July 2014

Video: All Aboard Florida TV ad to hit airwaves

Right along with the Quiet Dinner ad, reflecting the viewpoint of those who live along the Southeast coast of Floirda - check it out here at the TCPalm:



LISTEN: All Aboard Florida's President, C.O.O. Talks About WPB Station & Opposition

By 1230 WBTZ July 29th Listen in at this link:

The complaints keep coming in to the folks behind the All Aboard Florida project. 

Don Robinson is the President and Chief Operating Officer of the high speed rail line planned to run from Miami to Orlando, with stops in West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale. 


Article by Chan Lowe, July 14, Sun Sentinel

The All Aboard Florida people visited the Sun Sentinel editorial board a couple of weeks ago to make a pitch for their intercity train. I have to admit that their presentation was quite slick. They had plans, maps, and impressive architect’s renderings. They also had glib responses to some of the more salient misgivings voiced by opponents to their project.


Jac Wilder VerSteeg July 27, 2014 Sun Sentinal

All Aboard Florida's website touts the fact that Robert Poole Jr., "a trusted and well-respected, transportation analyst," has concluded that the proposed high-speed rail route between Miami and Orlando is financially feasible.

Well, so what?

All Aboard Florida a train-wreck for Florida taxpayers

The St. Augustine Record July 26, 2014

Here’s a really clever idea: Let’s run express passenger trains 16 times round-trip every day between downtown Miami and the Orlando airport. That’s right, the airport.

Except the trains won’t go straight there, but will stop first in Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach, then head up the seaboard to Cocoa and hang a hard left 40 miles west across the middle of the state.

Analysis: All Aboard Florida becoming a statewide issue

By Arnie Rosenberg July 25th TCPalm

It threatens to turn into an issue in the governor’s race. Although All Aboard Florida runs through only eight of Florida’s 67 counties, the specter of “the S word” — subsidies — and other All Aboard Florida-related concerns already are making this a bigger issue than anyone would have imagined.


Tampa Bay Times Editorial on All Aboard Florida, State Money and Governor Rick Scott
Coral Gables, FL (July 24, 2014) – Yesterday, the Tampa Bay Times published an editorial that was full of
inaccuracies and misinformation.
All Aboard Florida has become a political football passed between political parties to campaigns to wealthy residents in gated communities. It has reached the point where we think it necessary to set the record straight.

Governor Rick Scott Shows What a Real Scandal Looks Like

By Michael Grunwald July 23rd, Time Magazine

The Florida governor has been questioned about his investment in a natural gas company and his aide's involvement in a rail project.

Emergency Medical Service waiting for the train Port Salerno, FL

How many of you want to wait longer and more often during an emergency? Watch this video now!

State requires All Aboard Florida to install millions in safety upgrades

Full Article Here at WPBF News

All Aboard Florida has agreed to a requirement by the state to spend additional millions for safety upgrades at 57 grade crossings between West Palm Beach and northern St. Lucie County.

Engineers toured Vero Beach's train track crossings Tuesday as part of an inspection of all crossings for the first phase of All Aboard Florida’s project to bring rail transportation from Miami to Orlando.

Florida Fun-train Reaches End Of Line - Will History Repeat Itself With Florida All Aboard?

Posted September 18, 1998|By Lesley Clark and Katherine Hutt of The Sentinel Staff

Florida Fun-train Reaches End Of Line The $25 Million Train, Which Ran From Orlando To Fort Lauderdale, Stopped Running After Less Than A Year.

All Aboard rail foes pick up steam, but admit odds slim

By Dan Sweeney, July 21 Sun Sentinel

Even opponents admit it may not be possible to derail All Aboard Florida's plan for train service from South Florida to Orlando.

But it's not stopping them from trying — and enlisting the support of some political heavy hitters to join in the criticism of noise, safety and funding issues.


By Eve Samples, July 21 TCPalm

My first question was the obvious one:

“Do you work for, or are you affiliated with, All Aboard Florida?”

Spin doctors for the Miami-to-Orlando passenger rail service had devoted a whole news release to Robert Poole’s bullish take on their project.

They had coordinated my interview with him, too.

I had to ask.

Florida taxpayers about to be railroaded

Carl Hiaasen July 19 Miami Herald

Here’s a really clever idea:

Let’s run express passenger trains 16 times round-trip every day between downtown Miami and the Orlando airport. That’s right, the airport.

Except the trains won’t go straight there, but will stop first in Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach, then head up the seaboard to Cocoa and hang a hard left 40 miles west across the middle of the state.

Oh, and the trip will take at least three hours one way.

Crist says Scott top official’s involvement with All Aboard should be investigated

By Isadora Rangel at Political Fix Florida

Former Republican Gov. Charlie Crist used All Aboard Florida to take jabs at Gov. Rick Scott, calling for an investigation into the involvement of a top administration official with the railroad.

