Tri-Rail Sets DTML Schedule

Written by David Peter Alan, Contributing Editor
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Downtown Miami Link (DTML), Tri-Rail’s connection into Brightline’s new Miami Central station, has been a long time in coming, and there have been some difficulties along the way, but service will start tomorrow: Saturday, Jan. 13. When Railway Age reported this development Jan. 8, Tri-Rail had not released the schedule. The railroad has now made it public.

DTML will be introduced as a train-to-train transfer at Hialeah, where a shuttle train will operate on the South Florida Rail Corridor (SFRC) and onto the Florida East Coast (FEC) Railway for direct service to Miami Central and back. Jan. 13 will start a two-week ‘soft launch’ with six round trips, with more trains incrementally added to the schedule until it reaches 13 round trips.

We can now confirm that, at least for the first weekend, Tri-Rail will run six round trips. The schedule for the following week shows seven round trips but is silent about the week after that. For this weekend, anyway, trains will leave Miami Central at 8:35 and 10:35 AM and 12:35, 3:35, 5:35, and 8:35 PM. The trip to Metrorail Transfer, on Miami’s North Side, is scheduled to take 20 minutes, so trains are scheduled to arrive at Metrorail Transfer at 55 minutes after the hour. The current schedule, which went into effect on Dec. 13, calls for northbound trains to leave the transfer station on the hour, so riders from downtown Miami would have a five-minute wait for their connection.

Southbound trains are scheduled to leave Metrorail Transfer at 7:10, 9:10 and 11:10 AM, and 2:10. 4:10, and 6:10 PM, for arrival at Miami Central on the half-hour. Southbound trains from Mangonia Park and intermediate points are due at Metrorail Transfer at 5 minutes after the hour, again allowing a five-minute connection for downtown Miami.

For the following week, at least, trains are scheduled to leave Miami Central at 6:35, 8:05 and 10:05 AM, and 12:05, 3:05, 5:35 and 7:35 PM, arriving at Metrorail Transfer at 25 or 55 minutes after the hour, depending on the specific train. Connecting trains leave the latter station on the hour and the half-hour, so riders also have a five-minute wait for a connection. Southbound trains are scheduled to leave Metrorail Transfer for Miami Central at 5:40, 7:10, 8:50 and 10:40 AM, and 1:40, 4:40 and 6:10 PM for arrival on the hour or the half-hour. Connecting southbound trains stop at Metrorail Transfer at 5 or 35 minutes after the hour for the same five-minute transfer time. The sole exception is the 8:50 departure, which has a fifteen-minute connection from a train that originated at Mangonia Park.

Metrorail Transfer in Hialeah had originally been the only place where riders could transfer between Tri-Rail and Metrorail, an elevated metropolitan-style “heavy rail” line on a north-south alignment through Miami-Dade County, with an additional connecting spur to Miami Airport. Today, both lines stop at the airport, as well. The Miami Central station is also located near Metrorail and other transit.

“The Downtown Miami Link Project has been a coordinated effort with multiple partners from the region, who aimed at providing passenger rail service between the South Florida Rail Corridor where Tri-Rail currently operates and the FEC, which owns the tracks that connect into Downtown Miami,” TriRail said in a statement. “Several key partners supported and advocated for this effort, which leveraged the infrastructure established by the introduction of Brightline with the region’s investment and support of the Tri-Rail system.”

We will keep you informed of additions to the Tri-Rail schedule and other developments as they occur.

Take the tour of Tri-Rail’s Downtown Miami Link route through this Google Earth simulation. The route begins just south of the Metrorail Transfer Station, where Tri-Rail trains will access the FEC tracks via the IRIS connection. The route terminates at MiamiCentral Station. TriRail YouTube video.
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