Florida Is Buzzing With News About All Aboard Florida and Florida East Coast Railway

About the neatest story, especially for the big critics is that All Aboard Florida is paying for bulk of rail crossing improvements in South Florida. There is a video and a great story in Sun Sentinal.

Officials say those improvements, such as new lights and gates – should put municipalities in a good position to qualify for quiet zone status at 115 crossings in Palm Beach County, 67 in Broward and 19 in Miami-Dade.

The company is adding a second track to the Florida East Coast Railway and rebuilding dozens of South Florida crossings to safety levels needed for passenger trains.

Cities will still have to pay for smaller upgrades that All Aboard Florida’s project won’t cover. That could mean something as simple as a $100,000 raised median to prevent cars from jumping into opposing lanes at crossings.

The private company expects to spend about $800 million to build the first phase of its passenger rail service, with stops in Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach. It plans to run 32 trains daily – 16 each way – starting in late 2016.


Miami-Dade officials approve All Aboard Florida’s Miami station plan

The Miami-Dade County Commissioners approved All Aboard Florida’s land use plan to construct a nine-acre multi-modal station and transit-oriented development in downtown Miami.

The transportation hub will include a mixed-use development with residential, office and commercial uses, and a retail concourse, and will serve as a connector between All Aboard Florida’s passengers and Miami’s existing public transport systems, All Aboard Florida officials said in a press release.

The company selected Boston-based Suffolk Construction for pre-construction and construction management services for the station, which will be located in the downtown’s western area. Construction is anticipated to begin in late fall.

The passenger-rail system will be elevated 50 feet to align with existing public transportation systems and with retail spaces located beneath the track. The design will allow through-streets to remain open to traffic and create an atmosphere of walkability, All Aboard Florida officials said.

“This is definitely a project we want to see happen in the core of downtown. We are optimistic that the project will take us to the next level of urban living,” said Miami-Dade County Commissioner Bruno Barreiro.

All Aboard Florida is a Miami-to-Orlando passenger-rail project being developed by Florida East Coast Industries Inc.

West Palm Beach Station
West Palm Beach Station


The Sun-Sentinal talks about the new West Palm Beach station for All Aboard Florida

All Aboard Florida’s modernistic new train station is expected to help revitalize a ragged stretch of downtown between Clematis Street and City Place, officials said Monday as plans for the new stop were unveiled.

Renderings show a 60,000-square-foot complex with lots of glass, an elevated lounge above the tracks and signature V-shaped trusses at the station, located west of the Florida East Coast Railway tracks between Evernia and Datura streets. The design complements stations underway in Fort Lauderdale and Miami. A fourth station is planned at Orlando International Airport.

Then We Have An Editorial from a Realtor About How A “Transportation Workshop was Bogus

What was falsely advertised as a Transportation Vision Workshop on July 10 in Viera was nothing more than trolling for comments so railroad promoters could adjust their sound bites and sell their boondoggle to taxpayers.

Real workshops build good policy using the interplay of group expertise. In contrast, the Space Coast Transportation Planning Organization hosted a marketing presentation, not a discussion. Its plan promotes an ill-conceived 110-mph passenger rail blasting through Brevard, increasing congestion at U.S. 1, and diminishing property values along Indian River. As we Realtors know, buyers say that Brevard’s potential will be stifled until the railroad moves west.

Crowley's Port Everglades Terminal
Crowley’s Port Everglades Terminal

Finally we have a story about how Crowley Customers are Realizing Benefits of New FEC Intermodal Container Transfer Facility in Port Everglades

The opening of Florida East Coast Railway’ s (FEC) new, state-of-the-art intermodal container transfer facility (ICTF) adjacent to Crowley Maritime Corporation‘s Port Everglades, Fla., terminal is providing Crowley customers with more efficient cargo handling and faster deliveries now that containers no longer need to be trucked via interstate highways to and from an off-site rail terminal. Additionally, the strategic location of the 43-acre, near-dock station is allowing Crowley to handle bigger, heavier break bulk and out-of-gauge cargo more efficiently and cost effectively because of the shorter distance required for transit to the railhead.