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Date: 03/22/12 08:30
Florida East Coast's PRIVATE passenger project
Author: GenePoon

Florida East Coast Industries, Inc. Announces Plans for Private
Passenger Rail Service in Florida

Nation’s First-of-its-Kind Privately Owned and Operated System Will
Connect Florida’s Largest Cities

press release
March 22, 2012, 10:31 a.m. EDT


> MIAMI, Mar 22, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Florida East Coast Industries,
> Inc. (FECI), the owner of Florida’s premier passenger rail corridor,
> is developing a privately owned, operated and maintained passenger
> rail service to connect South Florida and Orlando, which will be
> operational in 2014. By connecting the most visited city in the
> United States with South Florida’s business and vacation
> destinations, the passenger rail project, called All Aboard Florida,
> is designed to serve Florida’s growing number of business travelers,
> as well as families and tourists traveling for pleasure.
>
> The All Aboard Florida passenger rail project will connect South
> Florida to Orlando through a 240-mile route combining 200 miles of
> existing tracks between Miami and Cocoa and the creation of 40 miles
> of new track to complete the route to Orlando. Eventually the system
> could be expanded with connections to Tampa and Jacksonville.
>
> More than fifty million people travel between South and Central
> Florida annually, largely over highly congested highways. All Aboard
> Florida is envisioned to transform the way people travel throughout
> the state, offering a faster, safer, and more enjoyable mode of
> transportation between Florida’s two largest metropolitan areas.
>
> Targeted to begin service in 2014, the approximately $1 billion
> project will operate on a regular schedule throughout the day
> transporting business and leisure passengers between South Florida
> and Orlando in approximately three hours. This new, convenient,
> affordable, fast and environmentally friendly intercity passenger
> rail service is expected to:
>
> (1) CREATE JOBS AND GROW FLORIDA’S ECONOMY--approximately 6,000
> direct jobs will be needed to construct the system and over 1,000
> more jobs to operate and maintain it; new economic development
> opportunities also will be created for communities along the route;
>
> (2) PROTECT THE ENVIRONMENT--the service will take millions of
> vehicles off Florida’s roadways, resulting in a reduction in auto
> emissions and allowing for a far more fuel-efficient alternative to
> the automobile at this time of escalating gas prices;
>
> (3) ENSURE SPEED AND RELIABILITY--travel time between regions will be
> approximately three hours and train service will be frequent
> throughout the day;
>
> (4) PROTECT EXISTING FREIGHT CAPACITY--the new passenger service will
> not affect freight capacity in the rail corridor, thereby supporting
> Florida’s role in international commerce and allowing more intermodal
> freight movements.
>
> By adding an entirely new travel choice, the All Aboard Florida
> passenger rail service will provide a high-quality experience for
> travelers. The system will include business- and coach-class service
> with advance purchase reserved seating, gourmet meals, Wi-Fi, and the
> ability to work productively throughout the entire trip. In addition,
> stations in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and Orlando mean
> convenient transfers to Metrorail, Metromover or SunRail, allowing
> passengers to reach their final destination.
>
> FECI began a feasibility analysis for the project several months ago.
> Additionally, an investment grade ridership study and engineering
> work to design the system are underway. Today’s announcement marks
> the beginning of working in depth with local, state and federal
> officials, as well as the communities along the route.
>
> Florida East Coast Industries, Inc. (FECI), through its subsidiaries
> and affiliates, is a major owner and developer of real estate and
> transportation-related businesses within the State of Florida.
> Headquartered in Coral Gables, FL, FECI has a rich history dating
> back over a century when Henry Flagler first established the company
> and became a pioneer in the development of Florida’s eastern coast.
> Today, the company owns, manages, develops and leases commercial real
> estate properties, and its affiliate, the Florida East Coast Railway,
> L.L.C., owns the railroad over which freight is transported.
>
> All Aboard Florida is an intercity passenger rail project that will
> connect South Florida to Orlando with intermediate stations in Fort
> Lauderdale and West Palm Beach. This rail service will give
> Floridians and visitors a viable transportation alternative to
> congested highways and airport terminals. All Aboard Florida will
> provide a high-quality experience for passengers and will be the
> first privately owned, operated, and maintained passenger rail system
> in the United States.

Photos/Multimedia Gallery Available:
http://www.businesswire.com/cgi-bin/mmg.cgi?eid=50213915&lang=en

> SOURCE: Florida East Coast Industries, Inc. (FECI)


http://www.marketwatch.com/story/florida-east-coast-industries-inc-announces-plans-for-private-passenger-rail-service-in-florida-2012-03-22



Date: 03/22/12 08:40
Re: Florida East Coast's PRIVATE passenger project
Author: Mgoldman

Yes, but will I again be able to take the train to Key West???

