• Amtrak in Miami (Hialeah, Miami Intermodal Center/Airport)

  • Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.
Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.

Moderators: GirlOnTheTrain, mtuandrew, Tadman

  • 144 posts
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 10
  by Tadman
 
Other than proximity to the yard, does MIA/Hialeah have any redeeming value?

What is the Miami customer base like? Do they all drive to the station? Or is a downtown location more useful? I ask because we're making a lot of assumptions without knowing what's truly useful.

For example, Amtrak goes right downtown in NYC and Chicago because folks walk and ride public transpo a lot. In other cities, folks drive in from the burbs so it's not as important to have a central location.

This might help our thoughts here.
  by Rockingham Racer
 
I've parked myself in front of the station a couple of times prior to the departure of a train. Most people arrive either by private car or taxi. I've never seen a person get off the buses that arrive [about every 1/2 hour on a weekday]. The argument for downtown-to-downtown --even though I was the one who mentioned it--on this route is not as strong as it is for the NEC where there are a lot of business travelers who would value that. Ending up at the airport, howewver, will guarantee you this if you aren't being picked up: walking from the arrival gate to the moving sidewalk, then heading to the MIA Mover, which is an automatic conveyance from the terminal area over to the MIC. A fairly good walk there over to Metrorail is next. Then it's about a 25 minute ride to downtown, and there is no provision for putting luggage anywhere. It's just as bad as the Blue Line in Chicago for that part of the trip. And then what? A taxi to the hotel, I suppose. IMO, it's a very complicated arrival procedure to get to your destination.

I can't see why anyone arriving by train somewhere would want to arrive at that somewhere's airport. There is no value in that, especially for tourists. No one's trip ends at an airport. So, I just don't see the practicality of having the final Amtrak stop at the airport. And given the confusion over the length of the platforms at MIC--they're too short to handle an Amtrak train apparently--the plan now is to block NW 25th St when there's an Amtrak train in the station. Won't that be nice? When and if that happens, it's going to be a lot of negative advertising for Amtrak.
  by Wingnut
 
Um...is Government Center an option? ^^;

Well, wasn't MIC always billed as the future Amtrak stop for Miami? Yes, there will be costs and time involved in backing the train the four or so miles between the yard and the station plus the diamond crossing. It's hard to see it adding an hour though. MIC is in a much more user friendly location. The last time I was in Miami, I left on the Silver Star. I reached the station from the Metrorail/Tri-Rail stop and it was basically a brisk two block walk. Yes, it looked sketchy. With that said, most of the area consists of auto repair shops, junk yards, and assorted small businesses. Bottom line, if added operating hassles aren't too prohibitive, Amtrak should move to MIC.
  by Station Aficionado
 
Rockingham Racer wrote:
Surprisingly, Miami/Hialeah had the highest passenger count in the state, after Orlando for Silver Service trains.
Actually Miami is No. 3 (all figures FY14):
Orlando-156k
Tampa-131k (Star only)
Miami-79k.

For comparison, the combined total for West Palm/Delray/Deerfield/Ft.Lauderdale/Hollywood is 190k.
  by The Interloafer
 
I had a chance to railfan the Miami Airport Tri-Rail (and future Amtrak) station last April. It is like the perfect multi-modal facility as far as I can tell. They thought of everything. Commuter rail - check. Heavy rail - check. Intercity rail - check (one day). Large generous bus bays and bus terminal - check. Automobiles - check. Taxi stand and drive-up lane - check. Bicycles - check (copious parking for bikes). I heard they even have an airport there!

As of last April it looked like the Amtrak passenger ticketing room/waiting room was progressing nicely. And Amtrak was supposed to begin using the station by "fall of 2016." That date has come and gone, and the Silver Star and Silver Meteor are continuing to use the old station. So my question is: Does anyone know when Amtrak is now expected to begin using Miami Airport station? OK, or, in absence of knowledge, does anyone want to speculate on when it may open? I know there's a whole issue with the platforms being too short to accommodate the long-distance consists. Is that the stumbling block? Has that been rectified?

Here are some shots of the shared Tri-Rail platforms and future Amtrak passenger waiting room and ticketing hall, next to Tri-Rail's.

Image

Image

Image
  by Jeff Smith
 
News: Miami Herald
The trains are too long. The platform is too short. Bad news for the new station
...
Plans to open the new Amtrak station near Miami International Airport are behind schedule, Florida transportation officials say. Source of the problem: an engineering error in the construction of the train platform , according to the state Department of Transportation.

The station won’t be ready to open until the end of the year at the Miami Intermodal Center, said Ivette Ruiz-Paz, an FDOT spokeswoman in Miami.

“FDOT is in the process of finalizing an operations and maintenance agreement with Amtrak to provide their passenger service at the MIC Central Station,” Ruiz-Paz said in an email. “The department anticipates to open Amtrak service by the winter of 2017.”

Until then, Ruiz-Paz said, Amtrak will continue to provide service at its Hialeah station.
...
The error?

