Promoting passenger trains as a transportation alternative in Florida since 1983.  We are citizens who advocate for Amtrak, commuter rail, intercity rail and transit for Florida's future.

The Silver Rail Blog

  • 03 Dec 2009 11:22 AM | Jackson McQuigg (Administrator)

    The Florida Times-Union details plans for a possible return of train service to Jacksonville Terminal Station:

    http://jacksonville.com/news/metro/2009-11-12/story/jacksonville_to_seek_stimulus_funds_for_rail_bus_hub

    This topic was a subject of a presentation given to the FCRP membership at FCRP's Fall Members Luncheon and Meeting, held in Jacksonville on November 7.

    --Jackson McQuigg

  • 02 Dec 2009 12:49 PM | Jackson McQuigg (Administrator)

    Editorial from the Palm Beach Post about a proposal from State Senator Jeff Atwater for a passenger rail authority in Florida.

    The new entity would be modeled on the Florida Turnpike Authority:

    http://www.palmbeachpost.com/opinion/editorials/atwater-takes-over-the-train-92021.html

    --Jackson McQuigg

  • 01 Dec 2009 11:42 AM | Anonymous

    Emergency session slated. Follow the link to this story

    http://www.baynews9.com/content/36/2009/12/1/553269.html 

    Stephen Sayles
    FCRP President

  • 30 Nov 2009 11:59 AM | Jackson McQuigg (Administrator)

    USA Today does an admirable job of summarizing the race for high speed rail stimulus funds here:

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2009-11-30-high-speed-rail-stimulus_N.htm?POE=click-refer

    --Jackson McQuigg

  • 27 Nov 2009 11:33 PM | Jackson McQuigg (Administrator)

    The Orlando Sentinel is reporting that a special session of the Florida Legislature on commuter rail (SunRail and Tri-Rail funding) will begin December 3:

    http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/local/state/os-sunrail-legislature-112609,0,1490319.story

    According to the story, more news on the subject will be released by Governor Crist's office on this upcoming Monday.

    --Jackson McQuigg

  • 27 Nov 2009 11:27 PM | Jackson McQuigg (Administrator)

    According to the Orlando Sentinel, the AFL-CIO will oppose SunRail once again if a special session of the Florida Legislature is called to address both it and Tri-Rail.

    The unions object to provisions in the sale and operating agreements for with CSX for the Central Florida commuter line which would impact union labor:

    http://blogs.orlandosentinel.com/news_politics/2009/11/florida-aflcio-says-it-will-fight-sunrail-deal.html

    --Jackson McQuigg

  • 21 Nov 2009 9:50 AM | Deleted user

    NARP has some comments in this weeks hotline about the discussions with the potential candidates.  First it was noted that nearly all the Senators present left when the Amtrak appointees came up for interrogation, but then Sen. Hutchinson of Texas returned and questioned one about his committment to the original Amtrak mission.  He stated that he understood it and was committed to it.  I suggest that all read this Hotline and if a link can be found, hopefully we can also listen to the actual conversation.  It was tepid at best.

  • 21 Nov 2009 9:47 AM | Deleted user

    Yesterday, Joseph Boardman was questioned by a C-Span host concerning Amtrak.  Nothing was mentioned of Florida service of any type, but the matter indirectly came up when someone called in from Atlanta with a question about new routes from there to Chicago and/or the Midwest.  He stated that there are no plans on the horizon for anything beyond what we have.   Here is a link to the 30' program.

    http://www.c-span.org/Watch/Media/2009/11/18/HP/A/26157/Joseph+Boardman+Amtrak+President+CEO.aspx

  • 20 Nov 2009 5:35 PM | Deleted user

    I posted this in the wrong place as a comment on Jackson's post, so here it is where it should have been put.

    At the monthly meeting of the North Florida Chapter of NRHS last night, we had a presentation on positive train control from the AVP of PTC/Technology at CSX. This activity at CSX is apparently in the hands of CSX Technology and the fellow admitted he knew little or nothing about train handling etc.

    He pointed out two things that we ought to be concerned about, to wit:

    Under the proposed rules, 2008 is to be the base year for computing the levels of traffic on a line to require PTC. The railroads are fighting this, CSX arguing that the base year should be 2015 - why, because by then they will have spun off, reduced traffic, or abandoned all the lines they possibly can to avoid the expense. Good business argument, not good for passenger rail. Already the PD and PA subs out in the panhandle have been essentially shutdown except for local freight, so if the Sunset Limited or a connection is ever restored, somebody besides CSX will have to provide the PTC, especially if the change to 2015 is allowed. But if 2008 is the base year, CSX must apply it, because they did not reduce the traffic level until June of 2009. And it is not just the Sunset that would be affected. We know of at least two efforts in progress out west that will affect some of the best performing Amtrak trains, like the SouthWest Chief.

    The second item is that the cost/benefit ration, even as defined by the FRA is about 15:1. This means that if I buy a object for $15, the best I can get if I sell it is $1. Somehow Business-101 taught me that was not a good thing.

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