Amtrak on the Florida East Coast FEC Jacksonville - Miami

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Noel Weaver
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Re: Amtrak on the FEC Miami (MIA) to Jacksonville (JAX)

Post by Noel Weaver » Sat Feb 23, 2013 5:02 am

It might be quiet but it is not totally dead at this point, here is a link to an article in today's Sun-Sentinel and while it still is just more talk at least the flame is still burning. I hops I live to see the day when it happens.

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/palm-b ... 9698.story

Noel Weaver

bostontrainguy
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Re: Amtrak on the FEC Miami (MIA) to Jacksonville (JAX)

Post by bostontrainguy » Thu Dec 10, 2015 11:55 am

I would like to see Amtrak combine the "Night Owl" 66/67 with the Palmetto and extend it to Miami along the FEC. Overnight sleeper between Boston and D.C., through service from the Northeast to Florida (through checked baggage and sleeper from New England for a change). Leave Washington early in the morning and run pretty much opposite of existing Florida trains arriving in Florida in the morning so people can get a full day in the sun and connect to cruise ships all along the coast without an additional hotel stay (now required due to the Silver Service late arrivals).

Northbound it could leave Florida late in the day (opposite existing service) again allowing for a day of activity in Florida before departure and connections from all cruise ships which now are too close to guarantee in southern Florida (again avoiding an overnight hotel stay). Arrival would be at night in Washington and then overnight to Boston.

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Re: Amtrak on the FEC Miami (MIA) to Jacksonville (JAX)

Post by ebtmikado » Thu Dec 10, 2015 6:56 pm

That is a very interesting proposal.

Lee

Noel Weaver
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Re: Amtrak on the FEC Miami (MIA) to Jacksonville (JAX)

Post by Noel Weaver » Thu Dec 10, 2015 10:28 pm

There is a big potential for good ridership figures all along the east coast of Florida but this potential would have to be utilized by a daytime schedule between Jacksonville and Miami. In addition many hot freight trains run at night so an AM departure from JAX is important to any success in this area.
Noel Weaver

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Re: Amtrak on the FEC Miami (MIA) to Jacksonville (JAX)

Post by bostontrainguy » Thu Dec 10, 2015 10:35 pm

All Aboard Florida could handle intrastate demand with fast and frequent daytime service. Long distance Amtrak service is really a different animal.

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Rockingham Racer
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Re: Amtrak on the FEC Miami (MIA) to Jacksonville (JAX)

Post by Rockingham Racer » Fri Dec 11, 2015 6:55 am

Noel Weaver wrote:There is a big potential for good ridership figures all along the east coast of Florida but this potential would have to be utilized by a daytime schedule between Jacksonville and Miami. In addition many hot freight trains run at night so an AM departure from JAX is important to any success in this area.
Noel Weaver
I'm not sure that this would be a major problem. The Empire Builder runs the BNSF Northern Transcon on a single-track railroad for several hundred miles, and it's in the mix with their hot intermodals to/ from Portland and Seattle. And busier than the FEC. Seems to work out okay. Am I missing something?

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Re: Amtrak on the FEC Miami (MIA) to Jacksonville (JAX)

Post by Greg Moore » Fri Dec 11, 2015 10:21 am

Rockingham Racer wrote:
Noel Weaver wrote:There is a big potential for good ridership figures all along the east coast of Florida but this potential would have to be utilized by a daytime schedule between Jacksonville and Miami. In addition many hot freight trains run at night so an AM departure from JAX is important to any success in this area.
Noel Weaver
I'm not sure that this would be a major problem. The Empire Builder runs the BNSF Northern Transcon on a single-track railroad for several hundred miles, and it's in the mix with their hot intermodals to/ from Portland and Seattle. And busier than the FEC. Seems to work out okay. Am I missing something?
It does? Have you seen the schedule keeping of the Empire Building over the past few years? Freight traffic from the oil fields destroyed it for awhile.
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electricron
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Re: Amtrak on the FEC Miami (MIA) to Jacksonville (JAX)

Post by electricron » Fri Dec 11, 2015 10:42 am

Rockingham Racer wrote: The Empire Builder runs the BNSF Northern Transcon on a single-track railroad for several hundred miles, and it's in the mix with their hot intermodals to/ from Portland and Seattle. And busier than the FEC. Seems to work out okay. Am I missing something?
I thought the BNSF Northern Transcon was over two thousand miles in length. Therefore several hundred miles should read several thousand miles. :-D

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Rockingham Racer
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Re: Amtrak on the FEC Miami (MIA) to Jacksonville (JAX)

Post by Rockingham Racer » Fri Dec 11, 2015 11:28 am

Yes, I have seen the schedule-keeping of # 7 & #8 over the last few years. Poor schedule keeping there seemed to be a function of overloading the railroad--some would say greed--. I've also seen that the schedule-keeping of these trains has improved in recent months. I could be wrong, but my impression of the FEC is that it's not overloaded--at least based on what I read on the FEC Yahoo group.

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Re: Amtrak on the FEC Miami (MIA) to Jacksonville (JAX)

Post by Rockingham Racer » Fri Dec 11, 2015 11:34 am

electricron wrote:
Rockingham Racer wrote: The Empire Builder runs the BNSF Northern Transcon on a single-track railroad for several hundred miles, and it's in the mix with their hot intermodals to/ from Portland and Seattle. And busier than the FEC. Seems to work out okay. Am I missing something?
I thought the BNSF Northern Transcon was over two thousand miles in length. Therefore several hundred miles should read several thousand miles. :-D
It's 1244 rail miles between Williston, ND [the end of double track] to Seattle, WA. There are some good stretches of double track in Montana, also. So given the distance, "hundreds" is pretty apt. :wink:

Noel Weaver
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Re: Amtrak on the FEC Miami (MIA) to Jacksonville (JAX)

Post by Noel Weaver » Sat Dec 12, 2015 10:53 pm

Rockingham Racer wrote:The Empire Builder runs the BNSF Northern Transcon on a single-track railroad for several hundred miles, and it's in the mix with their hot intermodals to/ from Portland and Seattle. And busier than the FEC. Seems to work out okay. Am I missing something?
What you are missing is that the FEC runs their freight trains on a schedule that they can and do live up to practically all the time. I don't think they would be willing to delay even for a few minutes a very hot train with a lot of hot UPS for anything. They run a lot more at night out of both ends of the railroad than they do in the daytime. There is no real point in running one train a day over the FEC in the middle of the night. Can you imagine an 80 year old boarding a train at Daytona Beach at midnight or maybe much later or getting off a train at those kind of hours? It will not happen.

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Re: Amtrak on the FEC Miami (MIA) to Jacksonville (JAX)

Post by bostontrainguy » Sun Dec 13, 2015 8:59 am

I think you answered your own question. Since FEC runs their freights on a pretty set schedule, it would be easier to add in one Amtrak train than on the erratic BNSF. Also, All Aboard America is adding sidings to facilitate it's new daytime trains which of course would be available for any later running Amtrak LD train. Jacksonville to Cocoa upgrades are being planned in addition to phase 1.

Never say something will never happen! The Northeast to Florida is Amtrak's greatest long distance market and has potential for expansion. Adding new east coast cities and a new opposing schedule should provide whole new markets.

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Re: Amtrak on the FEC Miami (MIA) to Jacksonville (JAX)

Post by mtuandrew » Sat Dec 19, 2015 10:18 am

The nice thing about the FEC running scheduled high-speed freights is that no matter when CSX dumps Amtrak at Jacksonville, the FEC can wait for any suitable opening and plug them into their existing schedule. Much less disruption, regular track speed, and no losing more time on the FEC.

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Re: Amtrak on the FEC Miami (MIA) to Jacksonville (JAX)

Post by jp1822 » Sun Dec 20, 2015 2:00 am

Split the Silver Star at Jackonsville........hmmmm.......so that would likely create a third and potentially fourth market for this train. When the Silver Star returns to a "full service" train with the delivery of new sleepers and diners etc., I think the Tampa market would be greatly strengthened with a train just to/from NYP and Tampa (with intermediate points). It's still the "long way" to get to Tampa (though the more inland route of North Carolina/South Carolina etc.) The split at Jacksonville would create intrastate travel between Jacksonville and Miami. The current Star would have to have an extra coach added for one leg or the other at Jacksonville (whether to Tampa or or Miami. The full service diner should be going to Tampa, as Miami would still get a full service diner via the Silver Meteor. Thus the Star would have to rely on an Amfleet Diner Lite operation between Jacksonville and Miami.

ANY Florida train that goes back to "splitting" in Jacksonville would be an improvement. The Tampa market has been eroded by a once a day train in either direction.

Getting the Palmetto extended to Miami - in one form or another would seem better as well. Perhaps the return of the Silver Palm.

Again, the best schedule to/from Florida was when there was a morning train, mid-day train, and evening train departing from both end points. This was achieved as late as the Warrington era with the Silver Palm leaving in the morning from NYP, the Silver Star at mid-day, and then the Silver Meteor in the evening. The opposite was equally true - only it was the Silver Palm departing Miami at about 5 pm. If it could make Jacksonville just before midnight, that would be ideal. It may be the Silver Palm that would also have to use the FEC - with also a split to Tampa or perhaps the Silver Star section from Tampa bringing passengers over but then having the Silver Palm continue up the route it currently takes closer to the Coast.

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Re: Amtrak on the FEC Miami (MIA) to Jacksonville (JAX)

Post by west point » Sun Dec 20, 2015 4:26 am

jp: The Star's biggest market and the one that causes it to carry more passenger than the Meteor is Tampa - South Florida. That is not something to dismiss.
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