The board also approved an operating agreement between SFRTA and the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), which confirms that SFRTA will provide dispatching and maintain the corridor in place of CSXT, SFRTA officials said in a prepared statement.
The implementation date is set for June 30, 2014, with a contingency for delays until Dec. 31, 2014, they said.
The agreement contains many improvements for riders, said Palm Beach County Mayor Steven Abrams, who also chairs SFRTA, which governs Tri-Rail commuter-rail service.
"SFOMA will provide a more reliable commute since SFRTA will have control not only of Tri-Rail's movement, but CSXT freight trains and Amtrak as well," he said. "We will have more flexibility to respond to incidents and will have the power to make service decisions when tropical storms or hurricanes threaten."
Because SFRTA will dispatch trains on the corridor, Tri-Rail trains will be given priority during the day, authority officials said. In addition, the agreement addresses CSXT's payment to the state for use of the corridor, night-time corridor work, development of standards, positive train control cost-sharing and commencement dates.
Also, the agreement between SFRTA and FDOT addresses the financial arrangement between the two entities, the responsibilities that SFRTA will undertake on behalf of the state, liability and claims handling and environmental issues. SFRTA will receive an additional $11.4 million annually of dedicated funding for assuming dispatching and corridor maintenance.
The current engineer's cost estimate for maintenance of way (MOW) is $14 million a year. SFRTA and FDOT agreed to share MOW costs in excess of the $11.5 million dedicated funding.
SFRTA already operates an in-house dispatch center staffed by Amtrak, which dispatches the New River Bridge. FDOT plans to upgrade the dispatch desk so it can handle the entire corridor.
Browse articles on South Florida Regional Transportation Authority on Progressive Railroading
- Operation Lifesaver Inc. starts new chapter with Joyce Rose at the helm
- Crude oil and intermodal will drive rail traffic for BNSF over the long term
- Metrolink's DePallo plans to build on progress, develop long-term strategy
- RailTrends 2012 represented a full deconstruction of the North American rail industry — by Tony Hatch
- CREATE update: Grade crossing upgrades, separations and closures
- TriMet's Portland-Milwaukie project will add vital link to southeast destinations
- Union Pacific opens information technology center in Austin
- Marcellus and Utica shale drilling keeps railroads busy
- Carload Express creates Ohio short line to tap two eastern shales
- Grade crossing safety: Freight and passenger railroads take a multi-pronged approach
- High-speed rail is on a slower, but steady, track: HNTB
- Material handling and distribution equipment update
- Santa Clara VTA aims for succession planning success with IT department pilot