March 23, 2012

Miami - Orlando service planned for 2014

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A new passenger train service between Miami and Orlando could be operational by 2014 under a $US 1bn plan announced yesterday by Florida East Coast Railway (FEC).
The new "All Aboard Florida" service would be privately owned and operated on lines owned by FEC as well as 64.4km of new track. The service will provide journey times of three hours, equivalent to a car journey on the Florida Turnpike, and serve stations at Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and Orlando, providing connections to airports, seaports and existing rail services operated by Tri-Rail and Metrorail. Business and coach classes will be offered on trains along with onboard WiFi and a gourmet meal service.
FEC says that the passenger services will not affect its freight service along the route despite much of its infrastructure being single track. FEC currently operates 14 freight trains a day serving seaports in the area. A ridership and feasibility study will be published "in the next few months," although it remains unclear how FEC will raise the funds required to operate the line and what trains it will need.
The Miami - Orlando route mirrors the second phase of the Florida high-speed rail plan which was killed last year by Florida governor Mr Rick Scott.

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