• Last train out of Hialeah, please turn out the lights...

  • Discussion of the operations of CSX Transportation, from 1980 to the present. Official site can be found here: CSXT.COM.
Discussion of the operations of CSX Transportation, from 1980 to the present. Official site can be found here: CSXT.COM.

Moderator: MBTA F40PH-2C 1050

  by AmtrakFan
Then how many Trains would FEC run on their line and would Amtrak Be Effected.

AmtrakFan :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D

  by 262
A little backround,the State of Florida owns the line from Palm Beach County to Dade County.It is all being double tracked and is near compleation. CSX is basicly a tennant,with the exception of its yards and spurs,and is paid to maintain and dispatch the line.They abandoned all intermodle trafic to FEC in the early 80s.With all the money the Federal Government has granted The Tri-County Rail Athority I doubt Amtrak will ever be unwelcome.What I cannot understand is with none of the cost of infrastructure or property tax,mostly new double track with a 79 mph.passenger 59 mph.freight MAS.CSX managment still does not see this as a profit center,with a please exploit me sign.


  by Noel Weaver
This cutback along with some of the others that CSX seems to be promoting these days is, in my view, a way to put the hooks to the unions.
It is no secret that CSX had abandoned some quite important but duplicate
lines over the years, probably to prevent or hamper any possible
competetion and now this.
They will talk to the FEC as the FEC has track connections with this line but
when they severed the former mainline of the Western Maryland and sold
it to a short line, they kept a portion at each end so the short line is still
captive to CSX.
In my opinion, the CSX is the prime example of a failed merger, a whole
lot of railroads that were basically successful and well run all merged into
an outfit that is too big and poorly run from Jacksonville, Florida.
I don't know if I have any ideas for a solution of this mess but I think the
stockholders will suffer in the long run.
Noel Weaver

  by ACLfan
It's a little early in the process to figure out what CSX is trying to accomplish in this hand-wringing game.

As mentioned above, the former CSX (x SAL) mainline between Miami and West Palm Beach is continually being upgraded into a top-notch commuter rail system. CSX is a user/tenant, with its freight train schedules being organized around the Tri-Rail commuter train traffic.

Over the years, CSX has been unhappy with the Amtrak relationship on the trackage between West Palm Beach and Auburndale (and beyond). Annually, CSX complains about the funding that Amtrak pays for its use of the track. Could CSX be "saber-rattling" for more $$ from Amtrak in exchange for its use of the track?

Amtrak and the FEC have been involved in protracted negotiations and planning over the construction of a passenger connection track between the FEC mainline and the South FL Rail Corridor in the West Palm Beach area. This connector would allow for the use of FEC's mainline along the East Coast of Florida between WPB and Jacksonville. Currently, the Amtrak trains use the CSX between WPB - Auburndale - Orlando - Jacksonville. No connector track construction yet!

The stretch of CSX trackage between West Palm Beach and Winter Haven, FL is a long distance with a very small customer base. This condition is not expected to dramatically improve over the short term future (or, maybe the long term future, for that matter!).

CSX has already turned the lucrative intermodal traffic that once used its line between Miami and West Palm Beach to the FEC Rwy, with the FEC turning the intermodal traffic over to CSX in Jacksonville. In reverse, CSX turns its WPB - Miami intermodal traffic over to FEC in Jacksonville rather than keeping the trains on its own line (partly influenced by the Tri-Rail train traffic densities, and the relatively limited time windows for CSX trains).

CSX could be "dreaming and scheming" that it could retain its tenancy on the South Florida Rail Corridor (the former CSX mainline), and turn ALL of its freight over to the FEC for forwarding between West Palm Beach and Jacksonville, thereby saving a bundle of $$ in track upkeep ( due to the level required for Amtrak passenger train usage) and train operating expenses (equipment, personnel, etc.).

