Domino, Murphy weigh in moving All Aboard route west

Publish Date: 
Tuesday, October 7, 2014 - 6:00am

By Isadora Rangel, TCPalm

The All Aboard Florida high-speed trains are a major campaign issue in the congressional race between Democratic Rep. Patrick Murphy and Republican Carl Domino, a former state legislator.

Although Congress has no oversight of the private project, District 18 covers the core of train opposition in Martin, St. Lucie and northern Palm Beach counties.

All Aboard asked the Federal Railroad Administration for a $1.6 billion loan. The agency last month released a document called the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), which describes the trains' impacts to communities along their route.

Treasure Coast Newspapers asked Murphy and Domino what they can do to mitigate the effects of All Aboard Florida on the Treasure Coast and whether they would be comfortable if the project moved west and away from densely populated coastal communities. Here are their answers.

Domino: "When I am in Washington, I am told that they have heard little local opposition to All Aboard. Indeed our congressman (Murphy) wrote a letter (in 2013) to the DOT asking them to expedite it. I would be a loud voice in opposing it. As to moving it to the west, I would still oppose that if they were building with loans from the federal government."

Murphy: "I have been hard at work to make sure my opposition and our community's concerns regarding All Aboard are heard at the highest levels, which is why I continue to work with state and federal officials — including the secretary of transportation. ... I have asked for an independent viability study to protect over $1.5 billion in taxpayer dollars and address major concerns with the EIS overall. I will continue to stand in opposition to this project due to the inadequate proposed mitigation efforts, and maintain that the better plan would have been to move freight traffic west."