RPA: Developing New Amtrak Corridors Presentation

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joelkfla

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Why are you saying that? Amtrak is cutting service right now and Brightline is constructing track. There’s like 1% possibility in my book.
Because the subject of this thread is the future corridor proposal, which included JAX-ORL-TPA.

Brightline has not started construction between ORL & TPA. There was an article in the Tampa Bay Business Journal (which I can't read because it's behind a paywall) that reportedly said construction on that leg would not start before 2022, and that earliest commencement of service would be 2025.
 

crescent-zephyr

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Because the subject of this thread is the future corridor proposal, which included JAX-ORL-TPA.

Brightline has not started construction between ORL & TPA. There was an article in the Tampa Bay Business Journal (which I can't read because it's behind a paywall) that reportedly said construction on that leg would not start before 2022, and that earliest commencement of service would be 2025.
Yeah how soon do you think Amtrak would start service?

And brightline is constructing track on the Orlando segment, Tampa is the next segment. So they are constructing track.

And honestly, sunrail should operate the Tampa line anyways.
 
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joelkfla

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Yeah how soon do you think Amtrak would start service?
I have no idea. That's why I said "if Amtrak moves quickly".
And brightline is constructing track on the Orlando segment, Tampa is the next segment. So they are constructing track.
The Orlando extension is a done deal. Tampa is still in the planning & negotiations stage. AFAIK, no ROW has been acquired (except a lease agreement on I-4 median), and they haven't settled on station locations, or even the complete final route.
And honestly, sunrail should operate the Tampa line anyways.
Sure, but SunRail is locally funded. They haven't even figured out how to fund operations on the existing route when the start-up funding by the state runs out next year. And both Polk and Hillsborough counties would need to buy in and share the expenses. And I think the existing counties would all have to agree on the extension. Volusia County is already fighting an MCO extension, and is even dragging its feet on the DeLand extension in their own county.
 

cuppb001

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I live in Valdosta and not to be there bearer of bad news but any talk of a ATL-Macon-Valdosta-Jax train is not physically feasible. Norfolk Southern has the primary direct route and to say that route is congested with freight already is an understatement. Single track main, 30 minutes between freights and a small yard in Valdosta to hold up traffic even more.
 

Willbridge

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In Southern California they're would be and probably would in Florida. Los Angeles to San Bernardino to Victorville is a fairly busy trip in its own right. I've met people that lived in the Victorville area and commuted into San Bernardino because housing was cheaper. Vegas would also need the capacity since I-5 is a 2 lane highway for a good chunk of the way to Vegas and that includes people whole would be coming from in between LA and San Bernardino.
What interests me about LAX<>LVS is that some photos of the vacant UP station site I have on flickr.com are among my most viewed. Different angles of abandoned and empty space are hard to turn into great art so I suspect the hits are coming from people who think that it'd be a good idea to send a passenger train there.

View attachment 19426
Have you traveled on I-4 between Tampa and Orlando? They keep having to expand the number of lanes and it is still crowded. There are enough people going between Orlando and Tampa on a daily basis that Amtrak and Brightline would not exhaust the market - only improve it once people realized that trains ran that often as long as they have adequate parking at the stations.
My brother arranged a trip on I-4 in the opposite direction of peak traffic just so I could see it. It was the first time I've seen multiple men getting out of their halted cars to urinate in the bushless highway median. It certainly helped me understand how irresponsible Florida elected officials are to tolerate the situation. If they can't come up with a civilized rail alternative at least they could plant some bushes. ;)
 

west point

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What is missing in Florida is a route ATL, Columbus Ga, Tallahassee, Tampa, Sarasota, Naples, Ft Lauderdale / or Miami by way of I-75 or Alligator alley.
Hasn't Long Island being proposed as a tunnel under long island sound to about New Haven ?
 

railiner

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Hasn't Long Island being proposed as a tunnel under long island sound to about New Haven ?
You mean for the LIRR? Never heard that one. They have talked about a highway bridge from Oyster Bay to Rye, NY. The NY-135, aka Seaford-Oyster Bay Expressway, was supposed to continue beyond its Syosset terminus to access it. But NIMBY's put the kabash to that. There have also been proposals for a bridge-tunnel from Orient Point via Plum Island and Fisher's Island to Watch Hill and Westerly, RI. But that would be much more expensive than the traffic using it would warrant, for a long, long time...
 
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What is missing in Florida is a route ATL, Columbus Ga, Tallahassee, Tampa, Sarasota, Naples, Ft Lauderdale / or Miami by way of I-75 or Alligator alley.
LOL. Columbus GA will *never* see rail service again, no matter what. In fact, this city has just about dried up and turned into Thug Central, last time I was there (2020.)
 

crescent-zephyr

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This shows a profound lack of understanding of how SunRail is funded. This is like saying MNRR should operate service to Albany or Buffalo. That is as likely to happen as SunRail operating to Tampa.
New York to New Haven is roughly the same distance as Orlando to Tampa.

(And Poughkeepsie, and Wassaic).

Regarding funding... my understanding is that sunrail is funded by the state and federal funds as well as funding by the counties it serves. What understanding am I lacking?
 
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railiner

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If Amtrak ever went under, there is a good chance that NY would make the MTA into a state-wide agency, like NJ has, and in that event, Metro-North might very well be selected to "fill the vacuum"...
 

jis

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New York to New Haven is roughly the same distance as Orlando to Tampa.

