High speed rail to offer a new option for getting to some Central Florida attractions


#1

Plans are in progress for a 220 mph high speed rail in Florida. The first segment from Orlando to Tampa is expected to be completed in 2014, with Miami to Orlando to follow. With proposed stops at the Orlando airport, the Orange County Convention Center and Walt Disney World, this will mean a new choice for tourists. Some exhibits were recently on display at the Orange County Convention Center.

A high speed rail line has been proposed between Tampa and Orlando since 1975, and transportation planners continually look for ways to help reduce the cost.

For example, when lanes were added to I-4 several years ago between Disney and Tampa, they also widened the median so a high speed rail could be built without a need to widen I-4 again. Several years ago, Disney pledged to donate some of its land for a station near the ESPN Wide World of Sports.

High speed rail to offer a new option for getting to some Central Florida attractions - Orlando Attractions Magazine


#2

Oh don’t get me started…don’t get me started.


#3

A high speed link between Lauderdale and WDW?
I’ll believe it when I see it!
And when I see it, I’ll use it.

If they do this, I wonder what kind of bus service they’ll have between the station and resorts and the station and the parks. You certainly won’t want 100 passengers with luggage trying to get onto a standard Disney Transport bus while I wonder if they’ll have some sort of modified ME.


#4

I don’t live in FLA but hope to some day. This sounds like a wonderful mode of transportation.


#5

This was a pilot program of the Obama administration. It would have been a well-used corridor and it would’ve shown everyone how efficient this new mode of transit would be.

Unfortunately, the odds of it happening after the recent mid-term elections is pretty low. I’m not sure if the Florida piece was already funded, but we can be 100% sure that it’s not happening any time soon anywhere else in the country as originally planned.


#6

If it gets cancelled, it won’t be the first time.
In the 2000 we had a constitutional amendment that was approved by voters to fund high speed rail in Florida. By 2004, the (Jeb) Bush administration and the Republican leadership decided that Florida didn’t need high speed rail and that the constitutional amendment had to be repealed.
Well, they got enough votes to kill the train once. I see it as only a matter of time before it is killed again.
How come, other than the Northeast Corridor, the United States can’t be like the other most developed nations in the world and have high speed rail?
For most trips a high speed train will beat the plane when you factor in all the extra time to trek to and from the outlying airport two hours before your flight and then wait for your baggage on the other end, plus the ever increasing invasion of privacy in the form of security checks, and it’s a lot more comfortable too.

Reading:
http://speakout.com/activism/opinions/5521-1.html
http://www.bradenton.com/2010/01/28/2013221/obama-lands-in-tampa.html
http://www.collinscenter.org/?4gFLamendhistory


#7

It is not going to happen and here is why. The majority of people in FLA will not benefit from it but will have to cover the operation, maintenance, and insurance to run it. Florida doesn’t have the density to support it with local ridership and most of the independent research has shown that you have to get close to 100% ridership from vacationers to cover the operational expenses.

Even the numbers from the supporters show that it will cost more and take more time then just using our current infrastructure (be it car or bus).

I also am upset that they are forcing the fine citizens of NJ, AL, OH, MI, GA, and others to pony up the billions to build the infrastructure for this boondoggle…wait sorry you guys don’t have the money so we are asking the Chinese for another loan.

Now don’t get me wrong. I would love to have high speed rail in FL but this is not the time to take on new debt for infrastructure that won’t pay for itself and only burden the tax payers of FL more.

Personally I think that if we are going to do this it has to make economic sense first and foremost. I also think that if we are going to do this we need to move past last century technology and build a more lightweight system that run in our cities as well run as a connector between them.

Central Florida still has a lot it can do by improving the use of buses as well. Right now they are very inefficient and connection between bus lines in some place require you to walk quarter to half mile some times crossing busy roads. There is also no express service (mainly because they don’t really have any central transfer stops). And FL already has rail service connecting Tampa, Orlando, Miami, Jacksonville called Amtrak (which isn’t much slower then the proposed HSR).

I warned you…and I am holding back because this is MB.


#8

[QUOTE=Soundgod;1056577]If it gets cancelled, it won’t be the first time.
In the 2000 we had a constitutional amendment that was approved by voters to fund high speed rail in Florida. By 2004, the (Jeb) Bush administration and the Republican leadership decided that Florida didn’t need high speed rail and that the constitutional amendment had to be repealed.
Well, they got enough votes to kill the train once. I see it as only a matter of time before it is killed again.[/quote]

Rick Scott is already moving to kill it.

How come, other than the Northeast Corridor, the United States can’t be like the other most developed nations in the world and have high speed rail?

FL doesn’t have the density to support it. Tri-Rail takes you where? Mostly empty fields with parking lots. They didn’t even have the sense to connect it wholly to the T-Rex office park in Boca.

The NE Corridor really needs a major upgrade of it rail infrastructure and I think it could support the added cost. There is no ROI ever in a place like FL without forcing people into higher density living which I don’t see happening.

