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Rail News: Passenger Rail

Florida DOT, CSXT finalize corridor ownership contract


Late last week, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and CSX Transportation signed a contract and operating agreement that will enable the state to launch commuter-rail service in central Florida.

Under the $491 million contract, the state, four counties and the city of Orlando will own and control a 61-mile rail corridor between DeLand and Poinciana. FDOT plans to have the first phase of central Florida’s commuter-rail line, from DeBary to Orlando, in service in 2010; the second phase, from Osceola County to DeLand, would enter service in 2013.

The agreement also calls for the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority (SFRTA), which operates Tri-Rail commuter-rail service between West Palm Beach and Miami, to maintain its 81-mile corridor and dispatch trains.

In addition, CSXT will pay the state $10 million annually for access and maintenance fees, and operate limited freight service on both the central and south Florida commuter lines.

Before FDOT and CSXT close on the transaction, the parties need to obtain legislative approval for insurance provisions that would apply to the commuter lines, federal funding for the commuter-rail system and approval to build associated facilities. In addition, the SFRTA board has to approve the transfer of maintenance and dispatching responsibilities.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 12/3/2007