Discussion about Florida passenger rail operations including proposals. Official web-sites:
Miami/Dade Metrorail, Sunrail (Orlando), and Tri-County Commuter Rail Authority
For Virgin Rail/Brightline: Virgin Trains Worldwide (includes Brightline)

Moderator: Kurt-Trirail

  by fec2875
Does anyone have any ideas on the likelihood of Tri-Rail going further south on CSX in Miami, perhaps west to the Dolphin Mall area or even on the old FEC tracks south to Dadeland??? I know there was talks about this once, but not sure where/when did they end. Lately I hear talks of extending the service north...HELLO TRAFFIC JAMS ARE IN MIAMI!!!!

We've got major traffic issues here, Tri-Rail can certainly be of great use here.....

Whats the opinion of the people??
Last edited by Jeff Smith on Mon Aug 03, 2015 1:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

  by Noel Weaver
I have not heard of any news recently of any possible extension south.
The area currently has a reserved right of way for express bus service
south from the Dadeland Mall area toward Homestead.
I think an extension of Metro-Rail south rather than the busway would
have been better or in fact even light rail would have been better but the
powers to be elected to go with the cheapest way possible. I rode this
route once and while it was OK, it was not great and certainally a one seat
rail ride would have been much better.
Miami area needs additional heavy rail or some light rail routes a lot more
than they need an extension of Tri-Rail. The only extension of Tri-Rail in
Miami/Dade that would make any sense would be an extension to serve
the downtown area of Miami and give people a one seat ride to the
central business area.
Noel Weaver
  by Jeff Smith
News on a downtown link that would share a terminal with AAF All-Aboard Florida (discussed in General Commuter): MiamiToday

Brief, fair-use quote:
Tri-Rail downtown link picks up steam

Putting one of the final pieces of a complicated puzzle into place, directors of the Southeast Overtown/Park West Community Redevelopment Agency voted unanimously Monday to contribute $17.5 million for the extension of Tri-Rail into downtown Miami.


As part of the development of MiamiCentral – a privately funded multi-modal transportation hub under construction by All Aboard Florida – the addition of two train platforms would allow for connection of the current Tri-Rail passenger service (west of I-95 ending at the airport) to Downtown Miami, as well as provide the facilities needed to support the planned coastal link that will ultimately take Tri-Rail service north along the Florida East Coast Railway corridor to Jupiter.

The total cost to bring Tri-Rail into MiamiCentral station is estimated at nearly $70 million, which is to be borne by the Florida Department of Transportation, City of Miami, both the Southeast Overtown/Park West and Omni redevelopment agencies, Miami-Dade County, metropolitan planning organizations in South Florida, Miami’s Downtown Development Authority, All Aboard Florida, the regional transportation authority and the state.

In May, the city’s Downtown Development Authority agreed to spend $1.3 million over the next three years to support the Tri-Rail extension.

  by Gilbert B Norman
Here is later reporting appearing in the Miami Herald with regards to this development.

Fair Use quotation:
Despite lingering questions about funding, Tri-Rail trains are expected to begin operating between downtown Miami and Palm Beach County by 2017, the commuter rail service’s chief said Wednesday.

“It’s going to happen,” said Jack Stephens, executive director of Broward-based South Florida Regional Transportation Authority, SFRTA. “We’re looking at having it operational in the first or second quarter of 2017.”

The authority is still seeking a large chunk of the funding for the project from the Florida Department of Transportation. But Stephens’ statements, in interviews with el Nuevo Herald, the Miami Herald and at a Beacon Council transportation conference in Miami on Wednesday, marked the first concrete indication that the Tri-Rail plan to bring its passenger trains to downtown Miami will be a reality. Previously, Stephens had spoken about the plan optimistically, but made it clear that the service had not secured total funding to implement it.

The service, which is expected to increase Tri-Rail ridership by 2,000 passengers, is significant because it will provide the first commuter rail link to downtown Miami from Palm Beach and Broward counties. A large number of employees who work in downtown Miami government and private offices live in Broward and Palm Beach counties.
There is no question whatever that if Tri Rail were to serve Downtown Miami at a facility located at "First and First", its ridership would be enhanced. That location is well situated to serve Miami's Commercial/Financial district known as Brickell.

Presently 'First and First" is "a bit seedy", but I'm certain that development (notwithstanding my skepticism regarding AAF as envisioned) of the FEC property, after being used for little else than a parking lot for the past fifty years, will "clean up the neighborhood" and attract commerce beyond the present judiciary and its attendant businesses (Necesita la libertad bajo fianza , llame El Bailer), From having "been there seen that", in order for there to be this physical interchange between the SAL and FEC, there would have to be a connection through the NE quadrant of the existing diamond named Iris. I don't foresee much in the way of "valuable" real estate would be displaced.

Now FEC may have valid objections to any such proposal if post-PANAMAX, the Port of Miami sees their volume increase the many-fold that some big money has placed their bets upon. FEC will need all the track capacity they have to handle anticipated traffic between the Port and their Hialeah facility located to the West of the Airport (KMIA). They could well be confronted with NIMBY issues if traffic to the Port "takes off", but I'm certain that if FEC has "NIMBY chips" to play, they'd sooner cash 'em in for something that will make them some $$$ rather than as an accommodation to a publicly funded transit agency.

Now where the real hue and cry will come is when someone starts to ask the legitimate question of "why was public money spent for Tri Rail access to the Intermodal Center at the Airport?". Both the MIC and a Downtown station cannot, reasonably and practicably, be served.