Buses don’t work that well in downtown Orlando where you have the density. Will a train do any better that makes people walk even further (in the heat, humidity, or torrent down pour)

For most trips a high speed train will beat the plane when you factor in all the extra time to trek to and from the outlying airport two hours before your flight and then wait for your baggage on the other end, plus the ever increasing invasion of privacy in the form of security checks, and it’s a lot more comfortable too.

For driving this is only true if you start timing from when you get on the train to when you get off the train. You will have to drive to the train station, find parking, go through security (it is coming and will get tighter if more people ride), wait for the train to leave the station (timing issue you better be luck if you sit down right when it leaves), the HSR is capable of high speed but US rail regulations cap rail speed I think at 95mph, station stops, the arrive, now you have to get transportation to your final destination.

Then you have the cost of riding which for the trip to tampa and back I could fill my car up twice (I can get there and back on less then a half a tank) and pay for an oil change. And the estimates I have seen I could drive to tampa and be almost home by the time the train arrived in tampa (if car me and train me left the house at the same time under optimal condition).

Like I said before I would love to have HSR but it makes no economic sense. It is a nice thing we can’t currently afford to build or afford at this point to keep running.


#9

Tri Rail?
Well, that is another still born idea.
At first, it didn’t even connect to MIA, not that there’s a station inside MIA today, but they did build a station closer than the end of the line in Hialeah and all the track is owned by CSX, not FlaDOT. Miami Metrorail is similar to Tri Rail. One line and if you’re not going there, what good is it. There was originally supposed to be an east-west line from downtown through the airport and out to the Palmetto or even further, but in the early 80’s, the Miami taxi lobby killed that dead, and that might have been the more useful line.
Buses in South Florida are almost useless too because of the spread out nature of the metropolis. You can’t have the density of service you need in order to get people out of their cars, because there’s just so many routes you need to serve. You’re lucky to see a bus every 20 minutes.
Then again, this is also why electric cars that only have a range of 50 miles are useless for anything other than going to the local Publix.
Face it, effective mass transit and Florida are pretty much mutually exclusive of each other.


#10

Like I said if we do this lets not build something based on last century technology. I would favor something like this:

people cargo mover | People Cargo Mover

http://195.37.240.120:591/frame.html

(I know it is in German).

Build something that can move freight containers and people which is also light weight enough to fit in our current cities foot prints.

The same system could be used to move freight from container ships inland toward the rail heads, highways, etc.

Also along with trains (2 or more cars) that run set routes there could also be smaller custom route cars that could give express service for set groups (kind of like a charter bus), and even at a higher cost smaller private vehicles that give express service for even smaller groups (like a family on vacation that doesn’t want to wait for set service). The software for this type of system has been developed.

There is still the problem of density but with a light weight and flexible system this become less an issue on the cost side as you can increase ridership by supplying more stations and routes.


#11

Now I do not live in Florida so I don’t know all the politics involved, but I do work for Siemens and they are manufacture of the Trains and it is huge in our company to get this contract with Amtrak. Although, I have nothing to do with the Locomotive side of Siemens, since I am a fire inspector in Las Vegas. It is still a huge boost for the company and the fact that they are Electric Trains is even Cooler.


#12

[QUOTE=Soundgod;1056583]Tri Rail?
Well, that is another still born idea.
At first, it didn’t even connect to MIA, not that there’s a station inside MIA today, but they did build a station closer than the end of the line in Hialeah and all the track is owned by CSX, not FlaDOT. Miami Metrorail is similar to Tri Rail. One line and if you’re not going there, what good is it. There was originally supposed to be an east-west line from downtown through the airport and out to the Palmetto or even further, but in the early 80’s, the Miami taxi lobby killed that dead, and that might have been the more useful line.
Buses in South Florida are almost useless too because of the spread out nature of the metropolis. You can’t have the density of service you need in order to get people out of their cars, because there’s just so many routes you need to serve. You’re lucky to see a bus every 20 minutes.
Then again, this is also why electric cars that only have a range of 50 miles are useless for anything other than going to the local Publix.
Face it, effective mass transit and Florida are pretty much mutually exclusive of each other.[/QUOTE]

That is such a true statement.

I always wondered why Tri-Rail was never really connected to the airports. That would have made a lot of sense. I don’t know if it would have saved it but it might have helped.

I personally could live with an electric car most day seeing that my average daily trip is well under 20 miles. I would still need something with range for those days I run cross town.

We could make buses work more efficiently in FL. When I lived in Delray I could have taken the bus but it would have taken me close to an hour and half plus well over a mile of walking between connecting stops. Also getting rid of strip malls and zoning more high density mixed use location (like you find in cities – retail and restaurants at street level with office, medical, or condos above) that server as hubs to feeder lines.

The big issue with rail is once you put the infrastructure in place you are stuck in place for better or worse.


#13

Oh it is cool but I as a tax payer in Florida I am not here to help your companies bottom line for cool technology that won’t benefit me or the state :cool: :wink:


#14

Dupe post deleted/


#15

We’re putting in a 6 mile light rail that runs nowhere really. It’s up to $1 for everyman woman and child in the US, and now they just realized that a small office building is too close on one turn so, you guessed it, what’s ANOTHER 3/4 million dollars.

