Jacksonville - St. Augustine commuter service in the works in Florida

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jis

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Caesar La Rock

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The timing on this announcement just couldn't be better. Me and a friend were just talking about Jacksonville needing to get serious with commuter rail just 24 hours ago. We'll see what happens, since I remembered the buzz about this ten years ago and it's been quiet for a while.
 
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jis

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Was some of the FEC track always 1 MT with sidings? Could be a project with Brightline's possible expansion to JAX?
FECR was 2MT all the way AFAICT.

Brightline extension to JAX is probably 10 to 15 years away. Hopefully this proposed Commuter service can get going before that, though some of the infrastructure build out would be dual purpose of course, if it does happen.
 

Anderson

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So, if they want to do a train station at the JRTC location, wouldn't that also be where Brightline probably wants to put their station in?

Call it a hunch, but I suspect the two projects are probably connected. The downtown Jacksonville station and the St. Augustine station would probably overlap between the two projects, and if I had to guess the commuter rail project will provide most (if not all) of the infrastructure needed for Brightline on the relevant section of track.

Really, if this comes together, what else does Brightline need? Some track upgrades for 90 or 110 instead of 79, a siding or two, and a station in Daytona? (Yes, I realize there might be another station or two, but this seems like a viable "starter package"...)
 

jis

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So, if they want to do a train station at the JRTC location, wouldn't that also be where Brightline probably wants to put their station in?

Call it a hunch, but I suspect the two projects are probably connected. The downtown Jacksonville station and the St. Augustine station would probably overlap between the two projects, and if I had to guess the commuter rail project will provide most (if not all) of the infrastructure needed for Brightline on the relevant section of track.

Really, if this comes together, what else does Brightline need? Some track upgrades for 90 or 110 instead of 79, a siding or two, and a station in Daytona? (Yes, I realize there might be another station or two, but this seems like a viable "starter package"...)
Depending on whether the commuter service chooses high floor or low floor rolling stock, Brightline could need their own platform, and in order to maintain Brightline's restricted access business model they might require separate platforms anyway. It is too early to tell how all this will unfold. What happens in Orlando might provide some hints on this. But as I said, it is 10-15 years away. The whole Tampa thing will happen first.
 

west point

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FECR was 2MT all the way AFAICT.

Brightline extension to JAX is probably 10 to 15 years away. Hopefully this proposed Commuter service can get going before that, though some of the infrastructure build out would be dual purpose of course, if it does happen.
I may have been thinking about the Palatka route
 

joelkfla

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FECR was 2MT all the way AFAICT.

Brightline extension to JAX is probably 10 to 15 years away. Hopefully this proposed Commuter service can get going before that, though some of the infrastructure build out would be dual purpose of course, if it does happen.
Apparently the commuter rail is, too:

“We have started the process,” he stressed during the meeting, adding, “It’s a 10-year undertaking. This is not quick. This is really serious stuff, this is hundreds of millions of investment, state and federal, and local, I mean, it’s real - real effort.”​
 

Anderson

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FECR did go via Palatka many moons ago before the coastal short cut was built. It is quite possible back then it was 1MT.
I saw that in a map in Palatka last time I was down there.

Your point about rolling stock is a good one. I will say that my sense is that you might see separate platforms regardless (for the purposes of access control; this is already the case at MiamiCentral), but I also wouldn't be surprised to see some attempt to negotiate there.
 

George Harris

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I am reasonably certain that the Palata Cutoff has always been single track with sidings with rest of the main line double track both north and south of cutoff's tie in to the original via Palatka line. Likewise I am also reasonably certain the original line via Palatka was never double tracked between these tie-in points.

When thinking about the FEC, to the best of my knowledge Flagler wasn't really interested in making the railroad profitable. He intended it to be part of his plan to develop south Florida.
 

Anderson

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I am reasonably certain that the Palata Cutoff has always been single track with sidings with rest of the main line double track both north and south of cutoff's tie in to the original via Palatka line. Likewise I am also reasonably certain the original line via Palatka was never double tracked between these tie-in points.

When thinking about the FEC, to the best of my knowledge Flagler wasn't really interested in making the railroad profitable. He intended it to be part of his plan to develop south Florida.
I think he expected it to at least break even and be self-supporting, but otherwise I tend to agree...it wasn't supposed to be a "loss leader" but it was aimed at driving land profits rather than as a profit center itself...

...but then again, that was usually the model: Have the railroad break even or make a little money, but use it to drive other businesses. [Well, or bankrupt it out but have the other businesses positioned so you could hose "the other guy"...]
 

jis

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I am reasonably certain that the Palata Cutoff has always been single track with sidings
If one looks at the RoW today it appears to have been widened for two tracks all the way at some point. I don;t know when that happened and whether there actually was a second track all the way at some point.
 
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