So, CSX could be wanting to:

1. Get more $$ out of Amtrak for continued track maintenance between West Palm Beach and Auburndale (and beyond);

2. Ditch the long, but with little customer base, section of CSX track between West Palm Beach and Winter Haven;

3. Get more favorable train operating windows on the South Florida Rail Corridor; or

4. Any and all of the above, and possibly many more options!

Anyone want to enter this little "guessing game" with their "idea" contributions!

The outcome should be interesting!


  by crazy_nip
Some of you that dont live around here dont know what you are talking about...

1. most freight to south florida goes down the FEC (for reasons already stated

2. The state owns the line between WPB and MIAMI and restricts freights to run mostly at night with a few exceptions midday

3. there is almost zero (NO) freight online between auburndale and west palm beach. VERY little. A little around winter haven, the 2-3 cars a week from lake wales (Fla Central), sebring and that is about it... the rest is amtrak traffic. The line goes through swamp and orange groves. There IS no industry and no population down this part of the state

This is the same reason they dumped coleman-auburndale. NOT ENOUGH traffic to hassle with maintaining 80MPH TCS track...

The only reliable traffic is 4-8 unit rock trains to Tampa, Wildwood and Orlando (K99x series) and what little local freight is produced

By selling off the line, they would get ALL outbound traffic in interchange at auburndale and lose the expense of maintaining the track...

basically a win-win

FEC and CSX do not interchange anywhere down south anymore, so CSX WOULD be the interchange partner at auburndale

This line was for the most part ALWAYS a passenger line, and with the formation of Amtrak in 1971, it signaled the death of this line. CSX just cannot compete with the FEC when it comes to intermodal due to the straight shot and no congestion points between south florida and jacksonville

I for one see this as a great thing...

Some shortline will pick it up and they can go from there, if the state or amtrak wants their trains to take the line, I welcome them to buy it... the majority of the traffic is theirs anyway
  by Noel Weaver
There is considerable local business in the area between West Palm Beach
and Miami (Hialeah). The Homestead Branch is still quite active too.
There is no reason that the future operator of this trackage could not and
would not interchange with the FEC either in the Hialeah area or in West
Palm Beach.
Maybe this is one reason that CSX is not doing as much as the others are
to compensate for the shortage and retirements of engineers. Less track,
less engineers. The "X" factor in this scheme of things is that the
engineers may decide that they do not want to or need to relocate for
If the State of Florida is smart (and I have my doubts about that too), in
the event that CSX unloads this line, the state will buy it for passenger
train use, it is an ideal corridor from Miami to either Orlando or Tampa.
As I have said before, I truthfully see CSX as "Highballing to Nowhere" as
quoted from a chapter of the Wreck of the Penn Central.
The line to Miami is an important limb, cut off enough limbs and the tree
will die.
Noel Weaver

  by 262
I do not think in the intrest of competion,the line should be open to a bid from Florida East Coast Industries.If a vieable short line such as Rail America is not intrested,The Miami Subdivision should be turned over to Conrail Shared Assets,and Norfolk Southern should have trackage rights from Simpson Yard to Homestead.
  by Noel Weaver
Sorry but I do not agree.
First off, there is no basis for "Conrail Shared Assets" to be established in
Florida nor anywhere else except where the agreement between CSX and
NS provide for.
My feeling is if CSX does not to serve this area, then they should not
get one iota of the freight business that exists here. If a regional railroad
takes over this line, they should get overhead rights on CSX to interchange freight with another railroad further north. There are ways
that this can be accomplished.
More likely, the FEC if they end up with this trackage, they will serve the
local business, there is quite a bit of it in this area (Fort Lauderdale). In
my opinion, they will serve it well. Just as now, some of the cars will go
to CSX and some of the cars will go to NS at Jacksonville.
Maybe if CSX wants to sell this line, they should also sell the line between
Auburndale and Jacksonville through Orlando and Sanford. They will still
be able to serve Tampa via alternate routes and then there will still be
plenty of competetion in this state.
I still say that this does not make sense, sure CSX has to take care of a
long piece of railroad with little local business, but in return, they have
exclusive of a section of line between West Palm Beach and Hialeah that
they do not have to maintain, do not have to pay taxes on and with plenty
of on line business. In addition, this line is being improved with double
track throughout and there should be ample capacity for CSX during much
of the day with the exception of the morning and afternoon rush hours.
Still think it is being talked about mostly to hurt the unions, also think they
will cut their nose to spite their face.
Noel Weaver
  by D.Carleton
Noel Weaver wrote:In my opinion, the CSX is the prime example of a failed merger
CSX or the SCL merger? It's obvious now that allowing 75% of one state's trackage to come under one outfit is less than ideal. SCL really was the PC of the South where the service provided never matched that of the roads which went into it. But all this 20/20 hindsight gives me a headache.
Noel Weaver wrote:If the State of Florida is smart...
Don't make me laugh, I've got a headache.

