Several U.S. railroad experts are assuming that the planned expansion of Tri-Rail service in Southern Florida would cause a commuters setback in the center of downtowns from West Palm Beach to Miami.
A proposed Tri-Rail service, called the "Coastal Link," would use the train tracks running through coastal downtown communities such as West Palm Beach, Boca Raton and Fort Lauderdale. The trains would be added to the Florida East Coast Railway tracks that run along Dixie Highway, but would not replace Tri-Rail service on the tracks along Interstate 95.
It seems very wasteful to have two different passenger services -- AAF's 32 express trains plus Tri-Rail -- all running on the same crowded tracks, plus increased FEC freight, in the middle of our busy downtowns. Couldn't Tri-Rail simply run several fast express trains each day instead of AAF? Downtown will feel like the middle of a rail yard, commented one of the critics in local newspaper SunSentinel.
Laying the groundwork for the "Coastal Link" has been underway for the last few years. The estimated cost to get Tri-Rail Coastal Link is considered between $720 and $800 million. That money would cover stations, a third track, and bridge improvements. A final cost will be nailed down after the Florida Department of Transportation's two-year study is complete. The planning is still on-going.
Source: Sun Sentinel
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