The Palm Beach Post: All Aboard Florida begins track work in Palm Beach County
Posted on January 20, 2015
By Jennifer Sorentrue
All Aboard Florida this week started installing a second line of track along a section of the Florida East Coast Railway corridor in southern Palm Beach County, marking a key milestone for the express passenger rail service.
Crews on Monday began upgrading a section of rail near Gateway Boulevard that had served as a siding for slower rail traffic. The upgrades will allow the rail section to serve as a second track on the corridor’s main line, which will serve AllAboardFlorida’s passenger trains.
The second line of track will allow All Aboard’s trains to travel both north and south along the corridor at the same time.
All Aboard officials said the work will not interfere with traffic in the area.
The project is expected to be completed this month, at which time, the rail crews will move to Boca Raton to begin work on another section of track.
During the initial phase of construction, crews will not work in a continuous south-to-north direction. Instead, crews will work to add a second line, or double track, to specific sections of the line, officials said.
Ultimately, All Aboard Florida plans to add a second line along the corridor from Miami to West Palm Beach. As part of the project, every rail crossing will be rebuilt.
All Aboard officials said work at the rail crossings is expected to begin by the second quarter of the year.
Crews are expected to close each rail crossing for about 55 hours as they rebuild the tracks. The company said it will not close adjacent crossings, or two crossings that share the same detour route, at the same time.
All Aboard Florida plans to run 32 passenger trains a day between Miami and Orlando, with stops in Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach. The Miami-to-West Palm Beach service is expected to begin late next year with the Orlando leg starting in 2017.
The company began work in November on its station just west of Quadrille Boulevard in downtown West Palm Beach. Vertical construction on the 60,000-square-foot station and platform is scheduled to begin early this year.
The company recently closed two key rail crossings between CityPlace and Clematis Street in downtown West Palm Beach as part of the $29 million station plan.
The company said the permanent closures at Datura and Evernia streets were needed to accommodate its passenger trains. The station’s 800-foot train platform is planned to rise where the two streets cross the tracks.