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jaxlvr_24

High Speed Rail to JAX

High Speed Rail to JAX  

13 members have voted

  1. 1. Will JAX ever get high speed rail?

    • Yes
      5
    • No
      8


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I saw there is another thread here that discusses the possibility of high speed rail between Orlando and Tampa but that it might be dead. However there is a different plan that might connect JAX to the northeast. Does anyone know any details about the portion to JAX and how it might be affected by the recent decisions to kill the train between Orlando and Tampa?

Oh and the poll question is will we get it?

Here is a map of the proposal

sehsrmap.gif

And the website. SouthEast High Speed Rail

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The portion shown in red is the only part that I am aware of where there is actual funded work proceeding to build the line. It's basically being funded by NC and Va. which is why that portion of the High Speed Rail is active. I have not heard that SC, GA, or the small portion that would reach Jacksonville would be funded by Fla. There is practically no money available from the Federal Govt. at this point.

History of the Project

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No, we will not see it for a while (long while) because it costs WAY too much and we would be the last leg if adn only if the people of FL really took on the challenge of giving up a amount of taxes to pay for it.

Would it be worth it? I say no.

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While the idea seems novel enough, I had to vote no. We can't even get commuter rail to Jacksonville, much less high speed rail. And it seems to me that most of those cities on the rail map could be reached more easily by plane....

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Over time, I think that Jax will get high speed rail because of CSX's involvement in Jacksonville. With the CSX headquarters here, we could see a push in the near future depending on our growth.

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That's interesting. I did not realize that CSX was HQ'd in Jacksonville. I have heard they have been difficult to work with on other transit projects where their ROW was involved. Has the same occured in the Jacksonville area?

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That is an interesting point metro. I cannot confirm where they would swing on this issue, but I am sure that they would help in some way because it could help them get more exposure..but then again, they operate all over the nation.

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The portion shown in red is the only part that I am aware of where there is actual funded work proceeding to build the line. It's basically being funded by NC and Va. which is why that portion of the High Speed Rail is active. I have not heard that SC, GA, or the small portion that would reach Jacksonville would be funded by Fla. There is practically no money available from the Federal Govt. at this point.

Where do you get this info about work proceeding for high speed rail in NC and VA? The state of NC has done some track improvement projects between Charlotte and Raleigh, but it has absolutely nothing to do with high speed rail.

They haven't even successfully brought high speed rail to the Northeast corridor, you will not see it in NC or anywhere else for a LONG time if ever. Sad but true.

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Where do you get this info about work proceeding for high speed rail in NC and VA? The state of NC has done some track improvement projects between Charlotte and Raleigh, but it has absolutely nothing to do with high speed rail.

You can read about it in the link to the SEHSR site that I posted above. They are currently doing a detailed Tier II EIS design for the route between Raleigh and Richmond. NC is funding this design work along with VA. The ROW between Raleigh and Charlotte is mostly set as the state has bought much of this ROW in expectations for building the line in the future.

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I have a few comments...

1. Its been 14 years since the Federal Gov has designated "High Speed Rail" Corridors and they now are partially through an Environmental Impact Statement. This is why I don't hold my breath.

2. The maximim authorized speed they are proposing is 110mph. This is not considered high speed rail. They are really proposing a nice track improvement project (which is great) but I think they are trying to pass it off as something it is not. Remember, that is MAX speed, a lot would fall below that. They aren't even proposing grade separation which is an essential element of high speed rail.

3. WolfDawg: You are correct when you say CSX running transit will give them exposure, which is exactly what they don't want. It exposes them legally and financially, and their name will only be brought up when bad things happen. CSX doesn't want to have anything to do with passenger trains.

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I have a few comments...

This is why I don't hold my breath.

Very true, its going very slow. However this particular route is the only one in the nation to have reached Tier II status. One of the things that is spuring it along is the fact the NCRR train service on the Raleigh/Charlotte route is actually making a profit and the state is considering adding a mid-day train to suppliment the service.

