SouthCoast Rail Discussion Thread

Discussion relating to commuter rail, light rail, and subway operations of the MBTA.

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Re: SouthCoast Rail Discussion Thread

Postby bostontrainguy » Sun May 13, 2018 2:43 pm

MBTA3247 wrote:Any friendliness Florida has towards infrastructure projects extends only to roads. The NIMBYs there (including several county governments, the state government, and the state's Republican representatives in Congress) have been screaming in opposition to Brightline ever since it was announced. Several bills were actually proposed in the state legislature that were intended to be de facto bans on privately owned and operated passenger trains by regulating them to death. If Brightline wasn't a subsidiary of FEC, which already owned all the necessary property and could therefore do whatever it pleased, it never would've gotten off the ground.

Don't want to get off subject, but Florida is doing lots of rail projects besides Brightline.
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Re: SouthCoast Rail Discussion Thread

Postby Bonevalleyrailfan » Sun May 13, 2018 8:50 pm

I would disagree with your characterization that the state government here is not supportive of passenger rail. Nor would I agree with the sweeping statement that this is a partisan issue. Back in 2009, HSR in FL had bipartisan support in the state legislature. Gov Scott was the one individual that killed the HSR project and he did it to satisfy his tea party base of supporters.

Brightline has always had a super majority of state legislature and congressional support. There are no more than a handful of state level representatives and senators along with several members of congress that oppose Brightline. Most all of those legislators and members of Congress who oppose Brightline are from the Treasure Coast area that is the only hotbed of opposition in the state.

Brightline did not own all of the property for the route between Miami and Orlando. They had to negotiate with the state DOT as well as various agencies to obtain the ROW to the Orlando airport. Gov Scott (R) supported the building of Brightline's Orlando station by the airport authority. He (along with the Republican state legislature) approved spending 215 million dollars on the facility. The state DOT has also worked closely to enable TriRail to obtain the $70M in funds needed to operate into the new downtown Miami Brightline station.

FDOT is also ensuring that along I4 between Tampa and Orlando and I75 between Sarasota and Hernando County an area for rail transit (2 tracks) in their medians is kept in place as toll lanes are added in the future. I don't know of another state DOT that is committed to designing and building future highway projects to allow for passenger rail in the median of the interstates. FDOT has been designing for rail in the medians since the mid 1990s. There is actually a Florida highway design standard for rail ROW "envelops" that FDOT uses when designing/building interstate highway projects.
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Re: SouthCoast Rail Discussion Thread

Postby John Smythe » Mon May 14, 2018 8:34 pm

Back when the Plymouth portion of the Old Colony rail line was being surveyed & cleared, it came to light that in the Town of Abington, Mass, several abutters had decided to make the MBTA property an extension of their own yards. One had built a 2 car garage, another had installed a in-ground swimming pool, they even had the nerve to remove the rail & ties using the ties to construct supports for a rear deck. A contractors bulldozer demolished the garage & filled the swimming pool with it's contents as it passed by. These 2 neighbors lived next door to each other & it was reported in the local newspaper that the real estate company that sold the properties informed buyers that nobody used the tracks anymore. Man were some people in for a b\BIG surprise when they came home from work! That was back in the mid-late 1990's.
John Smythe
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Re: SouthCoast Rail Discussion Thread

Postby John Smythe » Tue May 29, 2018 8:51 pm

I've spent some time looking at Google Earth & CSXT area rail maps to see where they run. Seems that many miles of active trackage pass through low lying areas in and around the so called environmentally sensitive Cedar & Hockomock swamps. Why aren't the residents of those towns screaming bloody murder? i'd think they'd be making lots of noise about wanting to stop freight train service, electrify the routes, conduct studies & plans to save us from ourselves.

Better yet the real deal is that freight traffic runs through those swampy areas, developers keep building more and more new sub-divisions, new businesses abut the current out of service ROW through Easton & Raynham. Can't be as bad as the NIMBY's claim if all this stuff id going on all around these swamps. If protecting & saving those swamps is so important then the folks living in and around those areas should buy electric cars, to go with the electric trains. sounds fair to me.
John Smythe
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