Author Topic: Railroad to JIA Ever Coming?  (Read 1996 times)

jaxlongtimer

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Re: Railroad to JIA Ever Coming?
« Reply #15 on: January 15, 2021, 11:42:13 AM »
^Cecil already has abandoned railroad ROW. Right now, there's no reason to put rail on it. In the future, if a company built near Cecil that would need rail access, they could get it.

The City has always had big dreams about an auto or aircraft manufacturing plant at Cecil.  Get that and that line will probably be back on the table faster than you can say "Lot J." :)

marcuscnelson

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Re: Railroad to JIA Ever Coming?
« Reply #16 on: January 16, 2021, 08:15:35 PM »
From my recollection, I think the JIA rail loop has been shelved because CSX was not interested in paying for it. The primary purpose was to expedite freight from JaxPort to the intermodal transfer centers on the westside - and would minimize freight trains through Springfield and other urban core neighborhoods.   

Thanks, tufsu1, I forgot what happened after that study. So, to those hoping the ROW will be preserved - very likely not going to happen. Perhaps with a potentially more rail-friendly administration in DC, there will be funding that would decrease the financial burden on any railroad company. Of course, if there's public money building it, the line should be available to all RRs.

There being a rail-friendly administration in DC doesn't mean anything if there isn't a rail-friendly administration here, though. They're not going to give us money if we don't ask for it. Of course, that isn't very helpful when our next chance to get rail-friendly leadership is in the second half of the Biden presidency, after a midterm that could go either way for Democrats.

A shame, too, because getting freight out of Springfield and the urban core means the opportunity to use those tracks for light rail instead.

^Cecil already has abandoned railroad ROW. Right now, there's no reason to put rail on it. In the future, if a company built near Cecil that would need rail access, they could get it.

The City has always had big dreams about an auto or aircraft manufacturing plant at Cecil.  Get that and that line will probably be back on the table faster than you can say "Lot J." :)

Oof. For whatever reason none of the car manufacturers appear to have any interest in Florida. Even Tesla chose Texas instead. I don't know if Tallahassee just hasn't put in the effort to invite said companies or if we're not as good at it as the other states.

If anything, I'd think a rail equipment/rolling stock manufacturer would be a better bet than auto or aircraft. Miami managed to snag Hitachi Rail, who they chose for replacement MetroRail cars. Siemens is in California, Stadler in Utah, Talgo in Wisconsin. To dream big for a minute, we could probably just copy that strategy - convince a European rolling stock company to build a factory at Cecil in exchange for using that company's rolling stock in a passenger rail service, be it a streetcar replacement for the Skyway or a light/commuter rail. The biggest problem is that it would likely require support from Tallahassee, and I don't know if our legislative delegation has that kind of pull.
So, to the young people fighting in this movement for change, here is my charge: march in the streets, protest, run for school committee or city council or the state legislature. And win. - Ed Markey

thelakelander

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Re: Railroad to JIA Ever Coming?
« Reply #17 on: January 16, 2021, 10:04:11 PM »
From my recollection, I think the JIA rail loop has been shelved because CSX was not interested in paying for it. The primary purpose was to expedite freight from JaxPort to the intermodal transfer centers on the westside - and would minimize freight trains through Springfield and other urban core neighborhoods.   

Thanks, tufsu1, I forgot what happened after that study. So, to those hoping the ROW will be preserved - very likely not going to happen. Perhaps with a potentially more rail-friendly administration in DC, there will be funding that would decrease the financial burden on any railroad company. Of course, if there's public money building it, the line should be available to all RRs.

There being a rail-friendly administration in DC doesn't mean anything if there isn't a rail-friendly administration here, though. They're not going to give us money if we don't ask for it. Of course, that isn't very helpful when our next chance to get rail-friendly leadership is in the second half of the Biden presidency, after a midterm that could go either way for Democrats.

A shame, too, because getting freight out of Springfield and the urban core means the opportunity to use those tracks for light rail instead.

