• 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

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  by Gilbert B Norman
 
Station Aficionado wrote: 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.
That tells it all regarding Amtrak and Miami.

While I'm sure that "reloing" to either the Airport or Central would enhance Miami business, let's remember the trains are "pretty full" at the State Line as is and the consists are quite finite. The existing facility is the most efficient for turning the trains and accessing either Airport or Central would simply add to costs, decrease operational efficiency and not add too much in the way of revenue or ridership.

"Just stay put".
  by Rockingham Racer
 
Let's not be surprised that Miami is #3, given how totally inconvenient it has been to get to the station in Hialeah. Hialeah? I thought we were going to Miami! Oh yes, we do have the change-to-TriRail-at-Hollywood maneuver, but then you've got to transfer to Metrorail to get downtown. Lots of fun with luggage, that.

I'd say it's surprising that Miami isn't #4 or lower.
  by njtmnrrbuff
 
Once Amtrak begins serving the MIC, it will be better especially for those passengers who want to switch to the Metro to get to Downtown MIA. The current terminus is definately in a rough neighborhood and yes, it seems like it's not conveniently to any highways. Very few bus options as well.
  by east point
 
For possible comparisons for Amtrak passengers at MIC. Has there been any study of how many passengers transfer metro rail <> TriRail ?
  by Noel Weaver
 
Transfer generally requires either an automobile or some other form of public transportation. Once Tri-Rail starts running to the new FEC/Brightline facility within the next year or so it will not be that difficult to make the transfer at one of the several stations where both trains stop usually on the same platform. Transfer at the new station will require considerable walking plus elevators
It is maybe three miles extra and will be necessary to move the equipment to and from the yard at the present location in order to service the locomotives and cars. Deadhead moves with Amtrak trains in the rush hours will add to the problems and cost. There are more reasons regarding time and safety adding to why this proposed move makes little or no sense.
Noel Weaver
  by PC1100
 
I have ridden Amtrak into Boston, NY, Philadelphia, Chicago, Seattle, Los Angeles, New Orleans, and most recently Miami, and have never found a major Amtrak terminal location as awkward as Miami's. I find it hard to believe that in the 33 years that the current Amtrak station and the Metrorail have existed that no attempt was ever made to at least build a covered walkway or some semblance of a direct connection between the two. I did the whole change to Tri-Rail at Hollywood to the Airport station and then Metrorail to downtown connection, and all I could think about was how much easier it would have been to just have ended up at the Airport Station directly. I even considered getting off Tri-rail at the Metrorail Transfer station, but even then the neighborhood was a turn off. The Airport just seemed like a better option. Although it is an odd place for a railroad terminal, the direct connection to the Metrorail is a big plus, and it isn't at the end of an industrial street in a not so great part of town.

I find it odd that the article doesn't provide any more information compared to what was out there a couple of years ago. I took my trip to Miami last summer and was expecting based on what was being written at the time that Amtrak would be running into the Airport station by the time of my trip. The work on that new grade crossing appeared well underway then.
  by CentralValleyRail
 
Noel Weaver wrote:Transfer generally requires either an automobile or some other form of public transportation. Once Tri-Rail starts running to the new FEC/Brightline facility within the next year or so it will not be that difficult to make the transfer at one of the several stations where both trains stop usually on the same platform. Transfer at the new station will require considerable walking plus elevators
It is maybe three miles extra and will be necessary to move the equipment to and from the yard at the present location in order to service the locomotives and cars. Deadhead moves with Amtrak trains in the rush hours will add to the problems and cost. There are more reasons regarding time and safety adding to why this proposed move makes little or no sense.
Noel Weaver
To a train buff maybe, to the regular person riding the train it makes a lot of sense. A lot of walking what are you talking about? It's all up to ADA standards and the platform is so small they're gonna have to close the street down when the train comes.
  by JasW
 
Two benefits of the move, one of which Noel alluded to, are that there will be secured (albeit apparently not free) parking, and the station will be closer to the rest of Miami. I know people who are put off by the fact that the current station is not only pretty far north -- roughly NW 83rd Street! -- but also relatively far away from freeway access, being stuck in the industrial Hialeah hinterlands between I-95 and the Palmetto Expwy. The airport station has easy access from the Dolphin Expwy. And the airport location won't strike the majority of the population down here as being too far north.

