Amtrak in Miami (Hialeah, Miami Intermodal Center/Airport)

Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.

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Noel Weaver
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Re: Amtrak in Miami

Post by Noel Weaver » Mon Jun 20, 2011 8:38 am

With regard to the frequency of service (passenger that is) to Miami, I happened to be browsing through an Official Guide for October, 1974 and for the winter season of 1974-1975 Amtrak had 4 round trips lined up to Miami; they were 52 and 53 the Floridian to Chicago via Orlando, 81 and 82 the Silver Star to New York via Wildwood, 83 and 84 the Silver Meteor to New York via Wildwood and finally 89 and 90 the Miamian which ran December 17th through April 7th to New York via
Wildwood. At that time they were still using the downtown station in Miami but they had moved to the Clifford Lane location in Jacksonville.
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trainmaster611
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Re: Amtrak in Miami

Post by trainmaster611 » Mon Jun 20, 2011 2:52 pm

I was about to say you forgot the Champion, but it turns out the Champion only ran to Tampa/St. Petersburg at that time. I was under the impression that the train went via Orlando to Auburndale and then to Miami.

Here's the schedule if anyone is interested.
http://www.timetables.org/ttdisplay.php" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; ... 039&size=f
http://www.timetables.org/ttdisplay.php" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; ... 040&size=f

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Re: Amtrak in Miami

Post by dblakeleync » Sat Jun 09, 2012 2:28 pm

(Writing this for a little bit of personal research. Apologies for any repetition per the original thread.)

Henry Flagler’s Florida East Coast Railroad had a monopoly on the Miami market for the first 30 years of the city’s existence. The Seaboard Air Line Railway announced in December 1925 that it was going to extend its line from West Palm Beach to Miami. Construction commenced on a passenger terminal at 2206 N.W. 7th Avenue. Initially, the announcement was that the station would cost $240,000 and be seven stories tall. What was finished was a more modest two-story structure pictured elsewhere. Passenger service to Miami was formally inaugurated on January 8, 1927 with the arrival of the Orange Blossom Special from New York’s Pennsylvania station.

The Seaboard terminal became the only passenger rail station in Miami after the FEC abandoned passenger service in 1963 and was used by Amtrak until 1976 when it was decided that further upkeep and maintenance of the 50 year old structure was no longer acceptable. The replacement station was built at 8303 N.W. 37th Avenue and the old Seaboard station was torn down – except for the portal/façade to make way for the South Florida Evaluation and Treatment Center. This structure was later conferred to GEO Corp 2005 as a privately managed forensic mental health facility which was later closed and replaced with another facility in 2008. At present, the 7th Avenue psychiatric facility is empty and unused, but the Seaboard portal still remains standing.

The lead tracks are still in place with the next Seaboard station [Hialeah] up the line having been used as the terminus for the Florida Tri-Rail service (which in turn will soon terminate joining Amtrak at the Miami Central Station scheduled to open at Miami International Airport in 2013). Using the old Miami Seaboard station site would still be well away from downtown in an area far-removed from the economic centers. To push ahead from that site towards downtown would be a challenge for sure. If the FEC goes through with their plan to restart passenger service, the parking lot which sits on the old site is still apparently under FEC control. As such, Miami could once again get a downtown intercity train station. But, what would then happen to Tri-Rail?

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Miami - Miami Central vs. Hialeah

Post by Gilbert B Norman » Fri Mar 06, 2015 11:04 am

Should Amtrak move from its present Miami station to the Miami Central Station (fka Miami Intermodal Center, or in forumese MIC) when it is shortly available for mainline railroad passenger service?

Suburban Station
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Re: A Poll Of Sorts; Miami

Post by Suburban Station » Fri Mar 06, 2015 11:46 pm

They should move onto the fec from Jacksonville south including miami station

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Re: A Poll Of Sorts; Miami

Post by Gilbert B Norman » Sat Mar 07, 2015 6:49 am

Amtrak, just stay put.

It certainly will not save any $$$, and in fact will cost. The FEC will be happy, eight less moves over the Iris X-ing.

Trains will have to be ready for release from the yards at least an hour earlier, and arriving trains not available to the yard until same later. If the FEC has traffic to move, add to that hour. So far as movements go over the X-ing, Tri Rail is "more or less" on time, Amtrak?????

Concerning passenger convenience, only passengers who wish to use Metrorail to/from final destination and those desiring to rent an auto would benefit. Those who are being picked up or dropped off by private vehicle will definitely be adversely affected; parking is free at the existing station; hardly so at MCS. Taxicabs may have to pay an access fee to MCS or the Airport; that of course means passengers will pay access fees; not so at the existing station.

All told, there's "nothing in it" for either Amtrak's passengers or operations; best advice, just stay put.

