they are currently planning to build, that is still only be an extra $160,000.

Item 2, additional trainsets, is difficult to calculate, because Brightline did not release the cost of their train orders from Siemens. However, based on the information I could find online, one might expect a single trainset to cost approximately $10 million. It would take approximately 15 minutes to travel between MCO and Disney Springs, so it would require three trainsets (in addition to the trainsets that provide the baseline hourly service Brightline is currently intending to operate) in order to provide 15 minute headways on this segment. This would mean it would cost approximately $30 million extra to provide this service.

Item 3, fuel costs, can be calculated assuming a fuel efficiency of 1.1mpg (source). Brightline's preferred alternative route is 16.7 miles (source page 24). So six additional one-way train runs is 100.2 miles every hour or 110.2 gallons of diesel per hour. If diesel is $3.75/gallon, that is $6,613.20 per 16 hour day, or $2.4 million per year in additional fuel costs.

Item 4, staff, can be calculated assuming a two person train staff. The 90th percentile salary of a train conductor in Florida is $66,270 (source), while the same for a train engineer is $98,960 (source). If the fully burdened cost of this staff is three times the salary, and there are three shifts of each staff person per train (in order to allow breaks and the like), the total annual labor cost of this service would be $1.5 million.

Item 5, maintenance costs, can be estimated at $4.34 per train mile (source). This works out to be about $2.5 million per year.

In other words, for an initial capital investment of $30,165,000 and an additional labor cost of approximately $6.4 million per year, there could be a reliable, congestion-free way to get between the airport and Walt Disney World.

DME used to carry 2.3 million passengers per year (source). So if this train service with 15 minute headways could carry one quarter of the trips that DME used to carry, that would be 575,000 trips per year. Ignoring the capital costs, the break even cost at this ridership level would require a one-way ticket price of $11.13.

Is this a complete no-brainer to build at this break-even point? Not really. But it is well within the realm of having a plausible business case to build. That's for sure.

EDITS: fixed links
 
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Read further into the CNN article and it’s not just MCO, and they expect things to improve in the coming weeks.
As much as I’d like to think that’s true (and they will come down eventually), I think it’s going to be far longer than some news agencies are reporting. At least in Central Florida. Here’s why:

- Just to attempt to get closer to meeting demand, rental car (RC) companies have not been pulling any cars out of their fleets for pretty much all of 2022. This obviously means that instead of being sold off, they’ve been kept on the road. The first priority for RCs will be getting these off of the road whenever possible (aka when they can offset the ‘losses’ with new stock for manufacturers)

- All of Central Florida is already in what’s called an minimum length of rental (MLR) restriction through May at least. MLRs are used with demand is so high, that there isn’t any reason to accept short reservations (as those have a higher cost per rental since they have to be cleaned after every rental and an employee has to write more contracts vs. long term rentals where each only happens once).

- Car manufacturers are struggling to meet demand from consumers and RCs alike as they’ve had to deal with COVID shut downs last year and have had chronic computer chip shortages for the majority of the last year. On top of that, now the world’s biggest shipping lane that the majority of these chips pass through is closed indefinitely. Even if the canal opened back up today, the ripple effect of delayed shipments will be felt for months.

All of this leads me to my final statement. RCs want to have their entire pre-COVID fleet back yesterday. The demand is there and saying ‘no’ to additional business means millions in lost revenue. RCs also make a ton of their revenue from selling cars when they’re retired for the rental fleet. Manufacturers cannot supply the amount of cars needed by the RC industry or even their own dealers as they have a months long backlog. Will $300 rates (that arguably never should have been that high under price gouging laws) stay? Probably not. That said, if you’re looking for a >$50/day rental anytime soon, you’re going to be looking for a long time to come.
 
Is this a complete no-brainer to build at this break-even point? Not really. But it is well within the realm of having a plausible business case to build. That's for sure.

It’ll be interesting to see if mass market appeal is enough of a motivator to essentially break even. If Virgin was still involved, I imagine the answer would have been yes as they’ve been trying to build brand awareness anywhere possible recently. However, Brightline may have a different idea of how to define success when it comes to this.
 

JoeCamel

Well-Known Member
As much as I’d like to think that’s true (and they will come down eventually), I think it’s going to be far longer than some news agencies are reporting. At least in Central Florida. Here’s why:

- Just to attempt to get closer to meeting demand, rental car (RC) companies have not been pulling any cars out of their fleets for pretty much all of 2022. This obviously means that instead of being sold off, they’ve been kept on the road. The first priority for RCs will be getting these off of the road whenever possible (aka when they can offset the ‘losses’ with new stock for manufacturers)

- All of Central Florida is already in what’s called an minimum length of rental (MLR) restriction through May at least. MLRs are used with demand is so high, that there isn’t any reason to accept short reservations (as those have a higher cost per rental since they have to be cleaned after every rental and an employee has to write more contracts vs. long term rentals where each only happens once).

- Car manufacturers are struggling to meet demand from consumers and RCs alike as they’ve had to deal with COVID shut downs last year and have had chronic computer chip shortages for the majority of the last year. On top of that, now the world’s biggest shipping lane that the majority of these chips pass through is closed indefinitely. Even if the canal opened back up today, the ripple effect of delayed shipments will be felt for months.

All of this leads me to my final statement. RCs want to have their entire pre-COVID fleet back yesterday. The demand is there and saying ‘no’ to additional business means millions in lost revenue. RCs also make a ton of their revenue from selling cars when they’re retired for the rental fleet. Manufacturers cannot supply the amount of cars needed by the RC industry or even their own dealers as they have a months long backlog. Will $300 rates (that arguably never should have been that high under price gouging laws) stay? Probably not. That said, if you’re looking for a >$50/day rental anytime soon, you’re going to be looking for a long time to come.
How do the thousands of cars they parked last year come into play? I can't think demand was enough to rotate those back into the fleet or at least all of them. They seemed to have enough cars two years ago, where are they?
 
How do the thousands of cars they parked last year come into play? I can't think demand was enough to rotate those back into the fleet or at least all of them. They seemed to have enough cars two years ago, where are they?
Through direct to consumer and wholesale sales, the fleet was reduced by roughly 60%.
 

JoeCamel

Well-Known Member
Through direct to consumer and wholesale sales, the fleet was reduced by roughly 60%.
With all the dealers screaming for used it didn't make much impact from what I saw, still have to pay a premium for a used car. As you posted the manufacturer's are struggling to get inventory out, so all the consumers are primed to buy. The rental companies maybe should have looked to their core business before selling their stock.
 

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