A big question that would need to be answered would be....why would CSX or any other railroad company want to build a rail line to bypass Springfield or move freight out of Jaxport quicker? They tend to have no problem paying for projects they deem as a priority. In this case, it seems like the biggest benefit of an airport line would be for the public locally. That means, it should bare the responsibility of paying to build it, if truly a priority.


Quote
^Cecil already has abandoned railroad ROW. Right now, there's no reason to put rail on it. In the future, if a company built near Cecil that would need rail access, they could get it.

The City has always had big dreams about an auto or aircraft manufacturing plant at Cecil.  Get that and that line will probably be back on the table faster than you can say "Lot J." :)

Oof. For whatever reason none of the car manufacturers appear to have any interest in Florida. Even Tesla chose Texas instead. I don't know if Tallahassee just hasn't put in the effort to invite said companies or if we're not as good at it as the other states.

If anything, I'd think a rail equipment/rolling stock manufacturer would be a better bet than auto or aircraft. Miami managed to snag Hitachi Rail, who they chose for replacement MetroRail cars. Siemens is in California, Stadler in Utah, Talgo in Wisconsin. To dream big for a minute, we could probably just copy that strategy - convince a European rolling stock company to build a factory at Cecil in exchange for using that company's rolling stock in a passenger rail service, be it a streetcar replacement for the Skyway or a light/commuter rail. The biggest problem is that it would likely require support from Tallahassee, and I don't know if our legislative delegation has that kind of pull.

Florida generally loses because it can't compete with the other Southern states for auto assembly plants from an incentives perspective. Jax has a number of rail facilities....primarily freight. A few include TTX near Honeymoon Yard, Fruit Growers Express near Moncrief Yard, and GBW Rail Car Services off the NS line in NW Jax. My guess would be if a new facility came in, they'd pick another site (closer to existing rail infrastructure) other than Cecil. For example, the TTX facility takes up a portion of Honeymoon Yard, since much of the track infrastructure was no longer needed after the train station closed. We have quite a few old yards like the Springfield, West Jax, Export Yard, etc. that would be suitable for a similar type of facility if the opportunity arose.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

jaxlongtimer

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Re: Railroad to JIA Ever Coming?
« Reply #18 on: January 16, 2021, 10:43:41 PM »
^ Probably our best shot at Cecil is with aircraft manufacturing, particularly for the military, or something space related.  I thought some aircraft components/pre-assemblies were shipped by rail to Boeing's plant in Charleston but looking at Google maps and aerials, I don't see a rail siding to their plant although there is a rail line nearby.  So, maybe rail isn't a need, after all, for that.

acme54321

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Re: Railroad to JIA Ever Coming?
« Reply #19 on: January 17, 2021, 05:29:39 PM »
^ Probably our best shot at Cecil is with aircraft manufacturing, particularly for the military, or something space related.  I thought some aircraft components/pre-assemblies were shipped by rail to Boeing's plant in Charleston but looking at Google maps and aerials, I don't see a rail siding to their plant although there is a rail line nearby.  So, maybe rail isn't a need, after all, for that.

They ship 737 fuselages from Wichita to Seattle by which is probably what you are thinking.  I believe the Charleston plant is producing the 787.

jaxlongtimer

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Re: Railroad to JIA Ever Coming?
« Reply #20 on: January 17, 2021, 08:03:42 PM »
^ Probably our best shot at Cecil is with aircraft manufacturing, particularly for the military, or something space related.  I thought some aircraft components/pre-assemblies were shipped by rail to Boeing's plant in Charleston but looking at Google maps and aerials, I don't see a rail siding to their plant although there is a rail line nearby.  So, maybe rail isn't a need, after all, for that.

They ship 737 fuselages from Wichita to Seattle by which is probably what you are thinking.  I believe the Charleston plant is producing the 787.

