Thursday, March 22, 2012

FEC plots passenger rail service operation

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Florida East Coast Industries, Inc., is developing a plan to own and operate passenger rail service between South Florida and Orlando.

The All Aboard Florida passenger rail project would stretch about 240 miles, using 200 miles of existing FEC right-of-way from Miami and Cocoa, Fla., and 40 miles of new track to reach Orlando. Intermediate points would include Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach. Future expansions would take the service to Tampa, on the west coast, and Jacksonville, near the Georgia border.

The project is expected to cost at least $1 billion, with service to commence in 2014.FEC AAFla. map

FEC last month named Eugene Skoropowski senior vice president-Passenger Service Development, based in Orlando (Railway Age, March p. 26). As managing director of California's Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority for 10 years, Skoropowski worked with landlord Union Pacific and other parties to significantly strengthen Amtrak California Corridor service frequency.

New York-based Fortress Investment Group is the parent company of Florida East Coast Industries, itself headquartered in Coral Gables, Fla.