We also have a relocated rail line that now runs between the interstate tracks from a marine terminal so the 100-200 car long container carrier trains don’t have to block a dozen road crossings. It was finished a year ago, but for some reason the trains are still running through town. :mad:

I don’t think I’ll fire quicksilver just yet. :laugh:


#16

I don’t think that light rail will accommodate high speed operation.
The rails themselves are probably not capable of the stresses, temperatures, and loads.
And the thought of a 200 mile long light rail route does not sound like a good match.
As for the high speed rolling stock, I’d expect that to come from Bombardier/Alstom and not Siemans, especially as Bombardier does rail car manufacturing in upstate NY.
What a shame that Budd of Philly is out of the business!
Tigger, what you’re suggesting in terms of passenger/freight combined service might or might not be workable. Florida needs to own the right of way and not depend on CSX or FEC because of course, then their trians would have priority and not the Sunshine State Express. Maybe some sort of tie in with UPS/FedEx for package transport, but this is all something to be hashed out.


#17

[QUOTE=Soundgod;1056603]I don’t think that light rail will accommodate high speed operation.
The rails themselves are probably not capable of the stresses, temperatures, and loads.
And the thought of a 200 mile long light rail route does not sound like a good match.
As for the high speed rolling stock, I’d expect that to come from Bombardier/Alstom and not Siemans, especially as Bombardier does rail car manufacturing in upstate NY.
What a shame that Budd of Philly is out of the business!
Tigger, what you’re suggesting in terms of passenger/freight combined service might or might not be workable. Florida needs to own the right of way and not depend on CSX or FEC because of course, then their trians would have priority and not the Sunshine State Express. Maybe some sort of tie in with UPS/FedEx for package transport, but this is all something to be hashed out.[/QUOTE]

Did you look at the links I supplied?

I would like to see us move past this mode of train that we have been flogging for the 150 so years. Lets re-invent rail transportation…throw out the current “chariot” width layout, use new high tech materials, and information systems.

Lets level the past behind and start anew with something better.

I don’t think we need a system to replace trains, planes, and automobiles just something that augments them.

We are going to use freight trains for probably every. Current rail is build for it and they are pretty efficient for what they do. The can carry a large heavy amount of freight long distance relatively cheaply. This isn’t going to be replaced soon. But right now we use trucks to connect rail heads and stops with the freight end point (same with ships). A system that could move freight quickly and autonomously from railheads (or docks) to highways say would take a lot of trucks off our streets in populated areas (these systems might be closed to people traffic or just connect for short distances).

Planes are always going to be faster then trains and cars for long haul flights. A smart system could connect airports with direct secure transport. Land in Ft Lauderdale don’t leave security and catch a connection in Miami or Palm Beach. This would allow the region to leverage more of their investment in their airport infrastructure. Also if you could land in Ft Lauderdale and catch a transport to the cruise terminal…leverage that line to the harbor.

The car is not going anywhere because we are to spread out. If the system is lightweight enough it can get deeper less intrusively into our current cites. Disney and convention centers make great sense because of the tourism traffic. With a lightweight system the SunRail route could be modified and expanded allow the region to be divided into hub locations that could link UCF with downtown with the convention center with Disney with OIA with Winter Park/Longwood/I-4 North. I think the UCF traffic between campus and international drive would be pretty big and if the OIA extended to Medical City you would get even more traffic out of UCF (not to mention downtown – UCF traffic on the weekend to downtown might bring in some more night life).

And really that in a nut shell is the problem. We (in Central FL) are looking at basing our rail system on old freight lines. They don’t match our current traffic patterns and don’t for the most part go where people that would ride it go. That is why we need to start fresh and come up with some bold new ideas on how to solve this.

Go look at the link of the system there. I think it is a starting point.


#18

You could build a Miami Metromover type train (similar to the operatorless trains used in many airports like Tampa and Orlando into Port Everglades from Fort Lauderdale International with no trouble.
Obviously, new rail systems will require new rights of way, which will lead to their own problems. I’ll get around to checking your links later, but it is almost sounding like you’re describing something out of the GM Futurama (a semi automated guideway for wheeled vehicles).
Whatever it is, it is going to be hugely expensive and it had best be right the first time because nobody is going to stand for corrective measures after it’s built.

Edit: The people cargo mover looks like a monorail.
Where have I seen that before? I wonder.


#19

[QUOTE=Soundgod;1056618]…

Edit: The people cargo mover looks like a monorail.
Where have I seen that before? I wonder.[/QUOTE]

The future?


#20

when this country had money,was the time to do these things,wake up,we cannot fight 2wars and given our financial state spend money on ourselves,i know this is a disney forum ,but truth be told,WDW is rapidly becoming,truly the world …as is the USA…WDW needs foreigners more and more with each passing year…not that that is bad but it is a fact of life…we need to reinvent who we are ,and where we are going,and just to end on a disney note,please remember those words near the end of the american experience,with prosperity comes the challenge how to balance prosperity with leisure,so far like others before us we have not done a good job of it…