Yes, that's it.  I just did a Google query and found out they fly the fuselages, etc. to the Charleston airport where the Boeing 787 plant is located:

https://simpleflying.com/boeing-787-10-charleston/

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For reference, a Boeing 787 Dreamliner can take anywhere from 25-40 days to build, depending on the timing of part deliveries. Boeing sources parts in Italy, Japan, and in Charleston itself. To ensure that components can get to where they need to be, Boeing utilizes a fleet of Boeing Dreamlifter aircraft to move fuselages and other parts around (Boeing stations two of these cargo planes in South Carolina).


jaxlongtimer

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Re: Railroad to JIA Ever Coming?
« Reply #21 on: January 18, 2021, 11:43:24 PM »
^ Speaking of Boeing, Atlas Air just ordered the last four 747's to ever be built with final delivery in 2022.  These will all be cargo planes.

https://www.businessinsider.com/boeing-plans-end-for-747-atlas-air-placing-final-order-2021-1

Quote
Boeing just announced the definitive end of the legendary 747 as cargo giant Atlas Air places an order for the final 4 planes
    * Atlas Air on Tuesday announced a four-aircraft order for the Boeing 747-8F, the largest mass-produced freighter from the American aircraft manufacturer.

    * Boeing said that these will be the last 747 ever built as the program comes to a close after a half-century.

    * Demand for cargo planes has skyrocketed during the pandemic and the 747 provided the one thing most freighters could not with its nose loading door.
[/list]

marcuscnelson

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Re: Railroad to JIA Ever Coming?
« Reply #22 on: January 19, 2021, 12:55:33 PM »
Damn, the end of an era.

In terms of getting back on topic:

There being a rail-friendly administration in DC doesn't mean anything if there isn't a rail-friendly administration here, though. They're not going to give us money if we don't ask for it. Of course, that isn't very helpful when our next chance to get rail-friendly leadership is in the second half of the Biden presidency, after a midterm that could go either way for Democrats.

A shame, too, because getting freight out of Springfield and the urban core means the opportunity to use those tracks for light rail instead.

A big question that would need to be answered would be....why would CSX or any other railroad company want to build a rail line to bypass Springfield or move freight out of Jaxport quicker? They tend to have no problem paying for projects they deem as a priority. In this case, it seems like the biggest benefit of an airport line would be for the public locally. That means, it should bare the responsibility of paying to build it, if truly a priority.

That's reasonable, I guess. Challenge becomes convincing all three levels of government that this is needed, somewhat soon, rather than another lane on I-95 or whatever. As beneficial as a passenger connection would be, that's probably longer down the road still, but at least getting the ROW and the freight out of downtown is a big benefit.
So, to the young people fighting in this movement for change, here is my charge: march in the streets, protest, run for school committee or city council or the state legislature. And win. - Ed Markey

acme54321

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Re: Railroad to JIA Ever Coming?
« Reply #23 on: January 19, 2021, 01:36:48 PM »
Damn, the end of an era.

In terms of getting back on topic:

There being a rail-friendly administration in DC doesn't mean anything if there isn't a rail-friendly administration here, though. They're not going to give us money if we don't ask for it. Of course, that isn't very helpful when our next chance to get rail-friendly leadership is in the second half of the Biden presidency, after a midterm that could go either way for Democrats.

A shame, too, because getting freight out of Springfield and the urban core means the opportunity to use those tracks for light rail instead.

A big question that would need to be answered would be....why would CSX or any other railroad company want to build a rail line to bypass Springfield or move freight out of Jaxport quicker? They tend to have no problem paying for projects they deem as a priority. In this case, it seems like the biggest benefit of an airport line would be for the public locally. That means, it should bare the responsibility of paying to build it, if truly a priority.

That's reasonable, I guess. Challenge becomes convincing all three levels of government that this is needed, somewhat soon, rather than another lane on I-95 or whatever. As beneficial as a passenger connection would be, that's probably longer down the road still, but at least getting the ROW and the freight out of downtown is a big benefit.

