Some Answers, More Questions About Freight at AAF Workshop

Tony Doris, of the Palm Beach Post summarized  key topics from the All Aboard Florida Special Workshop held on Thursday, February 26th here.

February 26, 2015

Most in the audience appeared to be as skeptical as were the council members.  If you weren’t able to attend or watch, the video has already been posted.

Part of the discussion circled around what would or would not be paid for by AAF with respect to crossing improvements, and the costs for maintenance after the fact.   AAF said that the City would have to apply for Quiet Zones from the federal government before AAF could give them an estimate of the tehnical improvement delta (if any) between ‘Sealed Corridors’ (which AAF would cover) versus Quiet Zones – which they would not.  AAF was firm that maintenance costs would be performed by the City, under existing contracts with FEC.  But there were no estimates of whether those would be lower (due to improved crossings) or higher (due to much more elaborate crossings).   So questions remain.

Nor would AAF say what their fare estimates would be yet.

Additionally – AAF intends to market point to point travel to consumers – eg arrange for pickup at a location, deliver the rider to the train, and then provide for transportation to their final destination.  The rider would not have to worry about finding transportation to/from the train.  Also – they expect the final Environmental Impact Study (EIS) to be out shortly.

AAF made it clear that answers about freight would have to come from their ‘sister’ company, and increased freight traffic would be accommodated by either longer trains or stacked cars.  Answers would have to come, if any, from a workshop with the freight part of the company.

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