CSX Auburndale Sub

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CSX Auburndale Sub

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Wed Jan 24, 2018 8:02 am

I'm not certain where the CSX line abandonment topic will end up after it is released from its present Global standing, but here I am addressing lines that if abandoned - or even sold to a Short Line - will impact existing Amtrak operations.

While I've noted that the emaciation of the Seaboard started when Yäger was a Carman with the IC, the proposed abandonments - namely within the Florence Division will mean "finito" to the existing route of 91-92, Star, as that Division includes the Hamlet and Columbia Subs.

Of greater interest is that the Auburndale Sub, the route of both Meteor and Star to Miami, is on the block. Will this mean Thruway Bus service to all stations South of Orlando, or will this be a BNSF tactic (existing Chief routing ABQ-LAJ) to extract public funding to maintain the route for any FRA Class of trackage (oh, and lest we forget, PTC installation).

We shall see, but it can be assured that the cost to operate the "Silver" trains will "escalate".
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Re: CSX Auburndale Sub

Postby Noel Weaver » Wed Jan 24, 2018 10:41 am

What's going to happen here at this point is anybody's guess. CSX is simply considering disposing of the Auburndale Subdivision through sale. Most likely Amtrak will stay right there but again who knows. CSX does not have a lot of local business north of WPB but they do have some including an auto terminal just north of WPB as well as a decent amount of local business on Tri-Rail owned track south of WPB. Whoever buys this line gets Amtrak as part of the package. The line is straight and fast but with not a lot of local business. Currently there is one regular daily through job between Miami and Waycross and a few rock trains a week.
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Re: CSX Auburndale Sub

Postby chrsjrcj » Wed Jan 24, 2018 11:23 am

The stations on the Auburndale Sub and the former Miami Sub produce over 200,000 annual riders for the Silvers. Not to mention the Hialeah facility which appears to be the go to shop for Viewliner maintenance. Before Brightline, I would have argued that this would be a decent pick up for the state of Florida to invest in a 110 mph corridor for a state run passenger rail service between Miami and Orlando/Tampa. Maybe it still could be an option for AAF to pick up considering the opposition on the Treasure Coast, although there has probably been too much investment on the 528 corridor to abandon the original plan.

CSX does have the relatively new Winter Haven intermodal hub, I believe built in response to the Panamal Canal expansion. Maybe the FEC picks it up, although would there be any advantage to an interchange at Jax vs Winter Haven? With a new connection at Iris in Hialeah, and the rehabilitation of the Northwood crossover in West Palm Beach, it would certainly be possible to run a straight shot from Port of Miami (or Port Everglades) to Winter Haven.
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Re: CSX Auburndale Sub

Postby dgvrengineer » Wed Jan 24, 2018 3:27 pm

Just because a Class 1 RR sells a line, doesn't mean Amtrak has to move. Take the BB in Virginia for example. Now BB is leasing the CSX Mountain Sub, but BB is operating it including dispatching. Amtrak still uses the line just as it did when CSX operated it. The big question is can a Short Line afford to maintain the track to Amtrak standards or at least Class III (60mph passenger). Virginia is helping maintain the BB line but with the lack of interest by Florida, in fact outright hostility to any rail passenger service, I don't think Florida would be so willing to chip in to maintain the track for passenger trains.
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Re: CSX Auburndale Sub

Postby mtuandrew » Wed Jan 24, 2018 5:32 pm

I have no proof for this theory, but I believe an unstated reason for Brightline was to allow FEC to tap the Orlando and central Florida freight market. It isn’t lost on me that a 125 mph passenger railroad can support 60 mph freights with cab-signaled leaders during off hours. If both FEC and Brightline could access the Orlando area by purchasing the Auburndale Sub, Brightline would need to rethink how badly it wants its dedicated line inland from the Treasure Coast.

