Saturday, August 18, 2012

An interesting All Aboard Florida infographic

From the Sun Sentinel comes this infographic:


I am somewhat concerned by their ability to make the projected 3 hours, 3 minutes time frame from Orlando to Miami with 30% of their route, everything from West Palm Beach south, restricted to no more than 79mph while also using a slow accelerating diesel locomotive hauled consist. It is doable, of course, but it does require rather greater average speeds on the remainder of the route. With speeds capped at 79mph, it also means that it will not be car competitive on that section of the route. It probably won't amount to a major loss in passenger traffic, but every seat filled helps the bottom line.

I must admit to being perplexed at AAF's insistence on only serving Orlando at the airport. Connecting to the Orlando train station is a simple matter of extending for another seven miles along Route 528 and building a crossover to what I believe is CSX's line and running north for another eight miles of mostly single track. The marginal cost, even of double tracking those eight miles, is fairly minor in the grand scheme of things and it's difficult to believe that the benefits would not exceed the costs.

5 comments:

  1. Paul, as a long time (10yrs) follower of passenger train goings on here in Florida (I'm in Tampa) I can add some comments here. The state purchased the CSX line around Orlando. However, CSX still has exclusive freight rights over this state owned portion. I'm not sure of the details of the agreement, but I would bet that there must be some verbiage in there regarding additional operators of passenger trains on this line (as it could impact CSX's perceived ability to move freight). And especially if the operator of about 30 more trains every day is CSX's prime competition in Florida! I don't know, but I suspect that FEC will never consider using this trackage for this reason. That is why they are going with their station at the airport. Also, from the looks of AAF, FEC appears to focused on tourists and business travelers. And with their stated intention to expand to Tampa at some point, a station in downtown Orlando would really make Tampa to south Florida non competitive. Tampa to Orlando traffic is really not there except for going o the parks and resorts or to the airport. And by the way, the sunrail tracks will be double tracked. I believe they have already started on that this summer. IMHO they will use the I4 right of way to get to Tampa and basically copy the failed FLHSR plan.

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    1. FEC's freight business is declining, CSX used sunrail payments to build a double-tracked freight superhighway between Tampa and Jacksonville via Ocala. I wouldn't be surprised if CSX would be willing to make a deal with a more passenger-focused FEC where their infrastructure is becoming redundant.

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  2. Does the 79 mph limit have to do with the grade crossings?

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    1. Possibly, if there's a lot it could be an expense issue to upgrade them for 110mph, but it could also be a capacity issue with Tri-Rail due to otherwise differing speeds when they put service on the FEC line in 2015. Probably more with the crossings I suspect, though it also be a "wait for Tri-Rail to pay for upgrades."

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  3. From my understanding, FECI trains will likely run at 79 mph from Miami to West Palm Beach, 110 mph from West Palm Beach to Cocoa, and 125 mph on the new segment to Orlando.

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