All Aboard Florida Rail Project Chugging AlongAugust 3, 2012 9 comments Print Article
What seemed to be a dream that many believed would eventually fade away appears to be picking up steam. According to Florida East Coast Industries (FECI), All Aboard Florida is envisioned to transform the way people travel throughout the state, offering a faster, safer, and more enjoyable mode of transportation. Here is a brief overview of where the proposed $1 billion privately funded passenger rail project currently stands.
All Aboard Florida recently announced John Flint as its new senior vice president of rail infrastructure. With over 30 years of rail experience, previous projects Flint has worked on includes Chicago Transit Authority's Red Line and Miami International Airport's automated people mover system. His responsibilities with All Aboard Florida include managing environmental permitting as well as overseeing the design, engineering and construction of the system and station platforms.
FECI is currently in the process of scouting station locations at Orlando International Airport and in downtown Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach. FECI already is in possession of 9 acres in downtown Miami, adjacent to existing metrorail and metromover stations. There, FEC desires to create a "Grand Central Station" that could include everything from offices to residences. In Fort Lauderdale, it appears the desired station location will be next to an existing bus terminal that will also provide connectivity with that city's proposed 2.7-mile Wave streetcar line.
The BeachLine Expressway
Since the FEC corridor hugs Florida's east coast, between Jacksonville and Miami, how this proposed passenger rail system would connect with Orlando has been a major question mark. It appears the project's route to Orlando has been identified. FECI is currently working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to secure the permits to lay 40 miles of new track from Cocoa to Orlando International Airport along the Beachline Expressway. FECI anticipates finalizing right-of-way agreements by the end of summer, enabling the first phase of the rail project to be in operation by 2014.
It is estimated that ticket pricing would fall in the range of $59 to $69. By comparison, a same-day flight between could be as much as $400.If this initial project is successful, FECI intends to extend the service to Jacksonville and Tampa.
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Article by Ennis Davis