Thursday, June 29, 2023

The U.S. Has High-Speed Rail

It's not as fast as the trains in France, and about the same speed as Japan's Tokyo - Osaka run, but it is quicker than California's.*

From ConstructionDive, June 22:

Brightline’s $5B Orlando high-speed rail extension complete 

Dive Brief:

  • Private passenger railroad company Brightline celebrated the completion of its $5 billion, 170-mile Orlando-to-South Florida high-speed rail extension on Wednesday, built by five different contractors. Brightline is the first private entity to deliver an intercity rail system in the U.S. in more than a century, the company claims.
  •  The new line runs from the recently-built South Terminal at the Orlando International Airport to West Palm Beach, Florida, according to a Palo Alto, California-based Brightline press release. It will connect to its existing line between Miami and West Palm Beach, which has carried passengers since 2018.
  •  Brightline divided work on the Orlando extension into four zones, and the project included constructing a $100 million vehicle maintenance facility, tenant buildout of the Orlando station at Orlando Airport, 56 bridges, three new underpasses and upgrades to 156 railroad crossings.

Dive Insight:
Brightline’s Orlando expansion broke ground in June 2019, one year after operations began in South Florida between its Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach stations. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and supply chain shortages, the opening was only slightly delayed from its original 2022 date, according to the release....

Brightline expects to start construction on their Los Angeles - Las Vegas train this year. 
....The company‌ ‌pulled out in 2011. “There were so many things that went wrong,” Mr. McNamara said. “SNCF was very angry. They told the state they were leaving for North Africa, which was less politically dysfunctional. They went to Morocco and helped them build a rail system.”

    Morocco’s bullet train started service in 2018.....

There you have it, North Africa is less politically corrupt than California. Just amazing.... 
And a couple dozen more. I apparently have a fascination for train disasters, just not of the Gare Montparnasse variety: