• FEC Miami Port Line - Downtown Spur

  • Discussion relating to the FEC operations, past and present. Includes Brightline. Official web site can be found here: FECRWY.COM.
Discussion relating to the FEC operations, past and present. Includes Brightline. Official web site can be found here: FECRWY.COM.

Moderator: GOLDEN-ARM

  by JasW
Sir Ray wrote:
Noel Weaver wrote:on the island (Stock Island, home of the port).
In reviewing the links on the preceding pages, I was unable to find a plan of the actual port/yard trackage.

I may have just missed it, but is there one around?
No, you haven't missed it. Below are some info and pics (showing the planned yard/trackage) from the Port Master Plan (click on the thumbnails for a larger pic). Note that the last pic says the bascule bridge currently "can only be operated manually." That made me laugh -- "Crank 'er up, Earl!"
The Port of Miami currently has an existing rail spur of approximately .57 miles in the Port. To provide for the reduced cost benefits associated with an intermodal link, a new on-port rail yard is planned for better accessibility for container movements from and to the Port. The rail yard will be incorporated into the long-term master plan. See Figure 5.20 for an example of the rail yard’s position within the Port. The yard would use the existing corridor and linkages to the Hialeah FEC yard as its base. The layout of the off-site rail yard is a separate master plan element. It is envisioned that the yard would be accessed by container haulers via a security gate system, assigned a train unit, and then off-loaded by a picker system onto double-stacked trains. The rail reduces truck trips by several hundred thousand trips per year. This will improve road safety, while reducing fuel consumption, oil dependence green house gas emissions and road degradation.

The total yard area would be approximately 9.5 acres and reside adjacent to the tunnel access to the Port and Seaboard Marine yard. The total length of the intermodal rail yard is approximately 2,750-feet. The cost for the on-port rail portion and bascule bridge component of the project is approximately $22.7 million plus an additional $2.3 million for RTG equipment.

Fig. 5.20

This rail yard would be used to stack and unload boxes from trains arriving and departing in the nighttime hours, thus not impacting downtown Miami traffic along Biscayne Boulevard. Aprons on either side would allow for loading/off-loading to occur. The existing bascule bridge would require substantial retrofitting prior to use. This is shown in the adjacent photo – Figure 5.21.

Fig. 5.21

Figure 5.22 illustrates a potential development of the Hialeah rail yard to act as an inland transshipment point for the Port. The train could either be used for direct service or interim service to a multi-modal transshipment yard close to the Miami International Airport. This provision provides another tool for marketing the Port and allowing the cargo yard users to compete in the Florida and Southeast U.S. market. It also establishes a sustainable cost effective direct rail service to and from the Port of Miami to lower transportation costs for shippers.

Additional upland work on track and yard is planned to finalize the use of this rail system. It would reduce traffic in downtown Miami while providing economic and environmental benefits to the County and surrounding municipalities.

Fig. 5.22
  by Noel Weaver
This morning, Thursday, May 17th, 2012 FEC engine 714, power car, Azalea, St. Augustine and engine 435 departed Hialeah at around 8:45 AM. At the new South Little River interlocking they were lined around the newly restored wye track to head downtown and they took the switch there at about 9:05 AM. President Hertwig and a lot of railroad brass and important officials from shipping companies are on this train this morning. They are headed downtown where the party will transfer to buses for a tour of the port. After they have toured the port they will reboard the passenger cars and engine 435 will pull them to Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale where they will get another tour this time of Port Everglades. The bridge to the Port of Miami is still being worked on and will not be finished for a while longer but this marks the first train other than work trains to travel to downtown Miami since the line was totally rebuilt. No, I did not travel down there to witness this historic trip but I watched their progress on the ATCS board and I also saw them go through Fort Lauderdale late yesterday afternoon. The Florida East Coast is truly the railroad that is "Going Places in Florida".
Noel Weaver
  by Jeff Smith
http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/05/21/2 ... right.html

Nice shot in the article of FEC714 (I'd name her the "Babe") doing the duty as Noel alluded to ^.
The first train across the new track to PortMiami carried people rather than the freight cars it will haul beginning later this year. But the short trip for journalists, port officials and executives of Florida East Coast Railway showed that this leg of the port overhaul project was squarely on track.

The $50 million rail link from the port to 79th Street in Miami is one of three elements critical to the port expansion plan aimed at making the facility more attractive to shipping companies after the Panama Canal expansion is completed in 2014. A $1 billion tunnel from Watson Island to the port is under way; a project to dredge the port to 52 feet recently received a green light after a settlement with environmental groups.


Freight trains running from the port will be about a half-mile long and are expected to clear intersections in about two minutes at a speed of 25 to 30 miles per hour, assistant port director Kevin Lynskey said. Previously, FEC spokesman Hussein Cumber has said the trains would operate as frequently as required by delivery of cargo but that they will not interfere with events in AmericanAirlines Arena, which is next to the track at the entrance of the port on Biscayne Boulevard.

