Miami Intermodal Center (f/k/a Miami Central Station)

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chrsjrcj

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And don't forget when they run the 5th grade special twice a year and run something like 20 cars... Though in that case, I don't think they'll run the train to MIA. I think they stage a bit further north.

Are they planning to service the train at the station in the airport? Or are they going to pull in, unload, Wye, and service & park the train overnight at the old MIA station?

Is there one or two platforms at the new station? Can the Silvers both be there at the same time?
The school special is boarded at the Mangonia Park Tri-Rail station (just north of West Palm Beach), I believe. Typically there are 9 extra coaches tacked on to the end of the regular Meteor consist (though the regular consist cars aren't used).

The new station will have 4 tracks. Should be suffice for both Tri-Rail, Silver Star, and Silver Meteor at the same time. I'm guessing they would run straight through to Miami Central Station, then do a back up move to Hialeah (where the train is service, turned, etc). The next morning the train would have to back into Miami Central Station. There's really no room to move the maintenance base to the new station.
 
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Nathanael

Guest
Due to the short platforms (rrrgggh) the Amtrak trains will probably back into Miami Central station at all times, coming and going, in order to minimize blockages of the street and minimize the number of passenger cars which load and unload onto the street -- better to have the locomotive crew deal with that than the passengers.

I'm not sure where they'll turn around the incoming trains. There's a wye which could be reinstated just north of the station. But I suppose they might do the reversal all the way up at the loop at the Hialeah maintenance faciliity, though the three-mile reverse move seems silly with a former wye just north of the station.
 
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Nathanael

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That was the original plan, but from looking at more recent documents, I believe it was cut back to four tracks and two platforms, deleting the easternmost track and platform.
 

afigg

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That was the original plan, but from looking at more recent documents, I believe it was cut back to four tracks and two platforms, deleting the easternmost track and platform.
The renderings on the Miami Intermodal Center MCS website show that the space was left for future expansion for the 3rd platform and 5th & 6th tracks. The rendering below also show that if the designers had understood the Amtrak train length considerations, they probably could have extended the southern end (on the left) another 100 to maybe 200 feet.



There are also construction photos on the website. The most recent set from August/September (35 pages of viewgraphs) show one of the unfinished platforms from a side view on page 5. Looks to me that the platform height will be 15" ATR.
 

AlanB

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Regarding servicing, I believe Amtrak normally runs the trains out to Hialeah Maintenance Facility for servicing, because it is the central maintenance base for Viewliners. If I'm not mistaken, they do a lot more maintenance at the end of the Silvers' runs than just "fuel, clean and turn around" . The "old station" per se wouldn't be involved, though given its location just south of the maintenance facility, it might be converted into an extension of the maintenance facility.
Yes, Hialeah is the primary base for all Viewliners and it will remain so to my knowledge. It is also the only place to clean, service, and restock the train. So just like at the other end of the run in NY, the train will deadhead back & forth between the new station and the Hialeah yard next to the current station.

And I don't see them turning the train going southbound prior to the station. Takes too much time, and it would then require turning the train again in the yard in order to back it into the station the next morning. The train will pull in with the engines in the lead and back out to the yard.
 

7deuceman

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Aug 31, 2013
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With the addition of Miami Central Station, travelers will have car rental right there at the station.

When I ride the Meteor down from DC, I won't have to get off in Ft Lauderdale to get a rental car.

I do not like the Bus service from Amtrak Hialeah to South Beach at night and this MCS is a welcome

change. Now, Miami Beach is a lot easier to access, especially at night/early morning.

What better time than now to re-start an Amtrak service from Chicago to Miami?

The trains could be called: City of Chicago (northbound) and City of Miami (southbound).

The service schedule could coincide with the Slivers at Jacksonville:

-continuing service to/from JAX - MIA on FEC and,

-continuing service to/from JAX - ORL and TPA on the Silvers.

A Chicago-Miami train would serve some of the largest cities and population centers in America (at

least 18*) on a route that has no current Amtrak service. They eventually might have to put two

SSL cars on such a train!

* Milwaukee, Chicago, Des Moines, Indianapolis, St Louis, Cincinnati, Louisville, Nashville, Memphis,

Birmingham, Atlanta, Macon/Waycross, Jacksonville, St Augustine, Orlando, WPB, FLL, Miami,

Tampa and Ft Myers, either by direct Amtrak service or Bus feeder service to/from Amtrak.
 