That said, the combined FEC/528 Corridor serves many more people, and is more direct. Food for thought.
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Re: CSX Auburndale Sub

Postby bretton88 » Wed Jan 24, 2018 6:25 pm

This is an interesting thought. Would Brightline be able to serve the Orlando Airport still from the Auburndale sub? How hard would it be to install a connection from the FEC to the Auburndale sub? I would think upgrading this to 125mph would be cheaper than new build, but I don't know if the alignment will support it.
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Re: CSX Auburndale Sub

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Wed Jan 24, 2018 6:31 pm

Kind of a "too late now", but to have had the CSX Auburndale Sub the route of Brightline would have been the ultimate.

Just think, the shortest distance (straight line v. the dog leg), no interest serving intermediate stops away from the Gold Coast, less potential grade X-ing liability, less NIMBY opposition, and now CSX wants to sell the line.

Would have been the "hot setup".

Anyone care to ring up Yäger topside to see what he thinks?
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Re: CSX Auburndale Sub

Postby Noel Weaver » Wed Jan 24, 2018 7:04 pm

Gilbert B Norman wrote:Kind of a "too late now", but to have had the CSX Auburndale Sub the route of Brightline would have been the ultimate.

Just think, the shortest distance (straight line v. the dog leg), no interest serving intermediate stops away from the Gold Coast, less potential grade X-ing liability, less NIMBY opposition, and now CSX wants to sell the line.

Would have been the "hot setup".

Anyone care to ring up Yäger topside to see what he thinks?


As always there are pluses and minuses to this too. The Auburndale Subdivision is not in as good shape as the FEC mainline is in and I doubt if it is that much shorter. It takes Amtrak much longer to do Miami - Orlando and you would still be involved in areas where the FEC has no control. I don't think it is as attractive as it might appear.
Too late anyway.
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Re: CSX Auburndale Sub

Postby mtuandrew » Wed Jan 24, 2018 9:14 pm

The Auburndale Sub is definitely a direct line, but from West Palm Beach to Sebring, about 80 miles due south of Orlando. A short dogleg from Cocoa Beach to KMCO seems faster than a pea-vine route north from Sebring via Auburndale.

That said, if it were CSX sitting on the coastal route and a well-funded regional railroad in central Florida, they could have made that route work too. It definitely doesn’t need to be as slow as it is today under CSX management.
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Re: CSX Auburndale Sub

Postby Alex M » Wed Jan 24, 2018 9:42 pm

I wonder if it would be a more efficient and cheaper way to use the Auburndale Sub for Brightline service to Tampa?
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Re: CSX Auburndale Sub

Postby Backshophoss » Thu Jan 25, 2018 12:03 am

Would FLDOT be the buyer? What parts of this Sub connect to any commuter operators in the area?
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Re: CSX Auburndale Sub

Postby Rockingham Racer » Thu Jan 25, 2018 7:38 am

Backshophoss wrote:Would FLDOT be the buyer? What parts of this Sub connect to any commuter operators in the area?


I'm not sure. FDOT is like TxDOT: not very interested in passenger rail.
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Re: CSX Auburndale Sub

Postby Arlington » Fri Jan 26, 2018 9:16 am

Gilbert B Norman wrote:Kind of a "too late now", but to have had the CSX Auburndale Sub the route of Brightline would have been the ultimate.

Just think, the shortest distance (straight line v. the dog leg), no interest serving intermediate stops away from the Gold Coast, less potential grade X-ing liability, less NIMBY opposition, and now CSX wants to sell the line.

Would have been the "hot setup".

Anyone care to ring up Yäger topside to see what he think?

Why is it too late now? What prevents Brightline from reacting to this new opportunity to add Tampa?
"Trying to solve congestion by making roadways wider is like trying to solve obesity by buying bigger pants."--Charles Marohn
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Re: CSX Auburndale Sub

Postby Sylvain727 » Fri Apr 06, 2018 9:42 pm

If CSX really want to sold the Auburndale Subdivision from Auburndale until West Palm Beach to a railroad shortline companies,
such as Genesee & Wyoming or Omnitrax or RJ Corman or other shortline railroad companies which are interested to buy the actual CSX track.

To me I will see the Genesee & Wyoming Railroad Company buy the CSX's Auburndale Subdivision from Auburndale until West Palm Beach and
then until Miami under trackage rights on FDOT South Florida Rail Corridor.
Raily Yours

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