Amtrak on the Florida East Coast FEC Jacksonville - Miami

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

Moderators: GirlOnTheTrain, Amtrak67 of America, Tadman, gprimr1

chrsjrcj
Posts: 288
Joined: Fri Dec 29, 2006 2:14 pm
Location: West Palm Beach, FL

FEC Amtrak Route Option?

Post by chrsjrcj » Wed May 09, 2007 6:09 pm

Does Amtrak have a new opportunity to run trains on the east coast? Or will they not come up with the money?

Imagine riding a train from New York to Titusville and taking a cruise at nearby Port Canaveral.

But as many possible Amtrak extensions, there are stalled cars on the tracks.

1) Does Amtrak have the money?
2) Would the FEC railroad allow?
3) Possible delays since the railroad is single track.

Or will the tow truck come in time?
1) The route would provide service to the east coast of Florida.
2) St. Augustine (Americas oldest city), Daytona (Daytona Intl Speedway), Titusville (Nearby Port Canaveral). Those locations should justify ridership potential.

Routing Problem: I say send the Meteor up the east coast. But than the problem is there would be no direct Miami-Orlando train. One would have to take the Star from Miami than take a 2 hour trip to Tampa and than finally get to Orlando.
Solution 1:Extend the Palmetto from Savannah to Miami bypassing Tampa. And still allowing the Star to go to Tampa.
Solution 2:But...I think the good thing about the Palmetto is that one can get between Savannah and New York with out spending the night. So than how about bringing back the Silver Palm. This would send the Star directly to Orlando from Miami and also giving Miami-Tampa and Tampa-Orlando residents an option.
Solution 3: But...one would have to transfer trains in Orlando from Tampa to the Star. So what about a new LD train? Would Amtrak have the money?

I know that I went very in depth to the extension but I think it is very practical.

gprimr1
Posts: 3906
Joined: Sat Apr 01, 2006 12:39 pm
Location: Towson Maryland

Post by gprimr1 » Wed May 09, 2007 6:56 pm

What about creating trains 998 and 997 running WinterPark? maybe, to Tampa via Orlando?

That would solve several problems, and maybe allow the Silver Star to die honorably.
-Greg Primrose
Moderator: General Discussion: High Speed Rail Amtrak
"I'm leaving on a jet train, don't know when I'll be back again. Bags are packed and there ready to go."
Ave Atque Vale

Skullitor
Posts: 220
Joined: Thu Nov 09, 2006 7:47 pm
Location: MASS

Post by Skullitor » Wed May 09, 2007 8:42 pm

One of the Silver trains was supposed to run to Miami via the FEC to the Hollywood area then cross over to CSX.But it never happened.
The Worcester Foreign Power Team.The Heart And Soul Of New England Railfans.

Gilbert B Norman
Posts: 14116
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 6:52 am
Location: Clarendon Hills, IL (BNSF Chicago Sub; MP 18.71)

Post by Gilbert B Norman » Thu May 10, 2007 8:18 am

Volks, I think I hold some credentials around here as an "old Florida hand' insomuch as I've been going down once or twice a season for about the past twenty five years.

Secondly, I am mindful that there "has been talk" in the recent past of the FEC hosting an Amtrak passenger train as well as Tri-Rail regional trains (somehow, I think 'commuter train" will become more of a non-term as the 21st century moves on). From what I saw of the FEC with Mr. Weaver this past March near Boca and Delray, it continues to look like a well maintained property that could, if its managers were receptive, host a passenger train.

Further, we must be mindful that there are only two trains left - and there are not going to be any more funded at Federal level. At local level, the funding initiative appears to be directed towards regional trains, such as Tri-Rail and the proposed Orange County service through Orlando.

Therefore, given that the rodent and his consorts around Orlando are the 'top draw' of any market within the State, that destinations along the North and Central East Coast are readilly accessible from the existing inland ACL route (contrary to what Henry Flagler's propagandists wanted you to believe there are no surfside vistas, such as there are on the West Coast, along the FEC) and Amtrak does not have a tariff for sharks - the passenger base to the East of the FEC, Amtrak is best advised to leave what they have in place and continue with the remaining "two a day' bringing sibjects to the rodent's Court.

