• 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 Ridgefielder
Until I read the WSJ article and then the Wikipedia entry on the West India Fruit & Steamship Co., I had no idea the Cuban railways once interchanged cars directly with the main North American system. While I'm sure there is not a single piece of rolling stock left down there that would be legal on US rails today, could interchange service resume at some point in the future? Or are the modern economics completely against it?
  by Gilbert B Norman
From Brooklyn NY

Yes, the Cuban roads are Std gauge, but I'd dare say that Mr. Ridgefield is spot on with interchange of Cuban cars.

Likely they are as decrepit as are the automobiles on the Island.

US Cuba commerce will be handled in Crowleys. Railcar ferries are simply a non start.
  by Noel Weaver
I have heard that operations to the Port of Miami have increased to two moves each way a day seven days a week with good size trains. This is one of a number of positive steps we are seeing on the FEC.
Noel Weaver
  by Noel Weaver
Here is a video of the job out of Port of Miami a couple of days ago. They are doing two round trips these days. Not bad for a railroad line that was all but abandoned only a couple of years ago. I hope you enjoy watching it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nUA3exQPt7U" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Noel Weaver
  by Gilbert B Norman
Forty Eight less containers being drag raced around Downtown Miami by the law unto themselves "concrete cowboys".

Even if I am skeptical that, with every East Coast port having one expansion plan or the other to accommodate post-PANAMAX traffic, there will be enough growth for everyone - after all the West Coast ports and their railroads are not about to take any material diversion of their traffic lightly, I am very pleased to see that healthy train heading to the Port. As I noted earlier, I didn't see too much activity other than the Love Tubs over there during the weekend of Feb 28.

Now a couple of questions; can that 26 car train be handled at the Port without having to cut it, and are there turning facilities for the single SD-40 videoed on that train? I thought the plan was to have two GP-40 locomotives on either end permitting bi-directional operations.
  by Noel Weaver
Most of your questions I can't answer having not been down there in some time. I know they started running stuff out of there before the full facility was completed, today I don't know how much construction work still has to take place there if any. The video was done by one of our relatively young but very talented photographers in this area.
Noel Weaver
  by Gilbert B Norman
From Marriott Biscayne Bay Miami--

My room has a clear view of the Port; all I can report is that there are all too many cranes pointing skyward.

Also of concern, Maersk has and is building vessels that post-PANAMAX will still not be able to transit.

I still hold the concern that the post-PANAMAX party could be a "nobody came". This affects not only PortMiami, but every other East Coast port - and they are spending heap big wampum to get ready for post-PANAMAX.

This is good news for Port of LA/LB; of course, lest we not forget the wild card Lazaro Cardenas, Michaun represents. That of course is a plus for KCS-M - the only Mexican road serving it.
  by Gilbert B Norman
From Marriott Biscayne Bay Miami ( 72dg)

As I look out the window, there is one set of cranes pointing leeward, so I guess there is one vessel in port (also four Love Tubs).

I'very learned there are two trains most days to the Port. My source, who I believe to be reliable, suspects FEC is losing money serving the Port, but is expecting a winner post-PANAMAX. Much taxpayer $$$$ has been committed and FEC has some skin in the game as well (and maybe some chips to cash in up at Tallahassee).

I said my usual "what if nobody comes?" Response was "an awful lot of East Coast ports will be in the same boat".

Any further I might have been too intrusive, and just bid farewell.
  by Rockingham Racer
More "luv tubs" are being added to the roster next year. I wonder how many luv tubbers arrive by Amtrak?
  by Gilbert B Norman
Very pleased to learn, Mr. Weaver, that more of those cranes are leeward. I have also learned now that the accepted term is Neo-PANAMAX for vessels that can transit the new locks.

disclaimer: author no longer holds any position CSX
  by Gilbert B Norman
There have been reports at various recognized media outlets that Neo-PANAMAX traffic is simply not meeting expectations.

As I noted elsewhere at this Forum, I drove by on the NJTurnpike, Port Elizabeth last month - an awful lot of cranes were Skyward.

Now today in The Journal are two articles related to maritime shipping that for anyone around here who holds as I do, that the fortunes of maritime shipping and the railroads are "hand and glove", will not enjoy reading:

http://www.wsj.com/articles/more-pain-a ... 1478096872" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

http://www.wsj.com/articles/maersk-shar ... 1478076992" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

I'm set during February to "come on down" for a Cleveland Orchestra concert during their Miami residency. I fear I will see Skyward cranes out at the Port.

I'm not prepared to say at this time that the State of Florida "placed a bad bet" when they chose to make their Ports into something beyond a "Love Nest for the Love Tubs". I also note that, as Mr. Cowford, who I believe is a professional in maritime shipping affairs once noted, if one port upgrades for Neo-PANAMAX shipping, so must others. Even if I personally question the propriety of this "herd mentality" in any business endeavor (including digital "prostitution" of copyrighted content by print media rights holders themselves), "If one does it, so must we" is indeed prevalent throughout the business community.
  by boatsmate
I don't think it is necessarily a situation of these ships not coming to the east coast, just a matter of timing. first of all the Panama canal expansion just opened this fall, most of the goods coming to the US from other countries for the Christmas rush arrives during the summer and very early fall. that is so they can get everything to the warehouses in time to get it processed and out to the regional warehouses and to the stores by Nov. Plus on top of everything else there was a Major container ship company that went bankrupt this fall. that has hurt a lot of ports also. I think its to early to say that all theses improvements made in Miami are for not. lets see what happens next year.

Captain Bill
  by Gilbert B Norman
I certainly agree with your immediate thought, Cap'n Bill.

The thought of "heap big wampum" squandered by both public and private sectors, in at least two sovereign states (US and PA), is simply too much to hold at this time.

Now we must also factor if President Trump will be as anti-trade as has been Candidate Trump? Will there really be the ruinous tariffs imposed by the President as the Candidate proposed? How much idle manufacturing capacity have we, be it physical, human, and/or capital resources?

Let us note at this time, the maritime shipping industry is still dealing with the impact of the Hanjin bankruptcy. I think we have all followed enough transportation bankruptcies in our lifetimes to know that freight still gets shipped and passengers board flights. As Cap'n Bill notes, it all needs time to shake out.

Finally, even the investment community that has walloped Kansas City Southern (KSU) post-Election, may find that a buy-op is there, for the production and distribution chain of American designed and marketed, but Mexican manufactured, products is too strong to break in an orderly manner.
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