Somehow I managed to miss this thread when it was active. At this point, the rehab of the FEC "Port Lead" is old news, of course, but the implications are still interesting. I haven't been able to find a project map, but the proposal is to run "shuttle trains" between the port and Hialeah. That's where the "logistics park" will be located. Dodge Island doesn't have a lot of space, so the port hopes to move containers directly from ship to train and get them off the island as quickly as possible. That makes sense. Once at Hialeah, containers can be grounded, re-loaded onto through trains, drayed to nearby warehouses, or put on chassis and trucked.
To run the shuttle trains, the south leg of the wye at Little River will have to be re-installed (double track is still there; switches have been pulled). If this is done, and the port lead is rehabbed, then there's an opportunity to add a connection from Tri-Rail to FEC at Iris and maybe run commuter and perhaps Amtrak trains to the site of the former FEC station (which is now a parking lot). This idea, oddly, doesn't seem to have occurred to anyone in Miami. But probably the greatest disadvantage of Tri-Rail is that it doesn't reach downtown. You have to transfer to the Miami Metro.
One article I saw mentioned trains of 200 containers, which would mean ten five-well stack cars per train. This train would shuttle back and forth (don't know how many times a day, but FEC moved about 250,000 containers/trailers to/from Miami last year -- they didn't all go to the port, but say half did, that's 125,000 boxes or about 620 trains a year, say 12 a week -- you wouldn't need anything like hourly service, so grade crossing blockage should not be a major issue).
I agree with Mr. Weaver that this is very exciting. All sorts of good things could happen here.
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