That's quite an amazing story. Makes you more likely to believe
the FOX HSR project could've been successful. Best of luck to
them (and us). Should be fun to watch what a private company
can do vrs the government. Profit vrs payoffs, novel concept.

/Mitch



Date: 03/22/12 08:51
Re: Florida East Coast's PRIVATE passenger project
Author: GenePoon

Remember the thread from March 4, questioning the report that Florida East Coast had just hired
Gene Skoropowski as Senior Vice President, Passenger Development?

http://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?4,2704319

Perhaps today's announcement could have been seen as "the other shoe dropping." It certainly lends
credibility to the reports of that hire, though FEC did confirm it with a press release.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 03/22/12 08:52 by GenePoon.



Date: 03/22/12 08:53
Re: Florida East Coast's PRIVATE passenger project
Author: ClubCar

Hi Gene:

Lots of questions will be forthcoming. Mine is this: the article states that they hope to be running by 2014. Any idea where they are getting the passenger cars to do this? I hope that they will at least consider rebuilding existing cars, much like Ringling Bros. Barnum and Bailey Circus does. The state of North Carolina has also rebuilt passenger cars for some of their trains. With so many tourist operations having shut down over the past few years, I have been told that there are quite a few quality built passenger cars that could be purchased for a reasonable price and then rebuilt to Amtrak specifications for this type of service costing a whole lot less then trying to have new cars built and waiting for them. Comments?

Thanks.
John in White Marsh, Maryland



Date: 03/22/12 08:59
Re: Florida East Coast's PRIVATE passenger project
Author: amtrakbill

The environmental impact study will not be done by 2014. This line would most likely use the highway right-away from Cocoa to Orlando but the highway goes through many miles of wetlands and forest. This is certainly a pipe dream and most likely will not happen as the press release indicates.

The market would be there to keep a train very busy going in both directions but it still would need to be subsidized like all transportation modes are.

Best of luck!



Date: 03/22/12 09:05
Re: Florida East Coast's PRIVATE passenger project
Author: billio

> >"...Florida East Coast Industries, Inc. (FECI),
> through its subsidiaries
> > and affiliates, is a major owner and developer
> of real estate and
> > transportation-related businesses within the
> State of Florida.
> > Headquartered in Coral Gables, FL, FECI has a
> rich history dating
> > back over a century when Henry Flagler first
> established the company
> > and became a pioneer in the development of
> Florida’s eastern coast.
> > Today, the company owns, manages, develops and
> leases commercial real
> > estate properties, and its affiliate, the
> Florida East Coast Railway,
> > L.L.C., owns the railroad over which freight is
> transported."

Ah, now we know why they're pushing this project.

> >
> > "All Aboard Flori...will give
> > Floridians and visitors a viable transportation
> alternative to
> > congested highways and airport terminals. All
> Aboard Florida will
> > provide a high-quality experience for passengers
> and will be the
> > first privately owned, operated, and maintained
> passenger rail system
> > in the United States."

We'll see...



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/22/12 09:06 by billio.



Date: 03/22/12 09:12
Re: Florida East Coast's PRIVATE passenger project
Author: GenePoon

ClubCar Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Hi Gene:
>
> Lots of questions will be forthcoming. Mine is this: the article states that they hope to be
> running by 2014. Any idea where they are getting the passenger cars to do this? I hope that they
> will at least consider rebuilding existing cars, much like Ringling Bros. Barnum and Bailey Circus
> does. The state of North Carolina has also rebuilt passenger cars for some of their trains.
> With so many tourist operations having shut down over the past few years, I have been told that
> there are quite a few quality built passenger cars that could be purchased for a reasonable price and
> then rebuilt to Amtrak specifications for this type of service costing a whole lot less then
> trying to have new cars built and waiting for them. Comments?

=================================================================================

That's true...but you can skip the part about Amtrak specifications. It is clear that this project, as described in the
press release, is intended to be independent of Amtrak.

Florida East Coast is not an Amtrak member railroad, and having nothing to do with Amtrak could be an advantage.
For instance, if All Aboard Florida wants to try out new configurations for its equipment, it can do so instead of
mimicking something like the 45-year old Crummysnackbar configuration that has "adorned" cafe cars starting with the
Penn Central Metroliners, for instance.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/22/12 09:19 by GenePoon.



