FEC Miami Port Line - Downtown Spur

Discussion relating to the FEC operations, past and present. Includes Brightline. Official web site can be found here: FECRWY.COM.

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Re: FEC Miami Port Line - Downtown Spur

Postby Noel Weaver » Sat May 24, 2014 9:51 pm

Here is an outline of the operations downtown as of May 24, 2014. A job goes to work at Hialeah consisting of an engineer and conductor and a locomotive on each end. They take a train downtown to the Port of Miami for loading in the morning Monday through Friday and return to Hialeah in the afternoon. This job runs Monday through Friday. I did not hear what will take place on Saturday and Sunday. I have also heard that the new yard in Fort Lauderdale is scheduled to open this summer, most likely in July. Stay tuned.
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Re: FEC Miami Port Line - Downtown Spur

Postby boatsmate » Sun May 25, 2014 8:21 am

Noel,

Thank you for the update, do you know about what time the crew comes on duty for this train?? and how long of a trip from the yard to the port is it? I would assume it is 10 to 15 mph track speed through there. When I was there is Feb. I missed the train by a short time.

Thanks

Capt Bill
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Re: FEC Miami Port Line - Downtown Spur

Postby Noel Weaver » Sun May 25, 2014 5:03 pm

boatsmate wrote:Noel,

Thank you for the update, do you know about what time the crew comes on duty for this train?? and how long of a trip from the yard to the port is it? I would assume it is 10 to 15 mph track speed through there. When I was there is Feb. I missed the train by a short time.

Thanks

Capt Bill


Most of the route is either 30 or 35 MPH, CTC, ABS, ATC fully equipped. The Downtown Lead (Port Lead) is all new railroad with new concrete ties, heavy welded rail, heavy rock ballast and all new crossing protection. Incidentally they do not whistle for the crossings on the Port Lead, they are all equipped with the latest in crossing protection. I think the person said the crew goes on duty at Hialeah around 8:00 AM. ATCS might help you a bit as well although our coverage in that neck of the woods is not as good as on most of the mainline. I would say maybe 45 minutes each way for the over the road move. As with the other drawbridges you will get a decent warning when the bridge lowers as to the approach of the train if you are around Biscayne Blvd.
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Re: FEC Miami Port Line - Downtown Spur

Postby Noel Weaver » Tue Jun 17, 2014 7:02 pm

I took a Tri-Rail ride down to Miami early this morning to try to have a good look at the Port Job. I got to the Metro-Mover Station at Freedom Tower at 8:30 AM just in time to see one light engine return from the port to Hialeah at 8:30 AM. I never even had to leave the Metro-Mover Station as when I got off the train I heard the bells activated for the nearby crossing and the engine promptly went by. This means that the job at least today left Hialeah before 8:00 AM, maybe closer to 6:30 or 7:00 AM. They leave one engine at the Port and return light at least sometimes to Hialeah then in the afternoon they return with the light engine to the Port for the train back to Hialeah. Exactly when these trains run is still up for question but at least today it was earlier than I thought it would be. ATCS can not be depended on too much on the Port Lead as our server is in Fort Lauderdale and his antenna does not always pick up all the way from Downtown Miami. The drawbridge is a good indication and when I was approaching on the Metro-Mover I noticed it was down so I was alert to something in the works. Look for a big increase in traffic as well as trains in this area once the entire yard at the Port is completed later this year. On another note the new yard facility in Fort Lauderdale will be opening with appropriate ceremony in mid July and things will also be picking up in Fort Lauderdale. Freight railroading is alive and very much well on the Florida East Coast.
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Re: FEC Miami Port Line - Downtown Spur

Postby GE45tonner » Tue Jun 17, 2014 7:17 pm

I'm heading down there for a week in December, seems like good timing!
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Re: FEC Miami Port Line - Downtown Spur

Postby Noel Weaver » Wed Jun 18, 2014 12:07 am

GE45tonner wrote:I'm heading down there for a week in December, seems like good timing!


I think you will see an increase in both traffic and trains on the FEC by December of this year. Stay tuned.
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Re: FEC Miami Port Line - Downtown Spur

Postby Noel Weaver » Tue Jul 15, 2014 8:47 am

While this applies to Fort Lauderdale and not particularly to Downtown Miami the new yard at Port Everglades is opening this week on Wednesday, July 16th. They will be able to make up 10,000 foot trains there in less time and not blocking State Road 84 Crossing which has been a problem here in Fort Lauderdale for many, many years. The old yard will continue in use for the local wayfreights and local business but IM is the big thing here and come Wednesday the IM will be in the new yard. They had an opening ceremony yesterday with President Hertwig and others here. The Sun-Sentinel had an article about this, here is a link.

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/browar ... 6837.story

The Florida East Coast is truly GOING PLACES IN FLORIDA.
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Re: FEC Miami Port Line - Downtown Spur

Postby mtuandrew » Sat Dec 27, 2014 12:56 pm

Noel Weaver wrote:
GE45tonner wrote:I'm heading down there for a week in December, seems like good timing!


