Promoting passenger trains as a transportation alternative in Florida since 1983.  We are citizens who advocate for Amtrak, commuter rail, intercity rail and transit for Florida's future.

Amtrak / FEC Corridor

08 Apr 2012 1:58 PM | Stephen Sayles (Administrator)
Here's a brief summary of the meeting held in Daytona Beach on March 30 toward getting Amtrak service started on the FEC from FCRP Treasurer George Diller.
 
Leading the meeting was the City of Daytona Beach and the Space Coast Transportation Organization, supported by FDOT and Amtrak.
 
The importance of the Florida legislature now having passed the needed liability legislation was emphasized. Amtrak has not yet talked with the FEC directly. Everything up to this point has been handled through FDOT.
 
Amtrak felt that passing the liability legislation had to come first before either party could talk seriously about moving forward. Amtrak will now begin a cost/benefit analysis and update its ridership projections as the next step.
 
Amtrak is only interested in one round-trip train a day on the FEC. They have not proposed or decided which of the trains that will be. A second train, if there is to be one, will be a separate FDOT initiative.
 
The recently announced FEC Miami-Orlando higher speed passenger rail initiative (All Aboard Florida) is seen as being separate and distinct and will not affect the current Amtrak Jacksonville-Miami planning. The FEC-CSX track connection at West Palm Beach is the largest initial start-up cost, the estimate for which is now up to $50 million. At this time, local stations can expect to receive about a 20% match from FDOT.
 
There were speakers from the City of Debary and City of Lake Mary who discussed their successful relationship with SunRail. They stressed the importance of having an overall development plan for the local area surrounding the stations.
 
The local representative from Bunnell was there and during the question and answer period discussed briefly their continuing effort to have a station stop.
 
The next overall major objective to be pursued is to develop a master plan and have it ready to present.
 
The date for the next meeting was not set, but the local group representative from Stuart volunteered to host the meeting, so it was decided it will be held there.
 
George Diller

Comments

  • 09 Apr 2012 12:12 PM | Deleted user
    Amtrak's speed at negotiating anything has been compared to the progress a glacier makes over many months. In good old southern terms, it is like watching molasses drain through a very small hypodermic needle.

    You watch, many moons from now, Amtrak will return to the table with an astonomically high estimate for the project and it will then die at the hands of the guvnor.
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  • 20 Apr 2012 8:51 PM | Anonymous member
    I'll disagree with jerry's comment. At least FEC has the right man at the throttle, and I know Gene Skoropowski has a good knack for getting things done! I wish Gene God's speed in pushing this project through, and welcome back to Florida Gene!
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    • 12 May 2012 12:38 AM | Anonymous
      I concur with Anonymous, knowing there is a substantially funded initiative to return 3 FEC steam locomotives to local territory along with a fully restored, operationally re-conditioned, ACL #1504 steam locomotive engine, also returned to service for the St. Augustine 450th Anniversary site, operational area by A.D. 2015 prior to its and the Jacksonville Terminal Union Station's 2019 -- 100th Anniversaries Celebration.
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