Florida Rail Is, As Always, Exciting

Florida East Coast Railway boosts intermodal capacity

Florida East Coast Railway will boost its intermodal capacity with new equipment that will help further its strategy to convert existing trailers to containers to provide double-stack transportation service.

The Class II railroad has acquired 500 new 53-foot containers and 100 chassis, as well as 50 refrigerated trailers to cater to customers in the perishables market. All of the units will be in service by mid-October.

The containers and reefer trailers are equipped with GPS technology, providing real-time tracking capabilities, and the reefer units are also equipped with systems that provide information about operational performance, including temperature levels.

“We continue to see positive growth in our intermodal business as customers from a variety of industry segments recognize the value we provide,” said James R. Hertwig, president and CEO, in a statement. “With the addition of these new units, we are well-positioned to meet the needs of the marketplace during the upcoming peak shipping season and beyond.”

Earlier this month, Florida East Coast Railway launched a 53-foot container service, giving North Carolina shippers a new option to ship goods to South Florida for domestic consumption or transloading for export.

Florida East Coast Railway (FECR) is expanding its services to include intermodal transportation between Charlotte, N.C., and a number of South Florida locations.The railroad’s Piedmont Express service is available five days a week using FECR assets. The seamless two-day service offers various pickup and delivery options, including door-to-door, ramp-to-door and ramp-to-ramp service.

Now, customers have another option to move their freight to the growing South Florida market more efficiently and effectively, FECR officials said in a press release.

“On average, for every four southbound shipments arriving in South Florida, there is only one northbound shipment. This imbalance can be challenging,” said FECR President and Chief Executive Officer James Hertwig. “However, Piedmont Express [service] in FECR’s containers provides a cost-effective option for customers in the Carolinas.”

Florida East Coast rail bridge in downtown Jacksonville now has limited open and close schedule following repairs

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The span adjacent to the Acosta Bridge in downtown had been closed to a significant amount of boat traffic since Sept. 8 after a pinion gear broke. It was operational again at 3:45 p.m., said Debra Phillips.

“There will be a limited opening schedule to be sure the repairs continue to function properly,” she said.

She said the schedule is being coordinated with the Coast Guard and it will remain in the upright position for Sunday’s Jaguars game, as has been done in the past.

The closing affected both commercial fishermen and recreational boaters who could not pass beneath the rail crossing when it was in the down position.

The railroad bridge was built in 1926 and has had a history of breakdowns.

All Aboard Florida’s northern route will have minimal impacts, federal study finds

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The Federal Railroad Administration has found the overall environmental impacts of the northern leg of All Aboard Florida’s passenger rail service will be minimal, according to a draft study released this afternoon

The 500-page study, known as an environmental impact statement, evaluates the impacts of the rail project between northern Palm Beach County and Orlando.

The much-anticipated study was originally expected to be released in April.

The Palm Beach Post is in the process of reading through the document, which was released at 2:20 p.m. Check back for updates.

Read the All Aboard environmental impact study.

 All Aboard Florida could impact man’s pet business in Vero Beach

VERO BEACH, Fla. – A local business owner worries All Aboard Florida could force him to close.  He recently received a letter from the company behind the project telling him they have rights to part of his property.

Douglas Moore owns Cindi’s Pet & Aquarium Center here in Vero Beach. He sells reptiles, fish, birds and puppies plus food and treats.

“My future is very uncertain at this time,” says Moore.

That’s because of All Aboard Florida. The project will run from Orlando to Miami. It will add 16 round trip high speed trains in his backyard.

“According to my vet the vibration alone of that many more trains will probably put me out of the animal business,” says Moore.

He told us the vet says the vibration will frighten the animals. Moore is also concerned about a letter from the Florida East Coast Railway. The letter tells him the company has a right of way to the back of his business. That includes several parking spots and storage space.

“Losing 5, 6 parking spots is gonna mean I lose 5 or 6 customers,” says Moore.

He’s the not the only one concerned. Next door is Royal Ballroom Dance Studio. The owners started their dancing business almost four years ago.

“People like it you know we don’t want to move,” says owner Oleg Dimidrov.

He and his wife Asya worry about the noise and if the project will impact their property just like their neighbor.

Moore says he has written to lawmakers including the governor asking for help. He also has an attorney.

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