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/05/21/2 ... rylink=cpy
  by Noel Weaver
Yesterday (Monday, June 4, 2012) an office car special consisting of both FEC cars plus three cars from CSX ran to downtown Miami giving executives from both the FEC and CSX a tour of this line. The rebuilding is complete from Little River to the bridge to Dodge Island and the Port of Miami and work is in progress on the rest of this job. The wye at Little River is also complete in in use as needed and all three legs of the wye at Little River are interlocked and available on ATCS as well. Here is a link to a great vildeo of this operation by one of our locals, I hope you enjoy looking at it as much as I have.


Noel Weaver, Fort Lauderdale, Florida
  by Gilbert B Norman
An excellent video production, Mr. Weaver; and in view of that I walked that very route (on public highways of course) from Marriott on Bayshore Drive (a stone's throw from the Arsht PAC) to the Love Tub docks last January, this production has all the more meaning to me.

Pleasing to note that CSX is considered a partner rather than a competitor. I'm not certain to what extent CSX can presently make rates out of Miami (only to their on-line industries, or has FEC opened some of theirs to a reciprocal switch?). All told, great to see a rail access will soon be available to the Port - and those "concrete cowboys" handling containers that practically ran me off the 95 while driving to the noted hotel, will have a little less traffic. I sob for them.
  by Noel Weaver
I must give credit to Tolga E. for this interesting video. As for CSX and FEC, CSX does not have an IM terminal in either Miami or Fort Lauderdale and they turn all of their South Florida IM traffic over to the FEC at Jacksonville. In this respect CSX is really a customer of the FEC and this is very likely to stay this way. This was the reason for this special, CSX executives got a "cooks tour" from the FEC management of this area and it included both the Port of Miami and Port Everglades here in Fort Lauderdale. I think there will be a fair number of changes in rail operations in this area in the next couple of years both regarding freight but also passenger trains as well. I think things will be very interesting in Fort Lauderdale and Miami and probably all along the Florida East Coast.
Noel Weaver
  by Gilbert B Norman
While this Associated Press report (courtesy of The New York Times) does not bear directly upon the Port of Miami, the accompanying photo certainly illustrates that the Port's operators have placed their bets on a role far beyond that of where the Love Tubs go to change the bathwater.

So has the FEC.
  by Gilbert B Norman
While it can only be hoped that the possible Longshoremen's strike set for December 30 will be averted (and by means of collective bargaining rather than an injunction under Taft-Hartley), the map included within reportage appearing in yesterday's Wall Street Journal certainly illustrates the size of the existing Port of Miami when compared with other East Coasr ports. I can only hope that the State, and for that matter the FEC, have placed their post-PANAMAX bets with acumen. There is always the chance that all these East Coast ports are getting ready to throw a big post-PANAMAX bash.

What if nobody came?

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142 ... 74482.html

(Brief Passage omitted as article does not pertain to topic discussion)
  by Gilbert B Norman
There is tangential mention of rail access to the Port within this New York Times article appearing this past Friday:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/30/us/po ... cture.html

Brief passage:

  • PortMiami is in the midst of $2 billion in improvements, including a tunnel directly linking its facilities with the Interstate highway system. Workers are also dredging to provide access to larger vessels, reconnecting the port with the nation’s rail system, upgrading its cranes and strengthening its bulkheads. Some of the cost has been financed with federal loans.
I trust the rail project is moving ahead, even if this exchange (to the effect of) I had with a Super Shuttle jitney driver two weeks ago in Miami can be discounted. I said to him when we were leaving KMIA "well, lets hope we don't get clipped by one of those Container Cowboys on Biscayne Blvd"; "that's why they're building 'em a tunnel straight to the Port", "Isn't there also a new rail line out there as well?", "wouldn't know about that one, sir"

Those of us who advocate railroad transportation, can hope that there will not be too much "outcry" when the trains start X-ing Biscayne Blvd and that some "biggo" doesn't miss a Miami Heat tip-off thanks to one of such.
  by Noel Weaver
There was another special last week to the Port or at least as far as the bridge. An engine on each end with the two office cars plus power car in the middle. I went down to watch it and found much work has been done on the bridge. In fact that afternoon they were testing it by lowering and raising it. The railroad has installed signals there and the bridge will be controlled by the train dispatcher in Jacksonville just like the other draw bridges on the FEC except for the big one in Jacksonville. They have also painted the bridge in a dark blue scheme and it really looks decent now. As I understand much track work has to be done at the port itself before any operations take place there but at least there has been some more progress.
Noel Weaver
  by Gilbert B Norman
I guess this one is lind of a "shame on me", Mr. Weaver.

While this 71 year old usually gets in a two mile walk every day (and I even brought my walking shoes with me to do so, which is saying something as when flying, if it won't fit under the seat, it doesn't get taken), I "just wasn't up to it" on "Saint Paddys".

Had I taken the walk as I did last year from 16th St and Bayshore to the "Love Tubs" and return, I would have seen for myself the progress Mr. Weaver has reported here. As I noted over at Passenger General Discussion Forum, I did observe from the Metrorail Freedom Tower station well ballasted trackage yet rusty rails, which led me to wonder if the project was on hold.