(And Poughkeepsie, and Wassaic).
Distance has nothing to do with it. Which counties are members of the compact has more to do with it. As for the Connecticut service, it is ConnDOT that cotnracts with MNRR to operate trains on the New Haven Line. That has zero relevance to this discussion since their funding model is completely different.
Regarding funding... my understanding is that sunrail is funded by the state and federal funds as well as funding by the counties it serves. What understanding am I lacking?
Yes. There will be no state or federal funding at the end of 5 years, and it becomes entirely the counties' baby at that point. The joint funding and operating plans are managed by the CFRC compact. To join the compact the county has to make a substantial financial commitment for a substantial period of time. SunRail service cannot operate in that county.

Tri Rail is similar with the SFRTA formed of Miam-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach Counties.
 

jis

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I had thought that the UMTA contributes to all local transit, on an ongoing basis...not sure....
UMTA has not existed for decades.

OTOH Counties can try to get FTA operating grants and even other grants like CMAQ. Sometimes they succeed, sometimes not. Lack of earmarks until this budget year had made it difficult to get such grants predictably. But the counties remian responsible for finding the funding whether it be from grants or from additional sales/property taxes or whatever.
 
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jis

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It doesn’t? Why should Amtrak be in the business of operating under 100 mile corridors?
Who said anything about Amtrak? We were talking about SunRail extending service to Tampa and in that context how transit district compact's funding works. What did you think we were talking about?

Unless Polk and Hillsborough County decide to join the compact and raise taxes enough to fund the required financial contribution, SunRail won't go to Lakeland or Tampa. That is all I was talking about. The rest is of no relevance to what I was saying.

There is the additional side issue ot the track west of Poinciana being not owned by SunRail. At present there is no agreement of any sort between SunRail and CSX for the former to operate on the latter. Amtrak has access to CSX tracks via the original Amtrak inception agreement, SunRail does not.

Now coming to the other stuff that you drifted into, in any case Amtrak is not supposed to operate service below 750 miles unless funded by client states. But within that constraint the Hiawatha service is 88 miles. So I have no idea where you pulled out that arbitrary 100 miles number from. Especially bizarre since Deland or even Winter Park to Tampa (the territory covered by SunRail) is more than 100 miles! Of course since Florida State is unlikely to fund anything Amtrak, unless it is guaranteed 40% farebox return or some other odd number they will pull out of their rear end depending on their mood, the whole thing about Amtrak running local service in Florida is more or less moot. Unless potentially, Amtrak can manage to offload a lot of their allocated central costs from what they charge states perhaps. Or I suppose Florida can suddenly get a remarkably progressive state government too.
 
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crescent-zephyr

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Who said anything about Amtrak? We were talking about SunRail extending service to Tampa and in that context how transit district compact's funding works. What did you think we were talking about?

The rest is of no relevance to what I was saying.

Now coming to the other stuff that you drifted into, in any case Amtrak is not supposed to operate service below 750 miles unless funded by client states.

So I have no idea where you pulled out that arbitrary 100 miles number from.
Umm.. the thread is titled RPA: Developing New Amtrak Corridors Presentation.

I’ve honestly had enough of your condescending posts toward me in this thread so I don’t care to continue this conversation.
 

railiner

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UMTA has not existed for decades.

OTOH Counties can try to get FTA operating grants and even other grants like CMAQ. Sometimes they succeed, sometimes not. Lack of earmarks until this budget year had made it difficult to get such grants predictably. But the counties remian responsible for finding the funding whether it be from grants or from additional sales/property taxes or whatever.
My bad… I meant FTA…
 
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NES28

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I live in Valdosta and not to be there bearer of bad news but any talk of a ATL-Macon-Valdosta-Jax train is not physically feasible. Norfolk Southern has the primary direct route and to say that route is congested with freight already is an understatement. Single track main, 30 minutes between freights and a small yard in Valdosta to hold up traffic even more.
The FRA SE Regional Rail Study found that Atlanta - Macon - Jacksonville - Orlando would justify hourly high-speed rail service, making construction of a new passenger-only alignment, like Houston-Dallas, feasible. Similarly, there would be no major obstacles to construction (like a mountain range), so it would be affordable.
 

Tlcooper93

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The FRA SE Regional Rail Study found that Atlanta - Macon - Jacksonville - Orlando would justify hourly high-speed rail service, making construction of a new passenger-only alignment, like Houston-Dallas, feasible. Similarly, there would be no major obstacles to construction (like a mountain range), so it would be affordable.
I start to ask questions the moment anyone claims a HSR route is "affordable."
Just because there are no mountains (or something else) doesn't automatically render a possible HS ROW affordable.
HrSR perhaps, but definitely not true HSR.
 
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NES28

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I start to ask questions the moment anyone claims a HSR route is "affordable."
Just because there are no mountains (or something else) doesn't automatically render a possible HS ROW affordable.
HrSR perhaps, but definitely not true HSR.
If you are spending the money to build a railroad it doesn't cost much more to build true HSR. It makes particularly good sense in this case since there has never been a direct railroad between Macon and Jacksonville.
 

jis

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I suspect that the Atlanta to JAX segment would most likely use existing highway or rail alignment wherever possible. My best guess is it will get routed via Waycross - Tifton - Cordelle - Macon or Jesup - Macon or some approximation thereof.

The JAX Orlando segment will most likely be on I-95 and I-4 ROW. Theoretically it could be on FECR ROW JAX - Daytona, but one thing that won't be then is HSR.

In any case that segment is 15-25 years away, enough time for visions to change a few times too.
 
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