Move the trains west
Posted on January 10, 2016
By: Alan Schlossberg
an. 4 letter, "Rail Dispute Recalls Old Airport Fight," states that a small group of northern wealthy homeowners are against rail expansion and are blocking transportation improvements that will supercharge our states economy. This is far from the truth and the writer is obviously unaware of the many issues involved.
There are about 58,000 signed petitions from residents throughout Florida, as well as about 40 towns that have passed resolutions objecting to All Aboard Florida.
In addition, there are three ongoing lawsuits filed by organizations against AAF, all of whom believe that this plan will be very destructive for Florida.
The 32 high-speed and 20 freight trains up to 2 1/2 miles long traveling along the FEC tracks 24/7 through highly populated communities, will cause major traffic gridlock for boats and cars.
This will result in reduced property values and lost income in taxes and tourism.
In fact the maritime industry in Fort Lauderdale, where one of the stations is being built, claims that they will lose $8 billion to $9 billion annually if AAF is completed.
AAF is also all about freight, and this presents additional health and safety issues, as emergency services may be delayed and unable to adequately function.
These freight trains regularly transport toxic substances — oil, ethanol and liquid natural gas.
In fact the parent company of AAF, Fortress Investment, is in the process of developing two sites for storage of LNG, one in Miami and the other in Titusville, at a cost of $200 million.
There is a solution however, relocate these east coast trains to the CSX freight tracks where they do not travel at street level through highly populated towns.