Author Topic: A Solution to Jacksonville's Logistics Problems  (Read 12607 times)

Metro Jacksonville

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A Solution to Jacksonville's Logistics Problems
« on: November 01, 2010, 03:17:48 AM »
A Solution to Jacksonville's Logistics Problems



The City, Port Authority and Mayoral candidates are spending considerable time trying to figure out a solution to Jacksonville's logistics problem. Metro Jacksonville offers up an alternative solution that could enhance the port, create jobs throughout the Northside and introduce reliable mass transit option to local residents.

Full Article
http://www.metrojacksonville.com/article/2010-nov-a-solution-to-jacksonvilles-logistics-problems

Wacca Pilatka

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Re: A Solution to Jacksonville's Logistics Problems
« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2010, 08:33:44 AM »
Get this in front of every mayoral candidate.  I'm so sick of this city wasting money and time when MetroJacksonville has done all the studies for them and has cost-effective solutions.
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Coolyfett

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Re: A Solution to Jacksonville's Logistics Problems
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2010, 08:43:31 AM »
I see Norfolk & Csx connect either behind the union station or under Beaver Str. Where does JaxPort rank in logistics NATIONwide not just Atlantic coast?
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CS Foltz

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Re: A Solution to Jacksonville's Logistics Problems
« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2010, 04:28:46 PM »
What I do not understand is...........why are we trying to play catch up? Rail should have been an integeral part of any intermodal design! A port, no less, should have had rail from the start and this was not even considered! 9A was to be the primary route out of the Port and this is not a sane design from any point of view! To make matters even worse, 9A was to be enhanced for the additional truck traffic, taxpayers to be paying for the original upgrade, but the studies showed that within 3 years all of the upgrades would have to be redone again..........once more at taxpayer expense! Rail should have been an integeral part of the design from the beginning.............not after the start! Who made money off of this situation..........not the taxpayers! I wonder who is doing the 9A upgrades and wonder if this was a low bid process or is this just one more project put into someones hands to make a buck off of?
« Last Edit: November 01, 2010, 04:34:45 PM by CS Foltz »

cline

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Re: A Solution to Jacksonville's Logistics Problems
« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2010, 04:43:09 PM »
At this point, CSX has a monopoly for rail going into the port on the northside.  From a business standpoint this works well for them.  Why would they be interested in selling and, even if they were, how expensive would it be?  Would we be able to get it for 60MM (the price of the proposed railyard)?

CS Foltz

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Re: A Solution to Jacksonville's Logistics Problems
« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2010, 05:07:01 PM »
I have a simple solution..............called "Eminent Domain"! Jaxport got most of their property using that tool, but exclude CSX and do a Jaxport line ....City owned, maintained and used?

thelakelander

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Re: A Solution to Jacksonville's Logistics Problems
« Reply #6 on: November 01, 2010, 05:28:55 PM »
At this point, CSX has a monopoly for rail going into the port on the northside.  From a business standpoint this works well for them.

I think this answer can be found in the article.  I'm also sure Ocklawaha can explain in further detail once he notices this post.

MJ: Why should JaxPort and the City of Jacksonville purchase CSX's S-Line instead of building their own railyard?

BM: The benefit is neutral access to the port by all carriers. Today the port is captive and there is no choice of carriers, except for NS access to Talleyrand. The FEC once had access at Atlantic Marine in the Southside, but that is long since closed. Some of the costs would be off-set by FEC movements from the Port to Bowden Yard (I checked and YES they are moving them via truck cross-town!) FEC would have access to the port as would NS and CSX. The purchase and rebuilding of the "S" would afford us a tap line with income producing freight service on it, as well as open the door to rail transit on our own railroad line.
 
Also the railroads have little interest in "fishing" for traffic. Frankly the railroad would rather have the containers just show up at the Moncrief, Export, West Jax, Simpson, or Bowden Yard's. Having a shortline operator do the drilling usually suits the railroad management just fine.


Quote
Why would they be interested in selling and, even if they were, how expensive would it be?  Would we be able to get it for 60MM (the price of the proposed railyard)?

Good question.  To get the holistic answer, we would have to add up the benefits.  

1. How much would it cost to build a $60 million yard and still be held hostage to a single rail carrier?

2. What ultimate economic impact would that have on our port as it competes with ports that have access to multiple carriers in the future?

