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Rail News: Passenger Rail

All Aboard Florida unveils Fort Lauderdale station design, plans for phased construction


Yesterday, All Aboard Florida officials unveiled designs for a Fort Lauderdale station. They also alluded to plans to construct the proposed Orlando-to-Miami passenger-rail system in two phases.

To be located adjacent to the Florida East Coast Railway corridor on the northern end of downtown Fort Lauderdale, the nearly 60,000-square-foot station will feature a modern, multi-story lobby spanning an elevated passenger lounge area and parking facilities. The station was designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill L.L.P. in association with Zyscovich Architects.

The station's location will provide passengers with convenient connections to the Sun Trolley, Broward County Transit System, future Wave Streetcar and planned Tri-Rail station, All Aboard Florida officials believe.

"All Aboard Florida will not only set a new standard in passenger rail, but will revitalize Fort Lauderdale's downtown core," said All Aboard Florida President and Chief Development officer Michael Reininger in a prepared statement.

All Aboard Florida plans to build two additional stations in South Florida — one in Miami and one in West Palm Beach. All three facilities are expected to generate economic development in their respective areas. But it will be some time before Central Florida residents see stations or track built in their region.

"As planned, construction will commence on the segment north of West Palm Beach after the environmental impact statement process is completed," Reininger said during the Fort Lauderdale event.

All Aboard Florida officials plan to launch initial service between Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach in 2016; the segment running from West Palm Beach to Orlando still is in the environmental study phase and is facing opposition from some Treasure Coast residents and local officials because there are no planned stops there. They also are concerned about potential backups at grade crossings and drawbridges, according to an article posted yesterday on the Orlando Sun-Sentinel's website.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott has asked All Aboard Florida officials to slow down the planning process for that segment to allow more time for public input, according to the article.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 7/9/2014