Discussion about Florida passenger rail operations including proposals. Official web-sites:
Miami/Dade Metrorail, Sunrail (Orlando), and Tri-County Commuter Rail Authority
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Moderator: Kurt-Trirail

  by Pensyfan19
I'm not sure if there is an existing forum for this story, but Hillsborough County acquired a former CSX line near Tampa for commuter service.

https://www.fox13news.com/news/hillsbor ... -mosi-site
TAMPA, Fla. - Could miles of CSX railroad tracks be turned into a new mass transit system in Tampa? Backers of the idea say Hillsborough County commissioners took a step in that direction Wednesday.

They approved an agreement with CSX giving the county unused railroad right-of-way running through the back of the old MOSI site off Fowler Avenue. Mass transit advocates say it could be a large transit hub in a new passenger rail system using rail lines now owned by CSX.

“Straight through to Ybor, to downtown and to South Tampa. It’s an amazing opportunity,” said Hillsborough County Commissioner Pat Kemp.

She said it’s an important connection and a first step toward acquiring miles of tracks for mass transit as they’ve done in the Orlando area and South Florida.

More than just getting people from place to place, some say it could be a game-changer for Uptown, the neighborhoods surrounding USF.

“This is an area that has been ignored, not just for years, but for decades if not generations,” said Mark Sharpe of Tampa Innovations Partnership, an organization working to improve the economy and quality of life in the area.

Sharpe said the MOSI site, which the county wants redeveloped, could become a city center with businesses, housing, and a transportation hub where BRT rapid buses and passenger trains could link.

“It would be an exponential transformation for the community and the residents of the Uptown District,” Sharpe explained.
  by Arlington
Does anyone have a map/picture of what line(s) were sold and "how far out they go?"

I find CSX has lots of lines, and simply saying "behind the MOSI" only really gives a point, not a line.


or this map?

and, really, this site still cannot post wide (or indeterminate) gifs? <sigh> detailed Red = CSX-ACL, Green = CSX-SAL, Blue = former CSX shortlines.
  by west point
Culd see a commuter rail from Tampa, Sarasota, Ft Myers. Fares from FTM on airlines are outrageous.
  by JohnFromJersey
west point wrote: Fri Sep 11, 2020 10:11 pm Culd see a commuter rail from Tampa, Sarasota, Ft Myers. Fares from FTM on airlines are outrageous.
For that, you'd need to turn the Legacy Trail back into live tracks.

The Legacy Trail that goes through Sarasota would also be a pretty decent route to use as commuter rail, especially given that it connects up to tracks in Tampa Bay. The Sarasota area as a whole has gotten pretty densely populated, and as nice as a nearly 20 mile trail is, it goes through some pretty dense areas that would greatly benefit from some sort of mass-transit, IMO.

I don't think locals would like the trail being taken from them. The ROW for most of it looks like it could be a rail with trail.
  by Arlington
I finally found a map of what Hillsborough County "acquired" (technically CSX abandoned an easement it had on county owned property) from CSX. Boy was I disappointed by the parcel bounded by dotted lines:
Source: Hillsborough County Document republished by bizjournals.com

It basically is the northeastern terminus (under "USF" in the image below) at the end of the "backwards 7" shaped segment (USF is north of Fowler Ave across from MOSI, and the rail ROW is a half block south of that. The Yellow lines are the ones that CSX toyed with selling but recently withdrew from sale.
  by JohnFromJersey
Aren't the CSX tracks between Clearwater and St. Petersburg OOS, and have been for quite some time? I'm not shocked CSX declined to sell them, Tampa does have a fairly large port that I imagine brings them a lot of easy revenue, and adding commuter rail to that will probably cause some headache.
  by theGottfather
The tracks from Clearwater to St. Pete are still in service. The rail ends north of downtown though and is abandoned south of the old St. Pete Times building. As for using this for commuter rail, it probably would not work as it goes too far north and around the Bay. With a few stops, a run from St. Pete to Tampa Union would be most likely 90-120 minutes due to the grade crossings and roundabout route.

Some of the other lines could used as Tampa continues to grow north and east of it's downtown. The rail line the MOSI branch breaks off could be used towards SR 56 and Land O Lakes. The line from Tampa towards Port Tampa would be useful except it has a section of street running in downtown. To attract any St. Pete riders off the expressway or I-275, a bridge would have to be constructed over the bay to have any chance of success and that would seem to be an exorbitant amount of money.
  by JohnFromJersey
It doesn't have to be heavy commuter rail. It can be light rail, which I think would make the most sense.