The goal is to make the Charlotte to DC trip run 6 hours which isn't high speed in regards to European or Japan HS rail, but it is certainly a start in the right direction. When you consider the amount of time that it takes to get into out out of airports these days, that type of timeframe starts to become very competitive with the airlines. It takes about 7-8 hours to drive that route depending upon how mess up I-95 is heading into the DC metro.

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NCRR train service on the Raleigh/Charlotte route is actually making a profit

If thats true, that is amazing considering I rode that train from Raleigh to Charlotte for $3.40 and that included a free drink and snack in the lounge. Nice ride too.

As far as high speed rail in Jax, its very doubtful unless there is a major priority shift in this country. Maybe driven by $10/gallon gasoline or something along those lines.

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If thats true, that is amazing considering I rode that train from Raleigh to Charlotte for $3.40 and that included a free drink and snack in the lounge. Nice ride too.

That was probably a special rate. It's usually $19-$35 each way depending upon class of service. Considering what gasoline costs these days and the wear & tear on your vehicle, thats still a bargain.

If they did build the HS portion to Jacksonville, that would mean there would be train service from the Carolinas and Atlanta to the beaches in Jacksonville, It would be good for all concerned.

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metro,

I have heard the same thing in regards to CSX, but I have heard they are generally difficult to work with in any circumstance or project.

but I agree with Wolfdawg and Lunican, CSX is a very large company that isn't exactly in financial heaven right now, they have had more trouble, legal and fiscally, than not. To take on something new, which would be a risk, is unwise for them right now.

However, how bout FEC, could they be persuaded to join in on a linking rail (HS or "HS" or even commuter rail just through the city), who knows?

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That's interesting. I did not realize that CSX was HQ'd in Jacksonville. I have heard they have been difficult to work with on other transit projects where their ROW was involved. Has the same occured in the Jacksonville area?

I work for CSX at the Jacksonville GOB (HQ) and we are and have been in the process of what we call "abandonments". For those who are not familiar, that's where we relinquish rights of track for various reasons. Normally it's to create a more favorable balance sheet and tackle new business opportunities. Railroads are old industry, but the climate is slowly changing...

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metro: I'm not sure if it entitles us to a tax credit. Organizations can improve their tax situation, for example, by engaging in capital investment or accelerating depreciation expenses. If any structure applies to the railroad, I am not aware of it.

The main reason for abandonments is to eliminate routes that are not profitable or consistently break even with low volume. The overhead associated with minimal profit lines is cost-prohibitive as is equipment (e.g., rail ties) maintenance and replacement costs. The company and the customer both benefit when resources are allocated to more efficient and productive routes.

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JaxNole,

How would CSX respond to a city council or governmental plea for assistance in commuter rail for a region using a busy route (or even routes for "high speed" regional rail for that matter?)

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I wish I could gauge how CSX would respond to action promoting the use of our lines. CSX is going through the equivalent of a retrenchment and I'm not so sure a lucrative proposal has been delivered recently. Rail traffic has increased significantly, resulting in more embargoes. When an embargo is imposed, railcars cannot move because the system has become so congested that to operate as normal would risk safety in addition to performance.

We have developed new business models based on shippers' attraction to rail rates. Once again, it is becoming more cost-effective to use rail to transfer commodities. Aside from the rising cost of fuel for semis, increased congestion on the highways increases costs associated with trucking operations. Transferring products from rail to truck generates cost savings and fewer resources are needed compared to solely relying on trucks.

At any rate, I assume the bottom line has to be favorable for CSX. We have an extensive network of tracks/track rights in the area.

From our media kit, CSX provides the following information:

South Florida Regional Transportation Authority (SFRTA) operates three trains daily between Miami and West Palm Beach.

The state of Florida owns tracks; CSXT has freight rights over it.

Amtrak operates approximately 60 trains per day over 34 percent of CSXT railroad in every state except Tennessee, New Jersey and Delaware.

So, CSX is not averse to passenger operations. Although I despise cliches, we need "movers and shakers" to employ "creative problem solving" to make this happen in Jacksonville.

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