Tri-Rail Conducts Walk Through Of MiamiCentral Station, But Still Has No Idea When It Will Open

Staff and contractors working for the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority visited the new Tri-Rail station at Virgin MiamiCentral for a walk-through tour of the facility – but still they have no idea when it will be open.

The station has been largely complete since the beginning of this year, but the rail lines connecting to it have remain closed due to red tape. The Federal Railroad Administration wants a safety system called Positive Train Control installed before service can begin.

There is still no estimated start of service date yet, Tri-Rail said yesterday on social media. Virgin Trains (formerly Brightline) must complete the PTC work on their rail line before SFRTA can apply to access the tracks to get into the station.

Virgin is also now working on adding new stations to their system that in some ways could be seen as competing with Tri-Rail, including Boca, Hollywood and Aventura.

When Tri-Rail does open at MiamiCentral, commuter train service from downtown Miami will be offered to West Palm Beach. A new line called Coastal Link could also be added, running through the more densely populated eastern areas of Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm beach counties.

 

Photos from the walk through yesterday:

(via tri-rail)

 

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Anonymous

Mala-practice by our county leaders for not pushing Coastal Link.

Anonymous

Tackling any complicated issues is mostly bypassed by these politicians to avoid negative boomerangs in their political career — that’s why their term in office has to be shortened to no more than 2 terms of 3 years each, giving folks in the community the opportunity to serve without fear of not being commissioners for life.

Anonymous

This is the only low hanging fruit of the SMART plan, and the leaders don’t push this either. It is painful to know we have train lines in place but don’t use them

Anonymous

let’s build something and not use it = Miami

Anonymous

This station was privately funded. I expect it will be fully utilized in time if not by TriRail, than a commuter offshoot of Virgin.

Anonymous

Yep, parks, museums, Baywalk, fountain, rail lines, to name a few.

An Opinion

Legitimately Virgin should be using PTC as well. It avoids situations where your conductor is asleep at the wheel or not paying attention. Many commuter crashes could be avoided by installing such a system. Admittedly it is cumbersome to install and therein lies the problem.

jadebenn

Virgin does use PTC, it’s just a different system than Tri-Rail. The FEC railroad actually had a primitive form of PTC called ATC before having any kind of rail safety system at all was legislatively mandated, and in response they simply upgraded their old ATC system to meet PTC standards.

Virgin uses that system since they run on FEC tracks. Tri-Rail uses a different system because of their relationship with CSX, and CSx was more interested in having a system that was cheap to install and maintain than one that was very *good*. So Tri-Rail trains have to be equipped to interface with *both* systems to be able to run on both sets of tracks.

BigCityLover

FEC/Brightline/Virgin does use PTC. It’s a different technology than on the CSX (FDOT/Tri-Rail/Amtrak) tracks. However, the FRC (Feds) have not “certified” it yet. Once certified, the Tri-Rail trainsets will be outfitted with the 2nd system. Once outfitted, service can begin. The $70+million has been spent on the tracks and trainsets by the SFRTA. Just waiting for the FEDS to finish their part. Private Passenger Rail is *new* here in the US: things don’t run in the same bureaucratic ways. It seems that people are slowly scrambling. And it will probably be more confusing “IF” the Coastal-Link starts moving at all. (The majority of the stops should be elevated Metrorail “local” stops, and leave the Coastal-Link Regional Rail to the major long-haul connectivity. But that might be too “SMART” to actually get accomplished!)

Anonymous

Typical

Anonymous

Needs 2 systems. One for the express and the other for multiple stops

William

Good example why government services just don’t work well. No accountability. How is it possible that could take so long? PTC is just an excuse for extended time lines. We probably have Amtrac to blame for that. Its been so many years of poorly run train service. Every time an operator crashes a train, the knee jerk reaction is add more bureaucracy.

Anonymous

Please read the article more carefully.
“Virgin Trains (formerly Brightline) must complete the PTC work on their rail line before SFRTA can apply to access the tracks to get into the station.“
Virgin Trains is a PRIVATE company.
The question should be why are they allowed to operate without PTC and Tri-Rail must use it?

Anonymous

You have no clue what you’re talking about. Amtrak does not use any section of this line south of the 79th Street Tri-Rail station. PTC is a Congressional mandate from 2008, and something railroads have dragged their feet on for 10 years to implement. The hold up is not Tri-Rail, but Virgin who has yet to implement PTC on their line.

Anonymous

Technically its on their parent company the FEC to do it not Virgin. Also the fact Virgin spent the money to even build the separate platforms for the Tri-Rail station leads me to believe it will be completed

Anonymous

I’m not an expert, but could it be that PTC is not yet mandated for private train services, especially since former Brightline is the first privately owned and operated passenger train in the US? This seems more plausible, since they’re currently operating without PTC. Just an opinion.

Anonymous

Is that a prison above the platforms? Oh, it’s a parking garage. SAD!

Anonymous

Yes, the building is not very good looking.

BigCityLover

Yes–pretty ugly… but without a Parking Garage, how will I get there to use the train for the long-haul? Spend 2.75-hours on 3-busses? NOT! And the people living above–where will they park their car? Until MDT ever uses the 30-years of “studies”, we will need to park our cars somewhere! IF they start building out tomorrow, my car will be dead by the time any SMART Metrorail train starts rolling… so then I might not buy a new one… but until then >> we need cars, too!

Golf

Virgin Trains adding a stop in Boca?
Boca is too small and not a center of commerce. Nothing but doctors, 55+ condos, and doctors.

Anonymous

Um, biggest de facto biggest city in Palm Beach County and major job center with the most busy Tri-Rail station on the CSX line?

Anonymous

Boca also has a major University… Did your ex-wife come from Boca or something? lmao