Crist told reporters on Friday the project “doesn’t smell right,” but he hasn’t decided whether he opposes it.

Are you troubled by All Aboard Florida’s request for a $1.5 billion federal loan?

By Opinion Staff - June 19th, 2014 Palm Beach Post

A powerful state senator from the Treasure Coast has jumped onto the region’s growing bandwagon opposing All Aboard Florida, the private long-distance passenger rail that plans to transport travelers between Miami and Orlando.

But not – he says – because of the fears of traffic jams or inconvenienced boaters or environmental concerns.

The stated source of Sen. Joe Negron’s concerns? That the service might be created with help from a federal loan.

Prasad Says: All Aboard Florida is seeking a $1.5 billion FRA loan, so it may end up being partly federally subsidized.

By Tom Curry at The Container

For ‘P3s,’ Still Some Confusion About What’s Public And What’s Private

By Tom Curry Posted at 9:15 a.m. on July 18, 2014

[Comments in post: For ‘P3s,’ Still Some Confusion About What’s Public And What’s Private] 0

All Aboard Florida tries to fight big misconceptions Fears, distortions abound about 'Big Choo Choo'

Michael Mayo, July 16 Sun Sentinel

The folks from All Aboard Florida wanted to set me on the right track. They're about to unveil drawings of their downtown West Palm Beach station – sound the trumpets! – and they were concerned with all the concerns I've been raising recently about the proposed Miami-to-Orlando passenger rail service.


By Terri Parker WPBF NEWS
Plans are being made to break ground in south Florida before the end of the year
Engineers toured Vero Beach's train track crossings Tuesday as part of an inspection of all crossings for the first phase of All Aboard Florida’s project to bring rail transportation from Miami to Orlando.
Officials from All Aboard Florida, and Indian River County, along with other private engineers, visited the tracks.


By Jim Tuner, The News Service of Florida

Opponents of the rail plan say they need to hear more out of Tallahassee to keep the local fight from becoming a runaway election issue for the governor.

Florida Department of Transportation Letter To Michael Reininger

By: Kevin Derby July 15, 2014 Sun Sentinal
The  Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) went all out on Tuesday to let the public know that All Aboard Florida is not getting state funds as it looks to bring high-speed rail to the Sunshine State. FDOT Secretary Ananth Prasad sent a letter to All Aboard Florida President Michael Reininger in which he notes that.

Murphy urges Coast Guard to hold hearings on All Aboard Florida

TREASURE COAST - Rep. Patrick Murphy wants the Coast Guard to hold hearings on the impact of All Aboard Florida.

After meeting last week with Coast Guard Rear Admiral John Korn — who commands Coast Guard operations in the Southeast United States and the Caribbean — to discuss his opposition to All Aboard Florida and the “serious maritime concerns” of many in the community, Murphy urged the Coast Guard to hold hearings on the impact of increased closings of railroad bridges over the St. Lucie and Loxahatchee rivers.

New Media Campaign Launched Against All Aboard Florida

 “Citizens Against The Train Fund” (CATT) announces the launch of a TV & Social Media campaign to convince Floridians to sign a petition against All Aboard Florida (AAF). The campaign is designed to raise awareness about the damaging effects AAF poses to the community.  20,000 people have signed the petition in just four months. It will be sent to the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and Florida Governor Rick Scott.

More West Palm Beach land bought by All Aboard Florida

By Kim Miller July 14, Full Article at The Palm Beach Post

All Aboard Florida added another piece of land to its downtown West Palm Beach cache with the $860,000 purchase of a plot of unused space from Florida Power & Light.

As much as AAF officials like to say the train has already left the station on this project, derailment still seems possible.

Michael Mayo July 12, 2014 Sun Sentinel

July 12, 2014

All aboard, Florida? Not exactly. It seems every time the folks from All Aboard Florida unveil pretty drawings of a shiny new station, another organized group sprouts to oppose the proposed Miami-to-Orlando rail service.

Read CARE Florida's letter to Ananth Prasad, Secretary DOT

Citizens Against Rail Expansion in Florida (CARE FL), a coalition representing communities in Palm Beach and Martin Counties, are the latest group to voice opposition to passenger rail service on Florida’s East Coast.

Click on this link to download a PDF copy of the letter.

More traffic delays expected as an influx of freight trains come to South Florida

By Angel Streeter, Sun Sentinel

More trains rumbling through South Florida neighborhoods could be coming soon, and with them drivers sitting longer at railroad crossings. The number of freight trains could more than double after a widened Panama Canal opens. The wider canal and new shipping lane will allow a massive new line of mega-ships to pass through in early 2016, increasing the amount of freight heading to South Florida ports.