Finally to Amtrak: "just stay put"; after all, are you really anything more than some two bit player in the Miami transportation market?
  by Jeff Smith
More, some of which is "rehash": Miami Today
Tri-Rail on Florida East Coast Railway tracks?
County Commission Vice Chairman Esteban Bovo Jr. maintains clarification of liability and indemnification is critical to completion of the downtown Miami link and the future construction of the coastal link because Tri-Rail will need to run on the privately-owned Florida East Coast Railway.

To that end, Mr. Bovo sponsored the resolution that commissioners passed last week urging the Legislature to enact law clarifying the provision and, with the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), to fund the downtown Miami link and coastal link projects.

Additionally, the commission preliminarily identified the resolution as a critical county priority for the 2017 legislative session and directed Miami-Dade’s state lobbyists to advocate for it.

The South Florida Regional Transportation Authority (SFRTA) has been collaborating with Florida East Coast Industries, which is building the Miami Central Station for the All Aboard Florida inter-city rail service from Miami to Orlando and is required to fund the construction of the additional platforms as well as a prorated portion of the infrastructure to be shared with All Aboard Florida at the Miami Central station.
  by Gilbert B Norman
I have to admit that I await my Annual Miami journey to hear the Cleveland Orchestra perform. It is set for Super Bowl weekend. Now if I see rail infrastructure being built at "First and First" (Miami Central), then I'll believe.

For the moment, let's assume that AAF will be up and running next year with a Miamt-W Palm service. How much further North without "shaking a tin cup in Tallahassee", I still remain skeptical.

Now if they could operate into Downtown Miami, that would make Tri Rail into a much more meaningful "player" than presently with "it's there" place in South Florida transportation.

But as I noted earlier at this topic, how much political fallout would occur if they left the Airport? I could see the political haymaking about all that $$$ spent for nothing. That might be reason in itself to stay out of Central - even if AAF proves sustainsble and there would be room for Tri-Rail in there as well.
  by Rockingham Racer
I thought there was a plan to build a northeast quadrant connection from CSX to FEC at Iris to allow access to Miami Central for Tri-Rail. The current connection to Metrorail that is needed to get downtown currently is unacceptable for a major city like Miami.
  by Gilbert B Norman
Looking at street views that the Googlemobile has taken, it doesn't appear that there are any"landmark" structures that preservationists could be ruffled.

However, I cannot help but wonder how much political fallout would arise when the Airport (MIC) station was abandoned. The Airport transfer would have to again be handled by bus from Opa Liaka . In order to maintain existing frequencies, both MIC and MCS could not be served.

While not the only reason to have dropped The Bomb, there were concerns in Washington that had Truman chosen not to drop it, the Congressional investigations might still be going on today.
  by Noel Weaver
From what I have heard the plan is to run two trains an hour, one downtown and one to the airport
They already have enough equipment in the yard to accomplish this.
GBN When you get downtown you will have to be totally blind not to witness the construction in progress on the new station and bridge work. It is going to happen.
Noel Weaver
  by Gilbert B Norman
Half-hourly service on Tri-Rail throughout the day?

Think the only market with that is New York.

South Florida could end up being the most "overserved" region around. New York of course has always been "mass transit minded", but South Florida? Seems pretty "car-centric to me.

Finally Mr. Weaver, you can be sure I'll be on People Mover Arsht Center (always stay at a Marriott literal stone's throw from there) to Government Center.
  by njtmnrrbuff
Having the 30 minute service, with every other train ending at MIC and Downtown Miami, isn't a bad idea. Keep in mind that Miami International Airport isn't that close to Downtown Miami-a distance of 7 miles. Not only do people work in Downtown but there are many who work at the airport or in the immediate area. There are probably many people who use Tri Rail to travel between intermediate stations north of where the interchange is from CSX to the connector to the FEC.
  by Noel Weaver
Here is a link to a video of a ride downtown once they get their work done, maybe another year or two. Pretty interesting to watch.

http://www.tri-raildowntownmiamilink.com/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

I think Tri-Rail's ridership will grow big time when they get this one finished.

Noel Weaver
  by njtmnrrbuff
For one thing, being that Tri-Rail will end in Downtown MIA, employees who work there will be delighted to be dropped off in a real commercial district in one of Florida's major cities as opposed to be dropped off several miles away from Downtown. I watched the video and it is very informative. I noticed many areas of the right of way with single track. Will that actually be the case when Tri-Rail and Brightline trains start rolling into Downtown Miami? I also noticed that no short term plans to run Tri Rail along the FEC as far as Jupiter. In the meantime, we can all look forward to being able to have a one seat ride to Downtown Miami from the majority of the existing Tri-Rail Depots.
  by Gilbert B Norman
Southeast Florida will be the most "overserved" region if Tri-Rail runs hourly service to both the Airport and Miami Central.

Rail opponents will be quite quick to start a chewing on that one. But on the other hand, if train service to the Airport is discontinued, and replaced with a bus from Metro Transfer, then let the recriminations begin for spending the "heap big wampum" on needless infrastructure.
  by mark777
I like the presentation, and given Miami's lack of interest on mass transit, this is a very nice step in the right direction. I am still very disappointed with the lack of expansion west. I lived in Miami for a number of years, and we all know that he population has mushroomed west of 826 like weeds. Traffic is beyond nightmarish during rush hours. There are a few CSX tracks snaking their way through these very overpopulated areas. I had always envisioned both Metro Rail and Tri Rail heading west, way past MIA. For Tri-Rail, the infrastructure is there, use it. But I digress, the addition of Brightline and Tri-Rail to downtown is a good start, actually a great one.