The Triumphant Return of Private U.S. Passenger Rail

June 17, 2014

in CityLab from The Atlantic, 17 June 2014:

Beginning in 2016, All Aboard Florida will run 32 departures a day between Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach, with service extending to Orlando soon afterwards. With a maximum speed of 125 miles per hour, the trains will complete the 240-mile journey in less than three hours…

It’s a big project by any standard, but it looms even larger in historical context. No private intercity passenger rail line has operated in the United States in 30 years — and it has been longer still since a new service was introduced. “You’d have to go back over 100 years to find a significant investment in private intercity rail in the U.S.,” says David Levinson, a transportation analyst at the University of Minnesota…

Can All Aboard Florida establish a blueprint for how private freight railways, which averted financial ruin by abandoning passenger service, can profit from its revival? “If it can work there, it could work in other markets. The other private rail firms absolutely can be watching this,” says Adie Tomer, an associate at the Brookings Institution Metropolitan Policy Program who studies passenger rail. “This a great test for America.”

Read the rest of the story at CityLab

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