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!