Now what I want to know is: the former NYC on the eastern shore of the Hudson River has less tonnage than the former SAL south of Auburndale. Why don’t they jettison that?

  by crazy_nip
262 wrote:Miami Subdivision should be turned over to Conrail Shared Assets,and Norfolk Southern should have trackage rights from Simpson Yard to Homestead.
oh please...

that makes no sense whatsoever

if NS wants it, they will be more than welcome to bid on it

  by ACLfan
Why would NS want the CSX route? NS already has a use agreement with FEC between Jacksonville and Miami! What would they do with two parallel routes between the same places????

Plus, I don't think that NS would want to contend with the heavy commuter traffic on the Rail Corridor (the x CSX line) that's owned by the Florida Department of Transportation.

Contrary to some of the indications in several of the posts on this thread, the former CSX line is not a major freight car tonnage generator in either inbound or outbound traffic! If you doubt this fact, then come on down, rent a car and shack up alongside the track, and wait. You will have more mosquito bites than you saw freight cars!

Or, if you are the studious type, simply request a copy of the Florida Rail Plan from the Florida DOT. This book contains annual rail traffic tonnage figures depicted in tonnage categories on a statewide map. Yep! The line with the little bitty dots that require a magnifying glass to see instead of the thick solid line is the particular railroad line that everyone outside of the State of Florida thinks is so very busy and such a desirable plum!
P.S. The thick solid line is the FEC line with NS use rights!

Remember! CSX has already surrendered its intermodal business to the FEC! CSX no longer operates intermodal facilities or trains in southeast Florida! The CSX business people send customers to FEC for intermodal services! The major business in terms of tonnage on CSX's line in southeast Florida is limerock! Virtually all of the limerock carloadings are short-hauled to destinations within the State of Florida.


  by 262
NS gave up its run thru service on FEC,about this time last year.CSX has a TDSI plant in Palm Ba. and a Trans-Load facility in Broward County.FEC was under contract to build a container rail service yard and warehouses at Port Everglades,they lost the contract for non performance.I think the area is right for NS RoadRailers to compete with FEC at The Ports in Broward,Palm Ba. and Dade.FEC allready built the warehouses and had to give them to Broward County,I bet a sweet deal could be made with FLODOT, and Broward as they are motivated to grow service at the port and relieve congestion on the roads.
  by Noel Weaver
There is no track connection from the CSX line to Port Everglades, the
FEC handles any and all business in or out of the port.
Noel Weaver

  by AmtrakFan
262 wrote:I do not think in the intrest of competion,the line should be open to a bid from Florida East Coast Industries.If a vieable short line such as Rail America is not intrested,The Miami Subdivision should be turned over to Conrail Shared Assets,and Norfolk Southern should have trackage rights from Simpson Yard to Homestead.
How about CSX form a Subsitary like CP did with the St. Lawernce and Hudson in the 90's. That would be great also sell it to NS they want to get down there their was even talk abou them FEC at one time.