SunRail Establishment

Discussion about Florida commuter rail operations including Miami/Dade Metrorail, Sunrail (Orlando), and Tri-County Commuter Rail Authority in southern Florida. All Aboard Florida (Brightline) is discussed here: Florida East Coast Railway).

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SunRail Establishment

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Wed May 07, 2008 1:21 pm

While the proposal to inaugurate regional (commuter) passenger service through Orange and Osceola counties has been discussed at other forums such as Amtrak, there has not been any of such here at its rightful home.

Unfortunately, the deal is not yet a "done deal".

http://www.bizjournals.com/orlando/stor ... ily16.html

"CSX remains agreeable to working with state, federal and local officials to provide a cost effective solution for computer rail in Orlando ...," Michael Ward wrote.
And, saying the terminal in Winter Haven represents an "important economic stimulus to Polk County," the project was proceeding, Ward writes in the letter.
Although there had been earlier reports that the action on the part of the Legislature would impact the proposed terminal in Winter Haven, that was not the case, says Gary Sease, CSX spokesman.
The deal CSX negotiated with the state runs until June 2009. That means that it still can be implemented with legislative approval. Lawmakers in the Orlando area are trying to forge a compromise that could win approval of both houses at a later date.


The ostensible reason is that even though the A-Line (that is offical CSXese, I have learned for the ACL) through those counties was to be sold to a state agency in the same manner as was the S-Line (again CSXese for the SAL) West Palm to Miami, CSX wished to be held harmless for anything, repeat anything, happening on that line - even if their fault from the limited freight operations that would have continued on the line.

However, such could be a "cover" for interests around Lakeland concerned that the reroute of freight traffic over the S-Line (former route of the Amtrak Silver Palm) would cause a "nuisance' from trains "blowing horns', tying up auto traffic at X-ings and "all the rest".
Last edited by Jeff Smith on Mon Aug 03, 2015 2:45 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Reason: Splitting thread for new forum
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Re: Central Florida Regional Rail - Not A Done Deal

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Tue Aug 12, 2008 6:42 pm

http://www.railwayage.com/breaking_news.shtml

Apparently, according to Railway Age, the FTA has cleared its funds to be used for infrastructure improvements to support the Orlando regional rail plan. However RA notes that the "hold harmless" matter I noted earlier remains unresolved.

Of interest, it appears that Rep (likely of the "for life" varietal) John L. Mica (R-7th-FL) has become a "St. Paul" of sorts. He has consistently been an "Amtrak hater", but suddenly it has become fashionable for him to support passenger rail - well at least that serving his District.
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Re: Central Florida Regional Rail - Not A Done Deal

Postby Ocala Mike » Tue Apr 28, 2009 12:18 pm

It looks like it's a "dead deal." Read about it here:

http://www.ocala.com/article/20090428/A ... /904281010

Also, our local paper had a scathing editorial claiming its defeat would be an "easy call" for Ocalans and Floridians.

Our great state won't even have a budget agreement on time, and anyway Dockery has the votes in her pocket to kill SunRail (she says). :(
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Re: Central Florida Regional Rail - Not A Done Deal

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Tue Apr 28, 2009 12:25 pm

Here is the Op-Ed piece Mike notes:

http://www.ocala.com/article/20090428/O ... -easy-call

Brief passage:

    SunRail cheerleader Sen. Lee Cosntantine, R-Altamonte Springs, has begun touting the job creation potential of SunRail, claiming the project would create 13,000 jobs early on. What he fails to add is that SunRail, if built, if taxpayers pony up $2 billion-plus, will only serve about 14,500 riders a day in 2030. That is in 20 years. That is 14,500 in a metropolitan area projected to have 3.5 million people.

    Cost per rider: $180,000.

    Like we said, opposing the CSX-SunRail project is an easy call. It's a bad deal for Floridians and it's an even worse deal for Marion Countians.
As noted in both the news article submitted by Mike as well within the above Opinion piecee , the CSX requirement to be held harmless for anything that happens on lines to be acquired by a public agency for this rail system simply seems unreasonable, if not unconscionable.

"Heads you win, Tails I loose" seems more like it.
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Re: Central Florida Regional Rail - Not A Done Deal

Postby Ocala Mike » Tue Apr 28, 2009 12:42 pm

I agree with you, Gil. I've never seen so many pro-business liberals in my life, all because it's politically correct to get those stimulus funds from Washington. We have nothing to gain from SunRail here in Ocala (or the Villages for that matter); any stim funds would probably be better used upgrading Amtrak service to and within the Sunshine State, rather than sweetening CSX's bottom line.
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Not Quite Out for the Count

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Wed Jul 01, 2009 7:22 pm

On June 26, Railway Track & Structures reports there is still "a glimmer of hope" the Sun Rail initiative may yet move forth:

http://www.rtands.com/breaking_news.shtml (Scroll down)

Brief passage:

    SunRail commuter train might be back from brink

    Just days before facing a potentially crushing deadline, the SunRail commuter train proposed for Central Florida might be chugging along again, according to the Orlando Sentinel. Backers of the $1.2-billion project have won a crucial negotiating extension and likely will be heading back to the state legislature, which has scuttled the plan twice before, most recently two months ago.

    "It's far from a done deal. But what we have is one more chance," said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, who chairs the local SunRail committee.
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Re: Central Florida Regional Rail - Not A Done Deal

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Wed Dec 09, 2009 9:59 am

Who knows Sun Rail may prove to be Lazarus:

http://blogs.orlandosentinel.com/news_p ... -2710.html

Brief passage:

    TALLAHASSEE – Once a graveyard for controversial commuter rail projects, the Florida Senate abruptly shifted course Tuesday and voted 27-10 to approve the controversial SunRail project, the 61-mile commuter line that will take shape through Central Florida.