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Ispolkom

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What better time than now to re-start an Amtrak service from Chicago to Miami?

The trains could be called: City of Chicago (northbound) and City of Miami (southbound).
Before you start naming trains, you might want to investigate track conditions. There's a reason there's no Chicago-Florida train: no good route.

Reading this thread, I'm mildly optimistic that we might just walk across the street from our hotel to board the train in May, rather than take a cab to Hialeah.

The train length thing is a fiasco, but still Miami comes out ahead of St. Paul. At least in Miami the people in charge understood that a train station ought to have actual trains serving it. The buffoons in St. Paul are still working on that, more than a year after St. Paul Union Depot "opened."

But St. Paul have a really big Lite-brite, so we've got that going for us.
 
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Nathanael

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And I don't see them turning the train going southbound prior to the station. Takes too much time, and it would then require turning the train again in the yard in order to back it into the station the next morning. The train will pull in with the engines in the lead and back out to the yard.
They will likely do that if the train's short enough to platform all the cars, but I am pretty sure they will NOT do that if it leaves sleeper cars deboarding on the grade crossing. Amtrak doesn't really want to inflict that on its top-paying customers, does it?
 
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Nathanael

Guest
The train length thing is a fiasco, but still Miami comes out ahead of St. Paul. At least in Miami the people in charge understood that a train station ought to have actual trains serving it. The buffoons in St. Paul are still working on that, more than a year after St. Paul Union Depot "opened."
I wouldn't blame RCRRA (Ramsey County Regional Railroad Authority, owners of SPUD); they were doing their best.
In Miami, there was Amtrak to deal with, and CSX, and that's it.

In St. Paul, in addition to Amtrak, there was BNSF, CP, and also Union Pacific (bizarrely) to deal with, and apparently a vast amount of the trouble came from trying to get all three of the Class Is to sign off simultaneously -- get one to agree, carry the plans around to the next one, they don't agree, so you change it, carry the plans around to the next one, they don't agree, so you change it, carry the plans around to the first one and they're not OK with the new plans....

The final agreements in St. Paul have a ludicrously complicated division of responsibility among the Class Is, which must have taken an absurd amount of time to sort out. The longest delays seem to be related to the signal system handoff points.
 

7deuceman

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Aug 31, 2013
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Thank you Ispolkom, for your response. I understand your point "no good route". As I understand after taking a look, there likely is limited track available in some places along the way.

For anyone that wishes to look further, I just found the thread:

Chicago to Florida, started by trainfan, December 26, 2008.

Being based in suburban Chicago, I am interested in seeing a return of Amtrak services to Florida,

There are some very large cities and population centers along the route and at first glance, it could

make sense for a new and profitable Amtrak route.
 

VentureForth

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Well, it isn't profitable - Only Acela and Auto Train are quasi-profitable. And it's precisely because it doesn't make fiscal sense is why they cancelled The Floridian. I would LOVE to see that train again! Not only a fantastic route to Chicago from Florida bypassing Washington DC, but it also ran straight into Clearwater and St. Petersburg - both places I love to enjoy in Florida but hate making the drive to.

If there could be a business case and the political will to reinstate that service, I would be a regular rider. But, alas, such hope is just a dream...
 

chrsjrcj

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According to a South Florida Regional Transportation Authority meeting, Tri-Rail will begin operating to MIC on June 13, 2014. Amtrak doesn't have a set date, but they said possibly 8-12 months after June 2014.
 

Ispolkom

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According to a South Florida Regional Transportation Authority meeting, Tri-Rail will begin operating to MIC on June 13, 2014. Amtrak doesn't have a set date, but they said possibly 8-12 months after June 2014.
Not quite what I hoped for, since I'll be there in May..
 

Mark P

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According to a South Florida Regional Transportation Authority meeting, Tri-Rail will begin operating to MIC on June 13, 2014. Amtrak doesn't have a set date, but they said possibly 8-12 months after June 2014.
I was afraid this was going to happen. I'm flying into FLL on April 13th and was looking forward to taking the Tri Rail all the way down into the new station. But a few days ago I found MIC's latest construction schedule on their website and saw an early finish date in mid-April. So an opening in June sounds about right.

http://www.micdot.com/mic_program/schedules/MIC0813-3.pdf
 

neroden

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According to a South Florida Regional Transportation Authority meeting, Tri-Rail will begin operating to MIC on June 13, 2014. Amtrak doesn't have a set date, but they said possibly 8-12 months after June 2014.
Seriously? Then I bet St. Paul Union will get Amtrak first. I wonder what the delays are (my bet is on getting FRA to sign off on the new platform design given that it doesn't provide level boarding).
 