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Re: A Poll Of Sorts; Miami

Post by Tadman » Mon Mar 09, 2015 12:06 pm

Hialeah is not in a good neighborhood. While Mr. Norman's operational issues are sound logic, there is empirical evidence to show better passenger counts for trains when shifted from poor to good neighborhood terminals - South Shore's Bendix-to-Airport shift around 1992 in South Bend resulted in a dramatic upswing in boardings.

That said, given monopoly money, wouldn't the All AboaRd Florida (AARF) station be the best option, given the somewhat-downtown location?
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Re: A Poll Of Sorts; Miami

Post by Literalman » Mon Mar 09, 2015 12:24 pm

When my wife and I visited a friend in Miami, we arrived at the Hiahleah Amtrak station. It's in an area that has a reputation for crime.

We left from a Tri-Rail station. I think it was called the airport station, but it wasn't really at the airport. It wasn't the new station.

Our friend said to come back any time but please use the Tri-Rail station. She didn't like going to the other station.

So I would vote for Amtrak to move to the new airport station. Downtown would be even better.
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David Benton
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Re: A Poll Of Sorts; Miami

Post by David Benton » Mon Mar 09, 2015 7:01 pm

When I arrived at Hialeah in the 1990's, I was travelling with a bike. I came out of the station, asked a newsagent for directions to the beach. He gave me directions, then added, get on your bike and don't stop for anything. I didn't see anything overly menacing, but took his advice anyway.
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Re: A Poll Of Sorts; Miami

Post by Rockingham Racer » Tue Mar 10, 2015 5:45 am

The neighborhood in Hialeah is not a pretty one, for sure. There are two bus routes that serve Amtrak Hialeah, though service diminishes greatly in the evening when the southbound train arrives. If you don't get picked up by someone, then it's the L bus to Miami Beach and the 42 bus to the Metrorail Douglas Rd. Station, south of downtown. Neither take you to center city.
We often hear that one advantage of the train is "downtown-to-downtown". So, the move should be made to establish service to downtown Miami, I think. BTW, the construction phase of the new AAF Miami Central station is happening soon.

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Re: A Poll Of Sorts; Miami

Post by slchub » Tue Mar 10, 2015 10:20 am

It will be challenging to start/end the Silver service at the MIC. Given that the trains are serviced in Hialeah it will take a yard crew to run the train from/to the yard (not enough manpower). There is not a dedicated crew register room at the MIC so the road crew will also have to be shuttled to/from Hialeah. However, I do think airport traffic would pick up if it did go to the MIC.

Right now the majority of the traffic gets on/off board the Silver service downline from Miami anyway.

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Re: A Poll Of Sorts; Miami

Post by slchub » Tue Mar 10, 2015 10:21 am

Concerning the FEC. I think it would make great sense to run say 98/97 up/down the FEC from West Palm Beach to JAX and 92/91 on the CSX line to Tampa/JAX.

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Re: A Poll Of Sorts; Miami

Post by chrsjrcj » Thu Mar 12, 2015 11:13 am

I'd put money down that Amtrak never stops in Downtown Miami.

It would be a bit of a waste if Amtrak decides not to stop at MIC, considering all the hullabaloo with FDOT over the platform length. There are rental cars nearby as well, which would be a plus for Amtrak passengers.

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Re: A Poll Of Sorts; Miami

Post by Jishnu » Mon Mar 16, 2015 1:02 pm

Amtrak should move to the multi-modal station at the airport as soon as it can. The current facility at Hialeah has no particular redeeming feature and is best abandoned ASAP for a more customer friendly location.

As for using the AAF station some day, FEC and TriRail are in the process of building the necessary trackage fro FEC trains coming down the current TrRail ROW to get to the AAF station, so at least infrastructure-wise it will be possible to get there. However, Amtrak would require additional platform tracks at that station and there are no plans for such at the present time.

If Amtrak does get around to routing sections of the Silver Service trains down FEC, they will still be able to access the airport station, so that will not be an issue.

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Re: A Poll Of Sorts; Miami

Post by Rockingham Racer » Mon Mar 16, 2015 2:03 pm

chrsjrcj wrote:I'd put money down that Amtrak never stops in Downtown Miami. And IIRC, when Amtrak is in MIC, they are going to have to block off NW 25th St. I can't imagine that's going to help mobility to/from the center.

It would be a bit of a waste if Amtrak decides not to stop at MIC, considering all the hullabaloo with FDOT over the platform length. There are rental cars nearby as well, which would be a plus for Amtrak passengers.
There are car rental services downtown as well, though not as many as at the airport.
slchub wrote:It will be challenging to start/end the Silver service at the MIC. Given that the trains are serviced in Hialeah it will take a yard crew to run the train from/to the yard (not enough manpower). There is not a dedicated crew register room at the MIC so the road crew will also have to be shuttled to/from Hialeah. However, I do think airport traffic would pick up if it did go to the MIC.

Right now the majority of the traffic gets on/off board the Silver service downline from Miami anyway.
Surprisingly, Miami/Hialeah had the highest passenger count in the state, after Orlando for Silver Service trains.

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