3. How much will it cost the community to establish north commuter rail line along the CSX S-Line?

4. What type of economic development can be stimulated by rebuilding the S-Line throughout the Northside and providing a fixed transit connection through Jacksonville's densest and most transit dependent neighborhoods?

5. How many trucks will such a proposal take off existing roads, reducing the need to expand them due to port growth?

6. How much revenue could a municipal owned railroad generate annually to help cover the O&M costs of providing mass transit operations along the line?

7. How much track would be purchased in such a transaction and how does that compare/mile to recent rail ROW acquisitions?

I believe, when you start pooling resources and implementing a plan that solves several issues facing this community, the price on each single entity drops considerably.
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urbaknight

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Re: A Solution to Jacksonville's Logistics Problems
« Reply #7 on: November 01, 2010, 09:38:31 PM »
I didn't read the article, but I read the headline. Although I love metjax opinions, I can't help but realize that they are just that, opinions. If we can take these ideas to the city, and make them see what's good for us and turn these "opinions" into city plans, I might be more enthused and excited to read about them.

Do any of these dreams ever find their way to city council?

Again, I love these ideas, but I don't want to fall into a pipe dream.

Let's get these ideas across to the city leaders.

Then, we can celebrate the ideas, as we rightly should.

I will read the article later, than I will give my opinion.

urbaknight

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Re: A Solution to Jacksonville's Logistics Problems
« Reply #8 on: November 01, 2010, 09:47:55 PM »
What I do not understand is...........why are we trying to play catch up? Rail should have been an integeral part of any intermodal design! A port, no less, should have had rail from the start and this was not even considered! 9A was to be the primary route out of the Port and this is not a sane design from any point of view! To make matters even worse, 9A was to be enhanced for the additional truck traffic, taxpayers to be paying for the original upgrade, but the studies showed that within 3 years all of the upgrades would have to be redone again..........once more at taxpayer expense! Rail should have been an integeral part of the design from the beginning.............not after the start! Who made money off of this situation..........not the taxpayers! I wonder who is doing the 9A upgrades and wonder if this was a low bid process or is this just one more project put into someones hands to make a buck off of?


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thelakelander

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Re: A Solution to Jacksonville's Logistics Problems
« Reply #9 on: November 01, 2010, 10:04:38 PM »
Most of the ideas stimulated on this site do make the radar of our civic leaders, council and mayor's office. Some, like the Laura Street streetscape, removing BRT from Adams Street and commuter rail become actual projects. Others take more time to pick up steam. All we can keep doing is to continue to expose and promote creative ideas and concepts that will make Jax a better place because you never know who's paying attention.
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Ocklawaha

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Re: A Solution to Jacksonville's Logistics Problems
« Reply #10 on: November 01, 2010, 10:22:01 PM »
Far more then your average media opinion...

1. metrojacksonville is owned by professionals who make up the core of it's editorial content. Within the corporation one would find an urban consultant, transportation consultant, IT specialists, railroad executive, and local entertainment czar.

2. The board continiously takes the projects to the City, JTA, State and even National Government, including our complete studies, in both paper and audiovisual.

3. Laura Street Improvements, I-95 signage, stopping billion dollar BRT for an economy version, Commuter Rail on the 'S' Line... and a host of other projects have already happened or are in study.

So take heart, we haven't scratched the surface of what's to come.


OCKLAWAHA

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Re: A Solution to Jacksonville's Logistics Problems
« Reply #11 on: November 01, 2010, 10:36:38 PM »
At this point, CSX has a monopoly for rail going into the port on the northside.  From a business standpoint this works well for them.  Why would they be interested in selling and, even if they were, how expensive would it be?  Would we be able to get it for 60MM (the price of the proposed railyard)?

As the industry has grown and expanded in the last 20 years, it has become highly specialized as well as sleek. Where large railroads once owned thousands of miles of branchlines, which are generally slower, less well maintained properties with infrequent service, today they have either abandoned or spun off most of these branches. The majority of the shuffle is complete, but there will always be new adjustments to the systems. It is generally no longer economically beneficial for giant railroads, specializing in high speed freight services between major markets to fuss with foraging for freight cars. A shortline railroad is an industry that has seen explosive growth, are small and generally locally owned or managed, with small crew sizes, smaller locomotives, less miles and a generally attractive rate division with the larger partner roads. There is no reason to think with a mutually attractive agreement that we can't work out an excellent intermodal plan that will benefit all parties.