Incidentially, one of the two physical iconnections (are they actually interchanges at present I know not) between the SAL and the FEC is visible to any Tri Rail passenger looking to the East between West Palm and Magnonia. The other is near the present Goodyear aerodrome at Pompano Beach, but all I can say of that one is "last time I checked' there was trackage in place.

Jishnu
Posts: 1834
Joined: Fri Mar 26, 2004 1:48 pm
Location: At the Space Coast 20 miles from Kennedy Space Center

Post by Jishnu » Thu May 10, 2007 8:32 am

gprimr1 wrote:What about creating trains 998 and 997 running WinterPark? maybe, to Tampa via Orlando?

That would solve several problems, and maybe allow the Silver Star to die honorably.
And why exactly do you want to kill the Silver Star?

NellieBly
Posts: 1427
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 9:14 am
Location: NEC

FEC and Amtrak

Post by NellieBly » Thu May 10, 2007 11:51 am

In my previous job as a railroad consultant, I was a subcontractor on a large (and still on-going) study of transportation options in southeast Florida, specifically, the "south FEC corridor" from Jupiter, FL to Miami.

The state is interested in making use of the FEC as a commuter corridor. Problem is, the railroad at present is quite busy with freight trains, and of course the state has spent megabucks double-tracking the South Florida Rail Corridor (SFRC, former SAL main) to the west.

Two options look most likely:

1) A light rail line from Miami to Ft. Lauderdale on the FEC ROW, parallel to the freight tracks

2) A Tri-Rail extension to Jupiter over FEC (using one of several possible rights-of-way north of West Palm Beach to reach FEC).

Less likely is some sort of light rail on the north end of the corridor, possibly WPB to Boca Raton.

The state actually had put a contract out to bid to upgrade the "Northwood Connection" in West Palm for Amtrak's use when the re-route of one Amtrak train was discussed. That work is now "on hold" but still could happen, independent of the SFECC study. The Northwood Conection is not suitable for commuter rail, in part because it requires a reverse move. So I suppose a re-route still could happen. All it takes is money...

Skullitor
Posts: 220
Joined: Thu Nov 09, 2006 7:47 pm
Location: MASS

Post by Skullitor » Thu May 10, 2007 11:58 am

I thought Amtrak was gonna send the Super Liner Equipped "SUNSET LTD"
to Miami via the FEC? And run a train from Jacksonville to Tampa via Orlando.Anyone else hear this? :-) Also is there a direct track from Atlanta to Jacksonville?
The Worcester Foreign Power Team.The Heart And Soul Of New England Railfans.

Jishnu
Posts: 1834
Joined: Fri Mar 26, 2004 1:48 pm
Location: At the Space Coast 20 miles from Kennedy Space Center

Post by Jishnu » Thu May 10, 2007 12:03 pm

Skullitor wrote:I thought Amtrak was gonna send the Super Liner Equipped "SUNSET LTD"
to Miami via the FEC?
For that to happen the Sunet Limited has to first get to Jacksonville again, and that looks like it is very unlikely to happen. And that would only be three times a week if it were to happen. Not worth the extra trackwork just to get a three times a week train IMHO.

Skullitor
Posts: 220
Joined: Thu Nov 09, 2006 7:47 pm
Location: MASS

Post by Skullitor » Thu May 10, 2007 12:05 pm

True, but I heard Amtrak was thinking of making it a daily Miami to L.A. train with states help.
The Worcester Foreign Power Team.The Heart And Soul Of New England Railfans.

Jishnu
Posts: 1834
Joined: Fri Mar 26, 2004 1:48 pm
Location: At the Space Coast 20 miles from Kennedy Space Center

Post by Jishnu » Thu May 10, 2007 12:15 pm

Must be one very rich and cooperative state since they will also have to spring for three or four additional Superliner consists that Amtrak does not currently have ;)

chrsjrcj
Posts: 288
Joined: Fri Dec 29, 2006 2:14 pm
Location: West Palm Beach, FL

Post by chrsjrcj » Thu May 10, 2007 3:27 pm

Also is there a direct track from Atlanta to Jacksonville?
It is possible. Amtrak could take CSX tracks from Jacksonville to Jesup and than NS to Atlanta.

I think there is no sense to run Tri-Rail trains down the FEC unless it takes the Northwood Conection (just north of the West Palm Beach Tri-Rail station) to Jupiter. There is only about a mile between the CSX tracks and the FEC tracks from West Palm to Hollywood. South of there the CSX tracks go west toward Miami International Airport while the FEC continues to downtown Miami. Tri-Rail originally was going to use the FEC tracks but FEC wouldn't let them.