It certainly appears that FEC will be ready for the post-PANAMAX party the Port will be throwing; now what remains is who will come, i.e. Mr. COSCO and Ms. Maersk?
  by carajul
I was in Miami last week and saw the spur first hand. Wow nice to see that new rail and cement ties. Never thought I'd see that. Wish it was like that everywhere!
  by Noel Weaver
Here is the latest on the Port of Miami rail operations. The following information is from the Florida East Coast Railway Society newsletter "Speedway":

The bridge work is complete and the bridge is in service controlled by the Jacksonville Dispatcher the same as the other drawbridges on the railroad except for the Jacksonville Bridge which has a bridge operator. There have been work trains over this bridge since late February and they figure the first freight movements out of the Port of Miami will be in July of THIS YEAR.
I think this operation will be most interesting to witness and I will be taking a ride down to that part of the woods when this service gets started.

Incidentally you can be a part of the Florida East Coast Railway Society, dues are only $25.00 a year and you will get a chance to participate in various activities which include shop and yard visits, trips, the annual convention plus you will receive our quarterly newsletter the "Speedway". The current issue includes articles about the Port of Miami from which the above is part and other features about the railroad past, present and future and makes for very interesting reading. Here is a link to the society website:


Noel Weaver
  by JasW
I'm not sure this is worth a new thread, so I might as well post it here given that this proposed line up US 27 would directly connect to the port. The FEC owns a ton of land, generally known as "Flagler Station" in the area of the Turnpike just south of US 27, and it has trackage there coming directly from the FEC yard -- and of course from the port -- that would presumably be used to connect to this proposed line.
Railroad coming to U.S. 27? A new vision emerges

A new vision emerges for the rural highway in South Florida

By Angel Streeter, Sun Sentinel

11:33 p.m. EDT, May 18, 2013

A scenic highway on the edge of the Everglades, U.S. 27 seems far away from the hustle and bustle of interstate commerce.

It has no strip malls, few stoplights and gas stations. Vast open land — sugar cane fields, farms, sawgrass — surrounds its four lanes in Broward and Palm Beach counties, a highway where "progress" has seemed to drive on by.

But an emerging vision for U.S. 27 could make it a key player in South Florida commerce. The Florida Department of Transportation is studying whether to transform the road into a major rail corridor, where freight trains full of cargo from Asia and South America travel on a proposed new rail line along the highway from Port Miami to inland distribution centers in western Palm Beach County.

U.S. 27 could function as a 'rail bypass,' diverting freight trains from the Florida East Coast and CSX railroads to relieve traffic at railroad crossings and to make room for more passenger trains.

"We have a lot of different things going on with the potential shift in the trade flow in South Florida that we want to be prepared for," said Lisa Dykstra, a concept-development coordinator with FDOT.

The idea to transform U.S. 27 comes as several efforts are converging, prompting a growing demand to move freight and passengers by rail.

For one, improvements at Port Miami, including dredging a deeper channel to accommodate larger ships, are expected to significantly increase the amount of goods coming into the port.

That increased freight and cargo could head to three distribution centers around Lake Okeechobee, where some 50 million square feet of warehouse space is planned.

Already a heavily used truck route, U.S. 27 would see an explosion of truck traffic — an increase of 21 to 27 percent between Interstate 75 in Broward and State Road 80 in Palm Beach, FDOT says.

With or without a new rail line, FDOT projects that U.S. 27 would have to be widened to six lanes between Griffin Road in Broward and Old U.S. 27 in Palm Beach County to accommodate the distribution centers.

Rail service could diminish the need for all those trucks, connecting the port and shipping hubs.

At the same time, passenger trains are returning to the FEC. A passenger service between Miami and Orlando, called All Aboard Florida, is scheduled to launch in 2015. Plus, a commuter service for South Florida, to be called Tri-Rail Coastal Link, is being planned for the FEC line.

To accommodate these passenger trains, freight trains could be diverted to the proposed U.S. 27 railroad. In Palm Beach County alone, there are some 100 railroad crossings along the FEC, which runs through congested urban centers.

Freight trains with 150 cars would close those crossings for 10 to 15 minutes while a commuter train would close railroad gates for only three to five minutes.

A recent FDOT study of the proposed U.S. 27 railroad estimated that 15 to 22 trains a day would travel on the new rail corridor, which represents about 50 to 75 percent of the existing rail service on the coastal rail corridors.

The proposed rail line would run parallel to the highway on the west side from the Homestead Extension of Florida's Turnpike in Miami-Dade County to the Okeelanta Sugar Mill in Palm Beach. North of the mill, it would connect to the South Central Florida Express railroad.

Read the rest at: http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/broward/fl-us-27-rail-expansion-study-20130516,0,4649697.story
  by boatsmate
Any update as to when service will begin out of the port??? a good website that you can often see the RR bridge is Miami Web Cam. it moves and is mostly for cruise ships but when none are in port it is often on the RR bridge or in that general area.

  • 1
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 12