Commuter Rail Demonstration visits JacksonvilleMarch 12, 2007 5 comments Print Article
On Saturday, March 10th, two self propelled transit DMU's were on display outside of the Prime Osborn Convention Center. Built by Colorado Railcar, DMU's such as these can operate on existing rail infrastructure in Jacksonville.
The event was attended by Congressman John Mica, Congresswoman Corinne Brown, JTA Director Michael Blaylock, along with officials from JTA, Amtrak, CSX, Florida DOT, and interested members of the public.
Although the event had a great turnout and everyone was more than impressed with the railcars, there was a lackluster showing by the local media. Congressman John Mica expressed disappointment that the Florida Times Union was not covering the event.
Before the onboard tour, there were a few short speeches thanking everyone for coming out and stressing the benefits a commuter rail system would bring to Jacksonville and all of Northeast Florida.
Congresswoman Corrine Brown, happy to be back in Florida after a cold trip to Washington D.C.
Director of JTA, Michael Blaylock
Congressman John Mica, prepared with a map of the region, spoke about the positive impact commuter rail would have on the quality of life in Jacksonville.
Michael Blaylock, dead set on that train.
Previously serving as a homeless camp/garbage dump, this area, located along the railroad tracks and under an overpass, was cleaned up for the event. Commuter rail is already transforming the city.
The Right-of-Way is extremely wide outside the Prime Osborne Convention Center. This area previously had railroad tracks, and could easily accommodate them once again.
Boarding the train. These bi-level railcars are 20 feet tall, over twice the height of a typical city bus.
After boarding the train, there is a staircase to go up and a hallway that takes you past luggage racks to seating on the lower level.
Large handicap accessible bathrooms.
Jimmy Midyette speaks with Leslie Goller about the potential Jacksonville has with a system such as this. Jimmy and Leslie are both City Council candidates.
Impressive view from the upper level.
Cab of the lead unit. The engines are onboard, allowing the railcars to operate without a locomotive.
Implementing a system such as this would have a bigger positive impact on the city as a whole than any road project ever could.