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With a new administration in D.C., it's time to think outside of the box because passenger rail's survival just may depend on it

Friday, August 15, 2014

Sunshine State musings 3

It's becoming more apparent that in order for All Aboard Florida to expand to Jacksonville, Amtrak will have to be tossed in as a bone for Treasure Coast residents who've complained about AAF's plans to provide express service north of West Palm Beach. 

It's also apparent (at least to me anyway) that once FEC service is restored, someone else will be in charge of Amtrak. What does that mean for East Coast service? There are two possibilities for Jacksonville's historic Union Terminal. 

The first is that the future president/CEO pulls an Atlanta. In this scenario, the station won't even sniff its first Amtrak train since 1972 since the national carrier would continue to serve the Clifford Lane location since it wouldn't have to do any backing.

The second possibility is that Joe Boardman's successor pulls a Richmond, VA. Under this scenario, Amtrak would continue to use Clifford Lane as its primary station with the possibility of building a new station near the current location but the historic venue would also be served. Like Main Street Station, Union Terminal would only have a Quik-Trak machine as Amtrak's only contribution there (symbols in the Amtrak timetable would indicate that Union Terminal is staffed by AAF and Florida DOT rather than the circle for an unstaffed station).

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