OCKLAWAHA

fieldafm

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Re: A Solution to Jacksonville's Logistics Problems
« Reply #12 on: November 02, 2010, 02:23:09 PM »
The problem the port(and city) has is the lack of available money... so with that in mind: 

How long is the S line?(how much track, b/c like what is happening in Tampa, you cant just buy a section of the track from CSX) and how much would CSX be willing to sell the line for? 

How would this be different from just building direct rail offloading facilities?  Wouldn't CSX have a much bigger economic incentive to push for this instead?

In this scenario, would the city have to provide incentive money to a short track operator?  Is that money going to come from the mobility fees, and then what type of impact would that have on the money theoretically earmarked for commuter rail and streetcar lines?

Who would administer this?  Seems likely that a new regional rail agency would be needed.  Then, would surrounding counties be on board to foot the bill as well?  And then how would such a new agency get proportionate money extracted from funding sources within the 2030 Mobility Plan, which is administered by a state agency(JTA)?

thelakelander

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Re: A Solution to Jacksonville's Logistics Problems
« Reply #13 on: November 02, 2010, 03:02:28 PM »
The problem the port(and city) has is the lack of available money... so with that in mind:  

How long is the S line?(how much track, b/c like what is happening in Tampa, you cant just buy a section of the track from CSX) and how much would CSX be willing to sell the line for?

Rome wasn't built overnight.  Perhaps the best solution for a cash strapped community is a phased plan.  With that said, there are two sections of the S-Line.  One owned by CSX and 5 miles of abandoned ROW owned by COJ.   Putting back in 4 miles of track on the COJ owned ROW would connect Tallyrand to FEC, which would give that terminal direct rail access to Bowden Yard.

I'll need some help determining the amount of CSX owned track between Panama Park and Georgia.  It's a 10-mile stretch between Commodore's Point and the Blount Island spur off North Main Street.  There is another 13-mile stretch of track between Eastport Road and Yulee, where CSX meets up with First Coast Railroad and St. Mary's Railroad.  So about 23 miles total but 10 up to the Blount Island spur.  

To figure out the total mileage of CSX owned track, we'll need to know how much of the 11-mile Blount Island spur (if any) does JAXPORT's railroad control?  So at this point, we're looking at anywhere from 23 to 40 (i'm throwing in extra mileage for double track, spurs, etc.) miles of track.

The Orlando/Sunrail deal with CSX is $150 million for 61 miles of track, which breaks down to $2.46 million/mile.  A similar number for 23 to 40 miles of track would put our number in the $56.6 - $98.4 million range.

Looking at the high end, you're getting a dedicated revenue generator, a commuter rail corridor connecting DT with the airport and Yulee, and direct JAXPORT access to CSX, FEC and NS for $40 million more than building a CSX only accessible intermodal yard.  If it falls on the low end, you may be able to purchase that entire spur for the same price as building an intermodal yard.
  

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How would this be different from just building direct rail offloading facilities?

Its in the port's best interest to have direct access to all three local rail lines and their yards.  With this in mind, there's no right-of-way to build direct rail offloading facilities that connect with NS and FEC from Blount Island.  

Quote
Wouldn't CSX have a much bigger economic incentive to push for this instead?

CSX may have bigger fish to fry.  In the grand scheme of things JAXPORT is a small player to them.  From what I understand, they have higher priorities in upgrading their facilities in other (more profitable) areas of the US.

Quote
In this scenario, would the city have to provide incentive money to a short track operator?  Is that money going to come from the mobility fees, and then what type of impact would that have on the money theoretically earmarked for commuter rail and streetcar lines?

One would have to determine the revenue stood the be gained from a short line operator on those lines.  In any case, I can't imagine the need to provide a short line operator incentives to serve the number of industrial clients and terminals on those 23-40 miles of track.  I imagine, someone like Tallyrand Terminal or First Coast Railroad would love to be a part of such a solution.

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Who would administer this?  Seems likely that a new regional rail agency would be needed.  Then, would surrounding counties be on board to foot the bill as well?  And then how would such a new agency get proportionate money extracted from funding sources within the 2030 Mobility Plan, which is administered by a state agency(JTA)?

Good question.  In Austin, their transit authority (Capitalmetro) does.  However, here it seems like JTA already has their hands full trying to maintain a decent bus system.
« Last Edit: November 02, 2010, 03:05:20 PM by thelakelander »
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fsujax

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Re: A Solution to Jacksonville's Logistics Problems
« Reply #14 on: November 02, 2010, 03:05:03 PM »
The City should have a rail authority!