Author Topic: FECI Bringing Private Passenger Rail To Florida By 2014  (Read 13011 times)

thelakelander

  • The Jaxson
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 30972
    • Modern Cities
Re: FECI Bringing Private Passenger Rail To Florida By 2014
« Reply #30 on: March 28, 2012, 12:43:35 PM »
JTA and COJ own half of LaVilla. There's a lot of TOD that could go up around a compact JRTC.

Yeah but if FECI already had property railside in DT Jax somewhere that could be developed into TOD it might give them an incentive to run the line to Jax sooner than later. 
They have tons of land between Jax and Cocoa that can be developed.  I wouldn't be surprised if service to Jax happens before Tampa. However, Miami to Orlando makes economic sense as an initial segment.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

aclchampion

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 94
  • Lord, help me be the person my dogs think I am
Re: FECI Bringing Private Passenger Rail To Florida By 2014
« Reply #31 on: April 11, 2012, 05:25:01 PM »
I had a chance earlier this week to chat with Mayor Brown about the FECI project, a project that he and his office were aware of. He is a supporter of commuter rail and would like to see light rail from all parts of Duval County. Of course he mentioned how much he likes public private partnerships and wouldn't mind seeing such a service in Jacksonville if it didn't cost the taxpayers any money. One thing that surprised me however was his response to my question about the recent meeting in Daytona. He said he was unaware such a meeting even took place.
MJ, have you guys had a chance to speak to him at all about the FECI project? And if not, maybe this might be a good time.

tufsu1

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 11085
Re: FECI Bringing Private Passenger Rail To Florida By 2014
« Reply #32 on: April 11, 2012, 09:20:51 PM »
several of us have been talking to the Mayor and his staff about transit on all levels....streetcar, BRT, commuter rail, and Amtrak....the odd thing is he keeps talking about light rail, which hasn't really been studied in Jax.

thelakelander

  • The Jaxson
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 30972
    • Modern Cities
Re: FECI Bringing Private Passenger Rail To Florida By 2014
« Reply #33 on: April 11, 2012, 09:45:02 PM »
I had the opportunity to sit in on their meeting with the Times-Union's editorial staff today, where they explained their economic development proposals.  They pretty much said that at some point, there will be some type of new convention center done, although the feasibility of how large or small it will be still needs to be determined.  Since that's the case, there needs to be a bigger discussion about the JRTC and coordinating it's buildout with whatever the new DIA will be cooking up over the next couple of years.

That discussion should include resolving whatever is needed to get Amtrak back downtown, making a long term plan with the existing convention center box, and pushing the possibility of TOD on current COJ owned properties adjacent to the JRTC property.  There's too much money at sake to not collaborate the planning of both of these projects.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

Ocklawaha

  • Phd. Ferroequinology
  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10437
  • Monster of Mobility! Ocklawaha is Robert Mann
    • LIGHT RAIL JACKSONVILLE
Re: FECI Bringing Private Passenger Rail To Florida By 2014
« Reply #34 on: April 12, 2012, 08:49:49 AM »
several of us have been talking to the Mayor and his staff about transit on all levels....streetcar, BRT, commuter rail, and Amtrak....the odd thing is he keeps talking about light rail, which hasn't really been studied in Jax.

Perhaps he understands that streetcar is a form of light-rail, only... um... lighter. Streetcar lines can also be light-rail lines if built to those standards.

For example we could have light rail to Orange Park, Airport and the beaches and downtown, while having a network of historic style streetcars in Springfield, Riverside, Avondale etc... The airport route might use some of the streetcar line to reach downtown.

For example: Imagine a streetcar line running up North Main Street to 8Th Street, at 8Th the streetcar turns west and heads down to Shands. Light-Rail cars use the same line between downtown and the corner of Main and 8Th, but then the light-rail line continues north and actually joins a railroad right-of-way (The former S Line) at this point it shoots straight north to Airport Road on RAILROAD tracks. It CAN be done.

So you build segments of streetcar to light-rail standards, but you save $$ by not having to build all of the streetcar routes to that standard.

OCKLAWAHA

JeffreyS

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5874
  • Demand Evidence and Think Critically.
Re: FECI Bringing Private Passenger Rail To Florida By 2014
« Reply #35 on: April 12, 2012, 09:21:14 AM »
My guess is the Mayor is using the term "light rail" generically instead of passenger rail.
Lenny Smash

fsujax

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3589
  • Teapartysaurus!
Re: FECI Bringing Private Passenger Rail To Florida By 2014
« Reply #36 on: April 12, 2012, 09:28:05 AM »
Yeah. Ed Burr mentioned light rail at the ULI breakfast yesterday. I think most people just use it as a generic term, because it's easy for most to understand. At least they talking about it. thats a good thing.

thelakelander

  • The Jaxson
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 30972
    • Modern Cities
Re: FECI Bringing Private Passenger Rail To Florida By 2014
« Reply #37 on: April 12, 2012, 10:24:29 AM »
^Yes.  I remember in the days of Metjax and Urban Planet talk about any type of rail in Jax was completely nonexistent.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

Ocklawaha

  • Phd. Ferroequinology
  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10437
  • Monster of Mobility! Ocklawaha is Robert Mann
    • LIGHT RAIL JACKSONVILLE
Re: FECI Bringing Private Passenger Rail To Florida By 2014
« Reply #38 on: April 13, 2012, 09:57:04 PM »

Going back to the model of infrastructure implementation that built this state and country.  Rail mixed with TOD.  We saw this coming a mile away.