As for parking, well, I just R/T'd it to Tampa and back last week on the Silver Star, and there is no way I would have left my car overnight at the unsecured/unattended lot there (or the one in Hollywood for that matter). An actual secured parking garage: sure. As it was, given that my better half was unable to either drop me off or pick me up, I ended up having to use Uber (because like most people down here, I live nowhere near a MetroRail or Tri-Rail station).

So I think this is a positive move. The real problem, of course, is that only rail buffs like me will take Amtrak for intercity travel within Florida. My trip up was fine -- I had a roomette and got lots of work done. The return trip was a disaster. I knew that the Star would probably be running late on its way south, but it ended up arriving close to 3 hours late and had the nerve to lose another hour plus on the way south. My 5+ hour trip arrived 4 hours late. No one is going to sign up for that voluntarily, let alone pay money. FEC/Brightline has talked about expanding to Jacksonville and Tampa after getting Orlando underway. Here's hoping that comes to fruition.
  by The Interloafer
 
FYI, Trains Magazine has a good story on the latest status of this situation on pp. 24-25 of the January 2018 issue. It seems the issue with the platform lengths has been resolved, "by constructing a highway bypass north to the 28th Street crossing. Now when a train too long for the platform approaches the station, highway signals automatically trigger a traffic reroute." So the only thing pending is lease arrangements between Florida DOT and Amtrak. Which, according to the article, could be resolved as early as January 2018. That's more or less in line with this Miami Herald article from January 29, 2017, that said it would be open by "Winter 2017".
  by Jeff Smith
 
Oops: Reason.com

Brief, fair-use:
Oops! Amtrak Trains Don't Fit in Miami's $2 Billion Train Station

Construction finished in 2013 and while three different rail services currently operate at the station, Amtrak is nowhere to be found. The reason? The platform built for Amtrak is 200 feet too short for Amtrak's long-distance trains.

The problem was first discovered shortly after construction began, but who exactly is to blame for the multi-million-dollar mishap, or what is to be done about it now, remain open questions.
...
Whoever is at fault, the problem is not easily remedied. Extending the platform an additional 200 feet would put it smack dab in the middle of the city's bustling 25th Street. In other words, extending the platform wold mean new construction in and around a busy thoroughfare.

FDOT initially considered this solution but has since rejected it. Instead, transportation planners have kicked around the idea of just having Amtrak trains temporarily jut out into traffic while they service the station.

An Amtrak spokesperson told the real estate blog The Next Miami that it is still in discussions about serving the MIC, but that it has no immediate plans to do so.
...
  by SouthernRailway
 
The railroad haters at CATO will find fault with everything. A too-short platform is still usable; plenty of commuter rail stations have the issue. Just board and disembark from the cars that are alongside the platform. Trains have walkways between cars. I’ll bet that the CATO Institute crowd at Reason magazine doesn’t know that.
Last edited by Jeff Smith on Tue May 01, 2018 9:32 am, edited 1 time in total. Reason: Removed immediately preceding post quote
  by David Benton
 
A simple solution would be to short turn some of the cars at Orlando , or Tampa. I'm sure the train is not full all the way to Miami. ht would give an extra car per train to the north as well.
  by DutchRailnut
 
right!!! , you obviously have no idea what that entails as for HEP connections switching moves , brake test blue light setup etc etc
  by chrsjrcj
 
Nothing new there.

FDOT already built the bypass road, but considering Anderson’s take on LD trains I doubt we’ll see the Silvers there unless FDOT foots the bill (even more unlikely).

Also, the $2bn includes a Tri-Rail station, Metrorail, Metrobus, rental car facility, and people mover to the airport.
  by David Benton
 
DutchRailnut wrote: right!!! , you obviously have no idea what that entails as for HEP connections switching moves , brake test blue light setup etc etc
its done in Albany, Denver, Portland , San Antonio, and Washington. It would also allow the cars to return the same day , rather than spend a nite in the depot.
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