I think you will see an increase in both traffic and trains on the FEC by December of this year. Stay tuned.
Noel Weaver

This is an old post, but as we've seen with discussion of President Obama's move to normalize relations with Cuba, this could be a major win for the FEC for transshipment of containerized freight between the United States (and Canada, an established Cuban trading partner) and Cuba.
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Re: FEC Miami Port Line - Downtown Spur

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Sat Dec 27, 2014 2:25 pm

No question whatever, Mr. Stephens, any trade with Cuba routed through the Port of Miami will benefit the FEC, but I really would not expect any immediate floodgate.

Cuba must find sources through which to obtain "hard" currency, i.e. a world currency such as the US Dollar, Euro, Pound, Yen - and all they really have to sell is tourism, sugar, and "Have-a-Havana". An unconditional lifting of the US trade embargoes, which are the law of the land, will not be a "slam dunk" especially considering that there are both tourism and sugar interests within Florida - and Marco up there on The Hill. But even at such time enacted legislation lifts the embargo, Cuba in the world markets is essentially a kid trading marbles or sports trading cards - and even then, it will have to still develop means to obtain hard currency.

Finally, it was interesting to learn at present, the US, trade embargo notwithstanding, is the fourth largest exporter to Cuba. China, Spain, Brazil in that order exceed the US.

http://www.cubatrade.org/CubaExportStats.pdf
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Re: FEC Miami Port Line - Downtown Spur

Postby GE45tonner » Sun Jan 04, 2015 1:59 pm

I caught the port job going west over the drawbridge last week, probably around 1900 hours. Maybe 15-20 cars.
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Re: FEC Miami Port Line - Downtown Spur

Postby boatsmate » Wed Jan 21, 2015 10:22 am

Last night around 1800 I caught the local going across the bridge (watching Miami Port Cam) they had 2 engines only, 1 in Blue paint and 1 in the new maroon/ red paint scheme. they had a long line of double stacks to take out. they where there for at least a half hour. I did not see there departure as the light faded and the camera moved away from the draw bridge so I was not able to get an accurate count.
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Re: FEC Miami Port Line - Downtown Spur

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Tue Mar 03, 2015 8:05 pm

I just completed a three night trip to Miami starting Friday Feb 27. At, Marriott Biscayne Bay, I had a "room with a view" for the Port of Miami.

I was quite disappointed and, if I may say, concerned about the lack of visible activity. Of course, there were five to six sailings of Love Tubs each day, but Love Tubs are not about the Port's expansion. All of the cranes but one were pointed skyward, if there was a ship docked, the multi colored containers would have enabled me to "pick it off" at the horizontal crane.

I did not observe a single FEC move, nor did I ever observe the bridge lowered. The tunnel is apparently complete, which means no concrete cowboys chasing up and down Biscayne Blvd.

So all I can hope is that the Port Authority is not confronted with throwing a post-PANAMAX party - and nobody came.
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Re: FEC Miami Port Line - Downtown Spur

Postby mtuandrew » Wed May 06, 2015 3:41 pm

Ridgefielder posted this in the Cuban American Thaw thread in the Amtrak forum:

Ridgefielder wrote:Well, this might not be germane to Amtrak as a whole, but it certainly is to this thread:

Wall Street Journal wrote:US Permits Ferry Service to Cuba
The U.S. Treasury granted licenses to four American companies to operate ferry services to Cuba for the first time in more than half a century, potentially bringing the former Cold War antagonists closer together....

"We are in contact with the Cuban authorities to get the necessary clearance for an approved port, which ideally will be Havana," said Alexander Panagopolous, owner of Athens-based dry-bulk operator Arista Shipping, who teamed up with American cruise-industry veteran Bruce Nierenberg to form Miami-based United Caribbean Lines. The new company got its license on Tuesday....

Apart from United Caribbean, the Treaasury granted licenses to Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based Havana Ferry Partners LLC, San Juan, Puerto Rico-based American Cruise Ferries Inc., and Baja Ferries USA LLC, which is based in Coconut Grove, Fla...


More here, including a cool 1950's ad for FL-Cuba service, behind a paywall: http://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-permits ... 1430874884

Suppose there's any market for either intermodal or bulk shipment between Havana and the Port of Miami? I'd have been on the first flight to Havana if I worked for FEC's marketing or traffic departments, attempting to lure shippers to and from La República.
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Re: FEC Miami Port Line - Downtown Spur

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Wed May 06, 2015 8:34 pm

Mr. Stephens, likely the best scenario for the Port of Miami is to be a point for inbound post-PANAMAX vessels to transload to smaller vessels that can call at various Caribbean ports; one of which, hopefully within my remaining lifetime, will be Cuba.
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Re: FEC Miami Port Line - Downtown Spur

Postby mtuandrew » Wed May 06, 2015 9:59 pm

Gilbert B Norman wrote:Mr. Stephens, likely the best scenario for the Port of Miami is to be a point for inbound post-PANAMAX vessels to transload to smaller vessels that can call at various Caribbean ports; one of which, hopefully within my remaining lifetime, will be Cuba.

I'm under no delusions that Cuba will instantly begin shipping their entire import/export business through the Port of Miami with the onset of trade normalization, but surely the future isn't quite so bleak as that. Miami and Havana are the two closest foreign ports to each other, and the short travel time would favor the smaller ships and containerized goods perfect for handling through the Port of Miami. If nothing else, the trade in sugar and coffee between the two ports seems like it would pick up relatively quickly to shipload levels, though as for what would ship back to Havana I couldn't say.
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