That's one hell of a piece of property! Note the parking lots to the right in the photo (former rail yard) which goes right up to the metro rail system. The FEC RY right-of-way continues north from here and links to the current mainline according to local sources.

OCKLAWAHA

JohnBalzer

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 3
Re: FECI Bringing Private Passenger Rail To Florida By 2014
« Reply #39 on: April 22, 2012, 08:56:21 AM »
It is wonderful to have private industry perform this expansion and make the improvements in Florida's infrastructure.  While Tallahassee has failed to do anything to relieve the intercity highway congestion here comes a great solution and accomplishing the goal in just two years is outstanding. Also unlike most government initiatives, this railway will achieve great ridership and make money for Florida. It's a win-win for everybody!

Ocklawaha

  • Phd. Ferroequinology
  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10437
  • Monster of Mobility! Ocklawaha is Robert Mann
    • LIGHT RAIL JACKSONVILLE
Re: FECI Bringing Private Passenger Rail To Florida By 2014
« Reply #40 on: April 22, 2012, 11:45:46 AM »
Private industry will own 'the operating rights'. FECI will continue to own the track from Cocoa south to Miami, unless the state of Florida buys them out, in which case the state would own the tracks and the trains, but FECI would own the private concession for operations. The new link in the route will be the Cocoa - Orlando portion which I suspect will be 100% state funded.

Don't expect to see private industry (the railroads) suddenly start building 40, 80 or 100 miles of new track in passenger train infrastructure. FECI KNOWS this railroad project will not turn a profit on the passenger operations, only 2 railroad passenger routes in the world do.

I also suspect the state worked out a deal with the CSX and FECI to sell the passenger operating rights in order for the local Tea Party types to save face. The Republicans in general and the Tea Party in particular hate passenger rail. When they get this thing going I believe they will use it as a tool to bash Amtrak out of the game. "SEE?! Florida has private passenger rail up and running...." and they'll extrapolate that out to mean, "America doesn't need Amtrak..."

In a sense FECI is just going to be another operator, very similar to Amtrak. I believe there has been a back room 'deal' for the state to own the equipment, stations, and 40 miles of the track itself. Flagler Development knows that by placing passenger trains on their railroad, every property they own along the east coast will double in value.

tufsu1

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 11085
Re: FECI Bringing Private Passenger Rail To Florida By 2014
« Reply #41 on: April 22, 2012, 01:50:28 PM »
It is wonderful to have private industry perform this expansion and make the improvements in Florida's infrastructure.  While Tallahassee has failed to do anything to relieve the intercity highway congestion here comes a great solution and accomplishing the goal in just two years is outstanding. Also unlike most government initiatives, this railway will achieve great ridership and make money for Florida. It's a win-win for everybody!

don't jump for joy just yet....FEC is still studying to determine feasibility, potential fares, and ridership estimates....and no, it won't be profitable on its own....but FEC knows it opens up some of their land for development and gives them better access to Orlando (and Tampa) for freight.

JohnBalzer

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 3
Re: FECI Bringing Private Passenger Rail To Florida By 2014
« Reply #42 on: May 07, 2012, 12:47:11 PM »
This is the best news Florida has had in a long time. It requires no feasibility study to know the service will fair well. Inter-city connectivity has long been lacking in this state via any singular mode and given the reasonable cost of train travel and the superior comfort it affords over bus or plane, this service will be used by many. The high cost and hassle of doing business between Florida cities can now be surmounted and did it happen because of bureaucrats in state government at taxpayer expense? No! Congratulations to the railroad for this upgrade that will greatly benefit Floridians.

jasandros

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 1
Re: FECI Bringing Private Passenger Rail To Florida By 2014
« Reply #43 on: May 09, 2012, 01:29:36 AM »
Its a shame that so much effort has been put into more and more passenger train service between Jax and Miami while west Florida between jax and Pensacola is being treated like an unwanted stepchild where passenger trains are concerned. Amtrak arbitrarily snatched away the one train we did have with no plans to even implement an Amtrak bus service to the nearest passenger train stop. We need a private company other than Amtrak to look into implementing even a one or two car Train out here.

JeffreyS

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5874
  • Demand Evidence and Think Critically.
Re: FECI Bringing Private Passenger Rail To Florida By 2014
« Reply #44 on: May 09, 2012, 09:34:46 AM »
Private companies are not coming to save the day. The FECI deal is a perfect storm where by doing the passenger line they make their freight opperations and real estate holdings more profitable.  Passenger rail like streets are going to be government 99% of the time.
Lenny Smash