    The legislation, now headed to Gov. Charlie Crist for his signature, would lay the groundwork for a future system of bullet trains connecting Florida’s traffic-choked urban centers, although that is years off and would require heavy federal funding. And it sends much needed funding to South Florida, where the Tri-Rail commuter train has been hemorrhaging money.

    “This is opening a door for us. What is behind the door is still to be determined,” said its chief sponsor, Sen. Jeremy Ring, D-Parkland
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Re: Central Florida Regional Rail - Not A Done Deal

Postby superbad » Wed Dec 09, 2009 11:38 pm

now it is safe to say that atlanta has been left in the dust. on the other hand our twitt anti-anything productive governor perdue will be gone in tick-tock jan. 2011.
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Re: Central Florida Regional Rail - Not A Done Deal

Postby goodnightjohnwayne » Tue Dec 29, 2009 4:24 pm

Gilbert B Norman wrote:Who knows Sun Rail may prove to be Lazarus:

http://blogs.orlandosentinel.com/news_p ... -2710.html

Brief passage:

    TALLAHASSEE – Once a graveyard for controversial commuter rail projects, the Florida Senate abruptly shifted course Tuesday and voted 27-10 to approve the controversial SunRail project, the 61-mile commuter line that will take shape through Central Florida.

    The legislation, now headed to Gov. Charlie Crist for his signature, would lay the groundwork for a future system of bullet trains connecting Florida’s traffic-choked urban centers, although that is years off and would require heavy federal funding. And it sends much needed funding to South Florida, where the Tri-Rail commuter train has been hemorrhaging money.

    “This is opening a door for us. What is behind the door is still to be determined,” said its chief sponsor, Sen. Jeremy Ring, D-Parkland


I have to wonder if there's a connection between Crist's failing floundering Senate run and the revival of SunRail? With Crist increasingly unlike to get the nomination, his campaign war chest can't be in very good shape. Google his name and his campaign website appears with the words, "Not Found The requested page could not be found." That can't be a good sign.

Considering the relative unpopularity of the proposal and huge per seat subsidies that will be required, it's hard to see the political motivation. On the other had, Florida politics aren't all that much behind Louisiana's....
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Re: Central Florida Regional Rail - Not A Done Deal

Postby D.Carleton » Sat Jan 23, 2010 2:58 pm

Amtrak is now threatening the federal funds for expanded rail service in Florida. Apparently Amtrak hasn't been notified they have ZERO influence on the disbursement of the funds. Amtrak was purposely bypassed such that the monies go directly from the FRA to the states.
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Re: Central Florida Regional Rail - Not A Done Deal

Postby superbad » Wed Feb 03, 2010 3:12 pm

so now that stimlus has been issues, apparently sunrail construction is to begin in the fall... a joint venture from atlanta/nyc has been chosen as the contractor. it appears that its going to use push-pull.. mp36's and bombardiers or gallery cars? anybody know.. new equipment, used?
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Re: Central Florida Regional Rail - Not A Done Deal

Postby electricron » Wed Feb 03, 2010 7:41 pm

superbad wrote:so now that stimlus has been issues, apparently sunrail construction is to begin in the fall... a joint venture from atlanta/nyc has been chosen as the contractor. it appears that its going to use push-pull.. mp36's and bombardiers or gallery cars? anybody know.. new equipment, used?


Last May (2009), FDOT recommended Bombardier for the award, although Sumitomo came in second.
http://www.sunrail.com/Documents/573.pdf
Bombarier makes Bi-level passenger cars for many different transit agencies, Toronto's Go Transit was first.
Image
http://www.bombardier.com/files/en/supporting_docs/image_and_media/products/BT-1943-BiLevel_North_America.jpg

Sumitomo Corporation of America and Nippon Sharyo, Ltd recently made "Gallery Type" Bi-level passenger cars for Virginia Railway Express and Chicago's Metra.
Image
http://www.n-sharyo.co.jp/business/tetsudo/images/zusavre.jpg

The latest information posted on locomotives was dated last April (2009).
http://www.sunrail.com/Documents/566.pdf
At that time, FDOT was going to negotiate with three locomotive suppliers, Brookville Equipment Corporation, Mid-America Car Inc., and Motive Power Inc. Apparently FDOT hasn't recommended a vendor yet. Although MPI may get the contract.
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Re: Central Florida Regional Rail - Not A Done Deal

Postby superbad » Thu Feb 04, 2010 9:36 am

I lived in the chicago area for four years where all commuter trains are packed.. I must say that the gallery cars do not work when it comes to bikes, like the bombardier cars work and in terms of comfort the bombardiers win too, with sometimes even tables on the insides.. I'm glad they are apparently going with the bombardiers..
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Re: Central Florida Regional Rail - Not A Done Deal

Postby D.Carleton » Wed Feb 24, 2010 8:31 pm

NRPC has now officially terminated its Memorandum of Understanding with Florida DOT concerning SunRail.
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Re: Central Florida Regional Rail - Not A Done Deal

Postby jstolberg » Mon May 10, 2010 5:56 pm

"The Florida Department of Transportation, which is charged with getting SunRail up and running, is negotiating the final details of an agreement to buy seven diesel-powered locomotives for $18 million from Motive Power, a manufacturer based in Boise, Idaho.

"FDOT also is closing in on a pact with the Canadian company Bombardier to buy four double-decker coaches and nine cab cars for $30 million."
...
"Originally, FDOT intended to buy state-of-the art commuter-rail cars that were self-propelled. But the Colorado manufacturer went out of business, forcing the state to revert to the more standard diesel locomotive."
http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/local/os-locomotives-sunrail-train-20100510,0,1778821.story
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