Florida HS Rail Link Cancelled

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Nov 24, 2009
Hillsborough, NJ
Gov. Rick Scott is canceling a proposed high-speed train line between Orlando and Tampa promoted by President Obama, saying Wednesday it would cost Florida too much even with $2.4 billion in federal help.

Cost overruns could put Florida on the hook for another $3 billion and once completed, there's a good chance ridership won't pay for the operating cost, meaning the state would have to pump even more money into the line each year, Scott said.

While I am a fan of passenger rail, I must agree with the decision to scrap the project. The cost would have amounted to up to a $5 billion cost, roughly three times the entire Amtrak national budget.

A more cost effective plan would have been to utilize the existing Orlando to Tampa trackage and establish a couple of daily trains between the two cities. I believe that there is also an out of service route that runs between Tampa and Orlando that could be revitalized. Tampa to Orlando is about a 1:40 trip by car. If a station at Walt Disney World was built it would be about a 1hr:30min train trip on standard track using std equipment. People should support that project as HSR wouldn't really save all that much time. Idealism is nice but reality is that Amtrak struggles to get its $1.5 Billion in subsidies. In todays political climate are people going to support billions for HSR. I think not.
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