Amtrak probably would be using the FEC tracks but strikes on the FEC when Amtrak first started made Amtrak change there mind.

Skullitor
Posts: 220
Joined: Thu Nov 09, 2006 7:47 pm
Location: MASS

Post by Skullitor » Thu May 10, 2007 7:52 pm

Face it,Amtrak needs a lot of new long distance train sets.
The Worcester Foreign Power Team.The Heart And Soul Of New England Railfans.

Ocala Mike
Posts: 1127
Joined: Wed Feb 22, 2006 9:01 pm
Location: Ocala, FL

FEC Amtrak Route Option?

Post by Ocala Mike » Thu May 10, 2007 7:54 pm

How does this fit into the scheme of things, if at all?




Equity firm buys Florida East Coast Railway



St. Augustine, FL
Publication Date: 05/09/07


For the fourth time since Henry Flagler began building it in 1883, the
Florida East Coast Railway is changing hands.

The railroad's parent company, Jacksonville-based Florida East Coast
Industries, announced Tuesday a $3.5 billion agreement to sell the
company to a group of private equity funds managed by New York-based
Fortress Investment Group LLC.

From its beginning until earlier this year, the company's corporate
headquarters had been in St. Augustine. The company sold its downtown
buildings to Flagler College.

Florida East Coast shareholders will get $84 in cash for their shares, a
13 percent premium over the stock's closing price of $74.13 on Monday.
The price consists of a special $21.50 dividend that will be paid by the
company and $62.50 in cash paid by the investors.

Florida East Coast traces its roots to the railroad built by Flagler
from Jacksonville to Miami in the late 19th century. In the mid-1980s,
it took advantage of land owned by the railroad to add a commercial real
estate subsidiary now known as Flagler Development Group.

Noel Weaver
Posts: 9630
Joined: Sat May 29, 2004 9:33 pm
Location: Pompano Beach, Florida

Post by Noel Weaver » Fri May 11, 2007 12:27 am

The deal originally to the best of my knowledge was to operate 97 and 98
on the FEC between West Palm Beach and Jacksonville. The FEC was
willing to cooperate on this move but wanted a little more track capacity.
The railroad is in outstanding shape and could handle Amtrak without a
lot of difficulty except maybe one or two more sidings if that. It has a
modern signal system with CTC, cab signals and train control, good track
and not a lot of curves for the most part. I believe they were considering
about seven station stops between West Palm and Jacksonville. The only
decent available connection is in the West Palm Beach area, the Pompano
track serves the Farmers Market and is not a main line track in any sense.
They do a lot of business on that particular track and I doubt that they
would consider it for Amtrak.
The "other Bush" put the brakes on this move after an Amtrak test train
had already checked out this route.
I am very much in favor of this and think it could work out very well, there
are several good locations on the FEC which I think would provide Amtrak
with good patronage. The Star could still serve Orlando and Orlando has
outstanding air service to many points north and west.
Off subject maybe but commuter service on the FEC will not be as simple
as one Amtrak round trip as the FEC has very heavy freight traffic and
their trains run quite close to their schedules as a rule. Thanks to CSX,
I would venture to say that the FEC runs their freight trains closer to
schedule than CSX allows Amtrak to run. There is no way that the FEC
will allow any passenger trains to interfere with their heavy and basically
profitable freight operations. They general run about 12 through freight
trains in each direction through Fort Lauderdale on Monday through
Friday with somewhat less on Saturday and Sunday.
Noel Weaver

delvyrails
Posts: 564
Joined: Sat Mar 24, 2007 12:47 pm

Post by delvyrails » Sat May 12, 2007 10:46 am

How many passing tracks are there on FEC between Jacksonville and West Palm Beach, and where are they?

With only 12 hotshot trains in each direction, operating a well-dispatched railroad with one or two additional passenger trains each way should be possible if there are enough passing tracks.

Note that if two passenger trains in each direction are scheduled to operate about eight hours apart (as most of us would advocate) , at most only one northward and one southward passenger train would be on the FEC line at a time. JAX to WPB should be feasible in about 5.5 hours.

Return to “Amtrak”