By Arnie Rosenberg August 31, 2014 TCPalm
Here, our Shaping Our Future team has assembled some of the key pieces of information about the high-speed passenger rail project.
Length: 235 miles, from Miami to Orlando
Cost: Total $2.25 billion. Part of that is a $1.875 billion federal loan the company has applied for from the Railroad Rehabilitation & Improvement Financing (RRIF) program. Because All Aboard Florida is a private company, it does not have to reveal the specifics of its financials.
AAF stations: Being built in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach
Orlando station: Part of the intermodal center being built at Orlando International Airport with $214 million from the state. The airport people mover, connecting to the south terminal; Central Florida’s SunRail commuter train; and other uses will share that center. All Aboard Florida will lease space there as a tenant. (All Aboard’s maintenance facility also will be built on the grounds of Orlando airport.)
Beginning in 2016 (likely late 2016): Miami-to-West Palm Beach service. All Aboard Florida has all its approvals from the Federal Railroad Administration for that section and some work is already underway.
North of West Palm: It depends on the Federal Railroad Administration’s forthcoming Environmental Impact Statement. Construction will depend on what the EIS says, if any problems are identified and if it will take All Aboard additional time to address issues before it gets the all-clear from the FRA. Most likely, Phase II will begin running in 2017.
The Environmental Impact Statement: The FRA now says it will release the EIS in the next few months. Michael Reininger, All Aboard Florida president and chief development officer, said he feels it will come out shortly after Labor Day.
Mobile and tablet users: View an interactive map of All Aboard Florida's planned route and stops.
AFTER THE EIS IS ISSUED
There will be a 75-day comment period. During that time, the Federal Railroad Administration will take written comments, but there will be a series of public meetings for the FRA to gather input. Expect these to be held from Tequesta north into Brevard County and possibly Orange County as well.
After that, there’s a specified period for the FRA to review all the comments. Then we’ll see what the FRA wants changed, adjusted, revised and corrected. All Aboard Florida cannot start construction north of West Palm Beach until all those issues are addressed.
Completion of the entire route depends on when All Aboard Florida can start Phase II (from West Palm Beach north). The company most recently has predicted the full route will be in operation by the end of 2017.