All Aboard the Comeback Train
Every single day Florida inherits thousands of new residents. “Did you know that more than 50 million people travel between Orlando and South Florida annually for both business and pleasure?” reads the All Aboard Florida website. As said by the private development plans of the Florida East Coast Industries (FECI) — owner, operator and management of the future railroad — in just two short years the South Florida tri-county will offer passenger rail service for the first time since July 31, 1968.
Although many years have come and gone since Henry Flagler laid down tracks connecting the East Coast of Florida much has remained the same. In fact, the Standard Oil co-founder in his successful attempt to boost the state’s tourism could arguably be responsible for many of the ideas this future rail plan is based around.
As of right now, AAF will be introducing new tracks to Central Florida, but the current Florida East Coast tracks between Miami and Brevard will remain. Other new additions include several stations. Although all exact locations of the stations-to-be are not set in stone, they are planned for downtown West Palm Beach, downtown Fort Lauderdale, downtown Miami and the now under construction South Terminal at the Orlando International Airport. Services offered will get passengers between South Florida and Orlando in three hours give or take.
The benefits that South Florida will reap are more than what meets the eye. Of course business and leisure passenger convenience is a major advantage of this situation, but with Miami and Orlando having some of the worst drivers and most congested highways statistically, that factor alone wouldn’t cut the mustard. The results of this project will also be extremely environmentally friendly and cost-effective for all.
The main focus of All Aboard Florida as of right now is choosing the rolling stock; the equipment to be chosen is said to be quite modern. Overall the project should be a success and a great help to a handful of problems these clustered metropolitan areas have been facing for years.
Photo Courtesy of Fort Lauderdale Magazine.