The platform that passengers would use to board or descend from the train was built too short, by about 200 feet, an error that would force some trains to jut into busy Northwest 25th Street.

The error happened because of confusion between FDOT and Amtrak. Some Amtrak trains fit well on the platform, but others are longer than engineers expected.
...
  by Jeff Smith
 
Florida is ripe for intrastate transit, though. Will be interesting to see how it develops.
  by Noel Weaver
 
Moving Amtrak to the new station at the airport will not help Amtrak very much if at all. It will not be any improvement for local access although I admit Metro-Rail does go there. Good bye relatively decent access by auto, good by free parking and long term parking. Once Tri-Rail starts running to downtown Miami it will be reasonably easy to transfer to Tri-Rail and end right in the heart of downtown. Look for this to happen maybe in another year or so. If the day ever comes when the state ever decides that rail passenger service is indeed worth support then in state service should be operated from either the airport station or the new downtown station but Amtrak service to New York should stay as it is. Moving Amtrak trains to the airport will add to Amtrak's cost as well.
Noel Weaver
  by Rockingham Racer
 
Of all the times I've been to the station in Hialeah, there were about a dozen cars left in the parking lot after 98 pulled out, and probably a few them belonged to the station staff. In any case, demand for long-term parking there seems to be minimal, at best. OTOH, people arriving in Miami at the MIC will have more choices at the airport station in order to complete their trip. And it's not in the middle of some industrial dumpy-looking neighborhood. Free parking? It's a thing of the past in large city terminals, and even some smaller ones.

Access to the new station by auto is quite easy. I've done it several times, and have gone up to the roof to await someone arriving by plane. The traffic patterns in the area can be tricky, though, especially if the driver is not familiar with the area.

And could someone please change the title of this thread? It's not Miami Central Intermodal. It's called the Airport Station on the Tri-Rail timetable, and it's also known as Miami Intermodal Center. Miami Central is the new Brightline station downtown.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
Rockingham Racer wrote:And could someone please change the title of this thread? It's not Miami Central Intermodal. It's called the Airport Station on the Tri-Rail timetable, and it's also known as Miami Intermodal Center. Miami Central is the new Brightline station downtown.
Agreed; Mr. Rockingham.

During 2015, my Miami trip was a "quickie", which meant I flew down and stayed two nights - long enough to hear the Cleveland Orchestra and to check out "First and First".

At that time, the signage on Metro Rail referred to the airport facility as Miami Intermodal Center. However, looking at the Metro Rail page, they now refer to such as Miami Airport.
  by CentralValleyRail
 
Noel Weaver wrote:Moving Amtrak to the new station at the airport will not help Amtrak very much if at all. It will not be any improvement for local access although I admit Metro-Rail does go there. Good bye relatively decent access by auto, good by free parking and long term parking. Once Tri-Rail starts running to downtown Miami it will be reasonably easy to transfer to Tri-Rail and end right in the heart of downtown. Look for this to happen maybe in another year or so. If the day ever comes when the state ever decides that rail passenger service is indeed worth support then in state service should be operated from either the airport station or the new downtown station but Amtrak service to New York should stay as it is. Moving Amtrak trains to the airport will add to Amtrak's cost as well.
Noel Weaver
There is a VERY GOOD reason why no one goes to that station, to get there you have to go thru one of the WORST neighborhoods in South Florida. There is NO highway anywhere near the current station so I'm not sure what station your talking about. There is a drop off lot already by the Rental Car Center that can be and will be used. And there is plenty of parking that's probably 100 times more safe at the airport. Yeah you gotta pay for it, you get what you pay for. Putting those trains at the airport can and will only help ridership and make it a lot easier for those who also want to go downtown and beyond. Putting it at the airport also puts just north of a spanish neighborhood that has a lot more money than ANYONE in Hialeah. Obviously the issue with the grade crossing in the middle of the station has to be addressed and really it's a simply solution route the cars up 31st street but as with anything in Florida transportation you have a bunch of whiny old geezers that call their politician friend who makes sure to DO WHATEVER possible to stall and derail the plan. (currently what is going on with Miami Central and Brightline) Luckily with Brightline the old geezers are fighting other old geezers so there not gonna win that one an Brightline can and will eventually find a way to extend up to Orlando.
  by Rockingham Racer
 
The most convenient station would probably have been Miami Central at 1st and 1st, as Gilbert Norman would say. They apparently have missed the boat on that proposition. I dare say that most Amtrak passengers are not destined to the airport, although pick-up there will be easy, as well as parking as just mentioned. Like the airport station, Miami Central has a Metrorail connection as well as Metromover connection. And there is a plan to extend Metrorail further south down Dixie Highway to Homestead to replace the buses. Many years away on that one, though, as things with public transit are concerned in the Sunshine State.

Miami Beach has nixed the connector between their city across the bridge to Miami. That would have been another plus for anyone going to the Beach.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 10