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All Aboard Florida's Miami to Orlando train hits a costly patch

New downtown passenger train service that would speed users from Orlando to South Florida and back may sound like a tourism dream come true, but there’s a potentially unexpected cost to local residents.

Local governments face increased costs to maintain the areas where their roads cross the tracks and some fear the closing of smaller crossings to vehicular traffic to save money.

Elizabeth Fulford lives west of Broward General Hospital and believes if crossings are closed, “it may turn into a life or death issue.”

“I am very concerned about the road closures. What happens if I need an ambulance and trains are blocking the tracks?” she asked. “If they close the smaller crossings, how will this affect the police and fire” in their ability to quickly get to the scene? More here. 



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Ed Jenkins

The citizens saw this attempt to confiscate their money for this uneconomic train coming and greatly opposed this foolish idea from the beginning The citizens realized that it was quite unwise to build a train with its massive costs when one could fly for cheaper and faster and almost drive in the same time yet with this train one would still need to rent a care when they got to the other end. The citizens always welcome private investors to take chances with their own money on various business endeavors but they have no interest in having their own money confiscated for the benefit of others' investments.

JohNNy HoTHead

Ed Jenkins can always be counted on to bloviate on topics about which he knows absolutely nothing....We should elect him to some highly impotent orifice. He'd fit right in with the Miami Dade delegation in Tallahassee.

Mary Sessions

I don't know who Ed Jenkins or JohNNy GoTHead are, but I do know that All Aboard Florida, tauted as a privately funded passenger train, is not privately funded. They are wanting a guarenteed loan from the Federal Railroad Administration. This is not a loan from a bank. It is a loan from the citizen's in the form of tax dollars. Upgrades and quiet zone would have to be funded by local municipalities. What is the end result when the passenger service goes belly up at the expense of the tax payer. FECR will have a refurbished rail system and new tracks. The Fortress Investment Group will not have to pay for any of this and reap the benefits. What say you?


@Mary Sessions:

That FRA loan is just like any other loan. AAF still has to provide the three C's of lending just like any other entity.
Cash Flow
And what does the FRA do if someone doesn't pay? They either find another operator so they can get paid or they take back the assets provided as collateral and dispose them for cash to pay off the banks.

Everyone assumes that AAF and FEC have put no skin in the game and that taxpayers are completely on the hook. This is incorrect. They have a substantial amount of risk in this.

The FRA Loan program is used by all of the railroads as part of their overall capital plans when required. It has been very successful with Tier 2 and 3 railroads get their infrastructure inline.

We encourage kids to get government backed college loans without one fleck of an eye. Why? Why should the government underwrite a private college education when there are private loans and public schools they can attend? You still have to meet the 3 C's to get those loans too and yes, they will come after you if you don't pay back. Why would this railroad loan be any different?

Ray Del Papa

$4.00 a gallen gas, no more money or room for new roads, you don't want the feds building high speed rail. Now the FEC comes along and wants to build one and you still complain. I think you need to pull your heads out of the sand and see ther real world. Europ and Aisa has!

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