How Adam Hollingsworth fast-tracked All Aboard Florida despite so-called “firewall letter”

By Peter Schorsch from Saint Peters Blog Archives

“First, I want to be clear on a critical point: the All Aboard Florida proposal is a private sector venture to construct, operate and maintain a passenger rail system. There will be no state subsidies for this project.”  - Governor Rick Scott, in letter to All Aboard Florida executives on 6/19/2014.

“The State has no involvement in this project.” - Governor Rick Scott, in canned email response to opponents of All Aboard Florida.

After Lethal Crash, Quebec's Lac-Mégantic Fears Return of Oil Trains


By David George-Cosh July 4th, 2014  Full Article at Wall Street Journal

LAC-MÉGANTIC, Quebec—A year after an oil-train explosion killed 47 people in this small town, residents are waking up to a new reality: The oil trains are probably coming back.

Costs and requirement to create quiet zones will fall on local governments

By Scott Gunnerson, FLORIDA TODAY     

Transportation officials will take a closer look at railroad crossings in Brevard County this month as plans for high-speed train service between Miami and Orlando move forward. The re-introduction of passenger trains along the Florida East Coast Railway will require additional track and upgrades of more than 50 road crossings.

Rick Scott adviser had inside track to keep All Aboard Florida rail project rolling

By Matt Dixon July 5, 2014 full Article at Naples News

When Gov. Rick Scott ran for governor in 2010, the GOP establishment supported former Attorney General Bill McCollum.

So, when Scott, a former health care executive, spent nearly $40 million of his own wealth to beat McCollum in the Republican primary, fences needed to be mended between the rookie politician and the party he now led.

Enter Adam Hollingsworth.


By Matt Dixon Scripps July 6th 2014 Full Article at TCPalm

$213 MILLION “multi-modal” terminal at the Orlando International Airport.
$44 MILLION in direct state-funded grants for Miami infrastructure upgrades

Let's not forget the MILLIONS of Local Tax Dollars to maintain intersections.

Gov. Rick Scott's chief of staff once worked for All Aboard Florida's sister company

By Matt Dixon Scripps July 6th 2014 Full Article at TCPalm

Tallahassee — Gov. Rick Scott, who had rejected federal money for a passenger rail service, was silent publicly when All Aboard Florida rolled out its plans for passenger trains in March 2012.

All Aboard Florida Takes a Gamble on a Rail and Property-Development Project, but Obstacles Remain

By Eliot Brown, July 4, 2014 Wall Street Journal

The large cities that dot Florida's east coast were developed largely thanks to industrialist Henry Flagler, who in the late 19th century built a private railroad from Jacksonville to Miami, then profited by creating hotels and other properties that fed off the pipeline of travelers.

Now, more than a century later, a company that is a descendant of Mr. Flagler's empire is aiming to repeat history.

School buses could see delays waiting for All Aboard Florida trains

By Collen Wixon June 26, 2014 - Full Article at TCPalm

Treasure Coast school buses could be delayed getting children to school waiting for All Aboard Florida trains to zoom by, district officials said.

“The freight trains that go through now create delays,” Martin County School District Transportation Director Kayleen Watts said in an email.

Letter: Trains keep people trapped at crossings for long periods

Letter from Martin Carder, Vero Beach to TC Palm June 24, 2014

Trains keep people trapped at crossings for long periods

No Benefits For Brevard from All Aboard Florida

County Attorney Scott Knox estimated earlier in May of 2014 that the cost for the crossing maintenance that Brevard County would be responsible for may rise to $1 million a year indefinitely. That compares with maintenance costs that have ranged between $220,000 and $450,000 a year in recent years.

Not Everybody is on board All Aboard Florida

By Sasha Von Oldershausen - Full Article at The Real Deal July 3, 2014

Apparently, not everyone is on board All Aboard Florida. Indeed, the proposed passenger rail service connecting Miami to Orlando is beginning to attract stiff resistance.

Crony Capitalism and Passenger Rail Plans

Letter from John E. Preschlack of Vero Beach July 2, 2014 Wall Street Journal

An excellent example of crony capitalism is the proposed federal loan for a passenger rail line between Orlando and Miami.

Maryland's Incredible Purple People Mover - The Loco Loco

How the state's proposed $2.4 billion light rail could take taxpayers for a ride. By Mary Anastasia O'Grady June 27, 2014. Full Article at The Wall Street Journal

Point of View: All Aboard investors, aka taxpayers, merit big picture

Point of View: All Aboard investors, aka taxpayers, merit big picture

By JOHN F. “MICKEY” McROBERTS, JUPITER June 30th, 2014  Full Article

All Aboard Florida???? The power of suggestion can be very powerful. Some of us hope not.