Is it really needed, somewhat soon?  That is the real question.  I think the overwhelming answer is going to be no due to the investment costs involved.

thelakelander

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Re: Railroad to JIA Ever Coming?
« Reply #24 on: January 19, 2021, 02:06:19 PM »
^It doesn't sound like it is. At least from the railroad's perspective.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

marcuscnelson

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Re: Railroad to JIA Ever Coming?
« Reply #25 on: January 19, 2021, 02:28:32 PM »
The urgency is mostly about these earlier comments:

No problem!

Presumably, if the ultimate goal was to enable passenger rail access, the line would need to follow S2 and S1 or M5, with an additional spur that gets as close as possible to the terminal before a people mover or something has to take over.

Which brings us to the problem. $200 million just builds the line for freight, assuming that there aren't any unexpected cost increases or complications. It doesn't include the cost of the additional spur to the airport itself, the rail terminal (+ either very long walkway to the airport or people mover), the potential cost of double-tracking part of the line (so there's room for both passenger/commuter trains and freight). There has to actually be a commuter rail service linking the airport and anywhere else.

This isn't to say that we shouldn't build the line period. But even if shovels were in the ground tomorrow we'd be a long way from making it possible for people to travel from the airport anywhere without a car or perhaps bus.

If the line were built for freight, it would at least preserve the possibility of adding a passenger component later.  The biggest issue is nothing happens now to reserve r-o-w and its impossible to feasibly do anything in the future.  The Northside is going through a growth spurt and people aren't going to hold back development that would interfere with this concept if there aren't concrete plans or reservations.

I have said it before:  Jacksonville leaders have no long term vision or plans.  It's why we ping pong among poorly conceived developer proposals rather than take charge of making this the best city it can be with a bit more thoughtfulness and civic altruism.
So, to the young people fighting in this movement for change, here is my charge: march in the streets, protest, run for school committee or city council or the state legislature. And win. - Ed Markey

bl8jaxnative

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Re: Railroad to JIA Ever Coming?
« Reply #26 on: February 02, 2021, 11:49:19 AM »
I think years ago there was a thread on this but it's hard to find with no search options for the threads that I can find.  So starting a new one  8).

At one time, there were plans to lay track to JIA (for freight/passengers?).  Haven't heard anything in a long time.  Anyone have updates on that project, if it still exists.  Is right of way at least secured?

Started thinking again about this after the discussion of Brightline going to Orlando's airport.


The planes come and go from JAX, not JIA.  I'd recomend we follow their lead.

bl8jaxnative

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Re: Railroad to JIA Ever Coming?
« Reply #27 on: February 02, 2021, 11:58:56 AM »
Oof. For whatever reason none of the car manufacturers appear to have any interest in Florida.


Incentives help very, very much alot.  Nevertheless, the primary reason is location.  The further you go into Florida, the further from suppliers an assembly plant is.  If an auto plant were to ever be built in Florida, it would most likely be in the panhandle or JAX for those reasons.   




If anything, I'd think a rail equipment/rolling stock manufacturer would be a better bet than auto or aircraft. Miami managed to snag Hitachi Rail, who they chose for replacement MetroRail cars. Siemens is in California, Stadler in Utah, Talgo in Wisconsin. To dream big for a minute, we could probably just copy that strategy - convince a European rolling stock company to build a factory at Cecil in exchange for using that company's rolling stock in a passenger rail service, be it a streetcar replacement for the Skyway or a light/commuter rail. The biggest problem is that it would likely require support from Tallahassee, and I don't know if our legislative delegation has that kind of pull.
[/quote]

Florida generally loses because it can't compete with the other Southern states for auto assembly plants from an incentives perspective. Jax has a number of rail facilities....primarily freight. A few include TTX near Honeymoon Yard, Fruit Growers Express near Moncrief Yard, and GBW Rail Car Services off the NS line in NW Jax. My guess would be if a new facility came in, they'd pick another site (closer to existing rail infrastructure) other than Cecil. For example, the TTX facility takes up a portion of Honeymoon Yard, since much of the track infrastructure was no longer needed after the train station closed. We have quite a few old yards like the Springfield, West Jax, Export Yard, etc. that would be suitable for a similar type of facility if the opportunity arose.
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