Date: 03/22/12 09:17
Re: Florida East Coast's PRIVATE passenger project
Author: toledopatch

amtrakbill Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The environmental impact study will not be done by
> 2014. This line would most likely use the highway
> right-away from Cocoa to Orlando but the highway
> goes through many miles of wetlands and forest.
> This is certainly a pipe dream and most likely
> will not happen as the press release indicates.

This was my first reaction, too. I think the market there could support fast passenger trains -- not sure about profitability, that remains to be proven -- but in any case, I can't imagine the Cocoa-Orlando section having permits, much less being built, by the end of 2014.



Date: 03/22/12 09:43
Re: Florida East Coast's PRIVATE passenger project
Author: RRTom

March 2012 Railway Age has a writeup on Skoropowski joining FEC on P.26.



Date: 03/22/12 10:08
Re: Florida East Coast's PRIVATE passenger project
Author: railcity

WE all can hoped that Amtrak doesn't run this New trains service, Let the FEC run the service, not Amtrak.



Date: 03/22/12 10:08
Re: Florida East Coast's PRIVATE passenger project
Author: GenePoon

Something else...this concerns licensing of passenger rail operators.

There would be mandatory STB licensing of all passenger rail operators, under the Senate highway bill.
If an operator runs passenger trains on a rail line within STB jurisdiction, it must be licensed. The
prior exempt status for public commuter rail authorities would no longer be in effect.

There are two exceptions as the bill is currently written: Amtrak (what would one expect, it is said
that Amtrak WROTE that part of the legislation and self-excluded itself)...and a freight railroad operating
passenger service on its own line or trackage rights. All Aboard Florida, the proposed private passenger
operation between Miami and Orlando, IS the Florida East Coast Railway, so they're OK with the licensing too,
if and when it becomes law.



Date: 03/22/12 10:10
Re: Florida East Coast's PRIVATE passenger project
Author: cashfare

IF it comes to fruition, we should all hope it is successful. Great news to see a private, for profit and successful freight RR try it out. Bet the equipment and crews will go out in tip to shape.



Date: 03/22/12 10:33
Re: Florida East Coast's PRIVATE passenger project
Author: Lackawanna484

The forty miles of "additional track" is the part that intrigues me. Building from Cocoa to Orlando is doable, although the environmentalists and NIMBY forces would be a huge problem. There is a nice right of way in the middle of the Space Coast tollway, though.

FEC could start running passenger trains from Jacksonville to Miami next week, excepting the various sign offs from regulators. They could even start running to Jacksonville and connect with Amtrak, just by adding rights on a mile of track.

Congratulations to FEC for stepping up to the plate and putting their own money into the game.

It will be interesting to see the engagement of John Mica behind this project. It nicely fits several of his priorities (private sector, new services, competitive operator).



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/22/12 10:41 by Lackawanna484.



Date: 03/22/12 10:36
Re: Florida East Coast's PRIVATE passenger project
Author: ts1457

Apparently, the organizers have the insight to recognize Orlando as the new gateway to Florida.

They must have some understanding in place with the state as how they will build into Orlando.

I wish the FEC great success for the endeavor.



Date: 03/22/12 11:13
Re: Florida East Coast's PRIVATE passenger project
Author: NGotwalt

My hope that instead of putting up a stink about, Amtrak immediately starts working with the FEC, to perhaps have a Silver Service drop maybe a viewliner and a coach or two for a through service with the FEC, more passengers for both services would be good.
Cheers,
Nick

Posted from iPhone



Date: 03/22/12 11:16
Re: Florida East Coast's PRIVATE passenger project
Author: MEKoch

April Fools Day is still a few days away...........



Date: 03/22/12 11:35
Re: Florida East Coast's PRIVATE passenger project
Author: joemvcnj

I hope Amrak deos not start an Animal House food fight like they did with VRE.



Date: 03/22/12 11:36
Re: Florida East Coast's PRIVATE passenger project
Author: stone23

We just happen to have some new, slightly used, luxury rail cars in New Jersey!

Where do I go to get the finder's fee?



Date: 03/22/12 11:59
Re: Florida East Coast's PRIVATE passenger project
Author: joemvcnj

That would be the 8 ACES cars.
There are also 45 20-year old Comet-III cars, retired, that could be overhauled, and refitted with new interiors to essentially be neo-Horizon cars.



Date: 03/22/12 12:04
Re: Florida East Coast's PRIVATE passenger project
Author: ts1457

FEC played a big role in the development of Florida. Can it do the same with the redevelopment?



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