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Anderson

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According to a South Florida Regional Transportation Authority meeting, Tri-Rail will begin operating to MIC on June 13, 2014. Amtrak doesn't have a set date, but they said possibly 8-12 months after June 2014.
Seriously? Then I bet St. Paul Union will get Amtrak first. I wonder what the delays are (my bet is on getting FRA to sign off on the new platform design given that it doesn't provide level boarding).
Seems like a fair guess. If I'm not mistaken, doesn't Tri-Rail use low-level platforms? I'm pretty sure SunRail will be using them.
 
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afigg

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Seriously? Then I bet St. Paul Union will get Amtrak first. I wonder what the delays are (my bet is on getting FRA to sign off on the new platform design given that it doesn't provide level boarding).
Doubt that the platform height is an issue. I expect that the construction contracts for the MCS were issued before the cutoff date for the US DOT level boarding requirements, so the platforms won't have to comply with level boarding requirements for the Amtrak equipment in the near term. If the platforms are level boarding for Tri-Rail, but not Amtrak, don't know they could fully comply without building a mini-high in the middle of the platforms or a new platform for Amtrak use only. Amtrak will presumably place 2 mobile wheel chair lifts, once on each platform.

I find the 8 to 12 months to move after June rather long. Ok, maybe Amtrak needs to wait for completion of a build-out of Amtrak ticket offices, baggage storage space, waiting area. But if the station is complete enough for Tri-Rail operation by June, it should not take 8 months to complete fitting out of out interior space. Amtrak will have to define procedures for running the station and moving the equipment to Hileah and staff the MCS, but they have had years to prepare for that.

Maybe after the screw-up on sometimes blocking the cross road when the Silvers have extra long consists, Amtrak managers figure it is best to keep a low profile and move later.
 

Green Maned Lion

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The platforms only need to be level with the lowest equines using them. Since they serve tri-rail, they are in compliance.
 

MattW

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The platforms only need to be level with the lowest equines using them. Since they serve tri-rail, they are in compliance.
Supposedly, that's not the case anymore. All trains must have level boarding except where there is significant freight activity or something like that for all new platforms (as a post above said, MIC's were designed before the cutoff).
 

Green Maned Lion

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The platforms only need to be level with the lowest equines using them. Since they serve tri-rail, they are in compliance.
Supposedly, that's not the case anymore. All trains must have level boarding except where there is significant freight activity or something like that for all new platforms (as a post above said, MIC's were designed before the cutoff).
The trains with the lowest boarding height must have boarding level with the platforms. In the case of Miami, that boarding height is that of the Hawker-Siddley designed, Bombardier misconstructed bi-level cars. The platforms must be level with their lower doors, and I assure you they will be. You can't design platforms that can be in reality ADA accessible to a Bombardier Bi-level and to a high platform consist at the same time. It is simply not possible.
 

MattW

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I agree it's impossible, but when I asked the same question a while ago about a future Atlanta station, the response was essentially that if Atlanta served the High Level Crescent and low level commuter rail equipment, they would still be required to have at least one platform at the floor height of the Crescent.
 

neroden

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I find the 8 to 12 months to move after June rather long. Ok, maybe Amtrak needs to wait for completion of a build-out of Amtrak ticket offices, baggage storage space, waiting area.
That'll all be done around the time Tri-Rail moves in, if not earlier.

But if the station is complete enough for Tri-Rail operation by June, it should not take 8 months to complete fitting out of out interior space. Amtrak will have to define procedures for running the station and moving the equipment to Hileah and staff the MCS, but they have had years to prepare for that.

Maybe after the screw-up on sometimes blocking the cross road when the Silvers have extra long consists, Amtrak managers figure it is best to keep a low profile and move later.
Maybe. I have been assuming that there's some piece of redesign needed associated with the cross road which is going to take the extra 12 months.
 
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