Details for Miami-Orlando rail released

1 train would run every hour from 6 a.m. - 9 p.m.

By Christina Vazquez - Reporter

MIAMI - Details for a $1 billion passenger rail service between Miami and Orlando emerged at a meeting Wednesday morning.

One train would run from either Miami to Orlando or Orlando to Miami every hour from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., according to Florida East Coast Industries.

The privately run passenger train service plans to offer Wi-Fi, reserved business and coach-service seating and a meal and beverage service. Prices for the seats weren't immediately released.

It would also include stops in Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach.

FEC Industries also plans to build a Grand Central Station in Downtown Miami, which would include offices and residences. The Grand Central Station would cover nine acres of currently vacant land already owned by FEC Railway. The borders of the land are: Northwest 1st Street to the south; Northwest 8th Street to the north; Northwest 1st Avenue to the east; and, the Metrorail line to the west.

The company said the project would generate about 6,000 construction jobs and 1,000 permanent jobs.

Based in Jacksonville, FEC Industries runs freight trains at both PortMiami and Port Everglades.

Architects are working on renderings of the Grand Central Station. They are also finalizing the designs of the passenger cars.

Company officials said 200 of the 240 miles needed to create the route from Miami to Orlando already exist. Those miles of track are being used to transport cargo on freight trains. When the new passenger service opens, it will share the corridor with existing freight services.

Building on history

COURTESY: Seth H. Bramson/Florida East Coast Railway Archives

The new station will be built near Florida East Coast Railway's old Downtown Miami train depot.

Opened in 1912, it operated during the glory days of railroad travel. Henry Flagler founded Florida East Coast Railway in 1895 and is credited with making South Florida a tourist destination through his passenger rail service.  Historian Seth Bramson told Local 10 the company's Downtown train station was demolished in 1963. 

Florida East Coast Industries expects construction of the new station at the historical location to begin as early as the end of this year. The service is expected to begin 2014.

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