Miami is undergoing one of the most magnificent metamorphoses in its history.

One of the impetuses of this transformation is the Florida East Coast Industries’ (FECI) corridor project called All Aboard Florida. The project will link Miami and Southeast Florida to Orlando and Central Florida.

It’s a very big deal.

The fine folks at All Aboard Florida have been kind enough to share with TransitMiami a good aerial view of its 9-acre holdings in the west-central part of our downtown, that drab, de facto government-institutional land-use district in serious need of some transit-oriented development.

We’re hoping the development of the downtown train station — the tentatively named “Miami Grand Central Station” — might just do the trick for this lifeless, barren sea-of-asphalt section of downtown.

FEC's All Aboard Florida is going to radically transform our city for the better!

FEC’s All Aboard Florida is going to radically transform our city for the better!

All Aboard Florida passed through its first evaluation gauntlet by receiving a formal “Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI)” from the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA). According to our contacts over at All Aboard, the project is “still in the environmental process for the entire corridor”.

Things are a-changin’!

On that note, a few weeks back, we here at TransitMiami encouraged you to support the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy’s effort to have a multi-use trail added to the planned railway. While the official window for public commentary has closed, we’d still like to hear your thoughts!

Cast your vote in the poll below!

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17 Responses to All Aboard Florida! Downtown Miami Map Preview and Rail-Trail Poll

  1. Albert says:

    I really love to see a project like this actually being able to move forward. I hope this turns out to be the success we hope it will be. Maybe, one day, Miami Grand Central will split duty with MIC as Miami’s Amtrak station. And I really hope the hotel and convention center plan doesn’t go through. The Miami Convention Center at the Hyatt is just a few blocks south. I’d rather see it refurbished and the old Miami Arena lot turned into a park.


  2. Albert says:

    Also worth noting: this puts in place an important part of the infrastructure for a Baylink Metrorail line.


  3. Matthew Toro says:

    Forgive the typo on the poll, everybody! I realize it should be “multi-use”, not what’s there. The poll is live, so no edits can be made. Thanks for reading and voting!


  4. Kevin says:

    This is a amazing project that will really transform our city. Aside from AAF, the station would also host Tri-Rail services up the east coast to West Palm and could even host future Metrorail expansions.

    Speaking of which, is TM going to talk about the discussions from the Transportation Summit that occurred on June 6th? I’d love to hear what was said and TM’s thoughts on the summit. Hopefully some good came of it and MDT wants to surprise us with a new Metrorail line? If only…


  5. sal says:

    I think some people might underestimate just how transformative this will be for Miami and South florida if it is really successful. I am really excited about it. Thanks for sharing!


  6. marc rosado says:

    One question. Is the FEC track going to the port going to be elevated or underground? It seems like it would be a nuisance to have that track cutting through downtown


  7. Albert says:

    Marc, the track is at-grade, but its use to get to and from the port will be limited to at most a couple times a day. It won’t be too much of an issue.


  8. Little River area says:

    We need the trains to make local stops and we NEED the trains to run as quietly as possible. The FEC corridor runs through many residential neighborhoods.


  9. That is correct - the track that connects the port is at-grade. Trains will access the port during non-peak times and initially only a couple of times per day. Regardless of the traffic implications - these trains are a boon to downtown Miami as they can remove many of the trucks that need to travel through downtown (or the new port tunnel) to the port.

    Little River Area - These trains are not intended to serve local stops, these are regional trains being deployed by FEC, a private corporation. Tri-Rail will eventually offer local service on the corridor - we agree, it’s necessary. As for the noise, The railroad tracks have been there since the late 1800′s - homeowners abutting the corridor shouldn’t be surprised by the noise. A quiet zone in this area in inadvisable given all the activity around the corridor.


  10. Jose says:

    So much good is going to come from this project. I can’t wait for it to be finished. As for adding a trail, I think it’s a great idea. Reminds me of East Coast Greenway project. They’re connect trails so you can ride from Maine all the way down to the Florida Keys.


  11. Miami Planning History says:

    For years City of Miami Planners told developers to build residential on both sides of the FEC Corridor. (There has been no train service south of NE 72nd Street in 10+ years). The City Planners encouraged and demanded that people live along the tracks. Now the FEC intends to add freight lines AND commuter lines south of NE 72nd Street the FEC should make the trains and tracks quiet out of respect for the 10,000′s of residents.


  12. I don’t think that’s how city planning works - they don’t “demand” developers to build anything. Theoretically, living along a future passenger rail corridor is a wise decision - it sets the foundation for TOD by creating dense nodes along the corridor. If Tri-Rail-like service comes to the corridor, these property holders will see a nice return on their investments…

    At the end of the day people should make responsible decisions about where they choose to live and invest in property. If you buy near the shore, you should expect it to flood. If you live near the everglades don’t complain about the alligators or mosquitoes. If you buy near an airport or railroad tracks, you should expect a certain level of noise. Just because tracks are abandoned or in limited use doesn’t guarantee that a railroad has given up their right to use the corridor at a future point in time. It’s common sense.


  13. Miami History Lesson says:

    Mr Lopez-Bernal is quite accurate. City of Miami Planners, did in fact, demand that Midtown Miami Condos (#1 and #4) put front doors facing east along the FEC tracks. Those planners must have NEVER expected the tracks to be re-activated. Now 3,000 people live in new Midtown Miami condos adjacent to the tracks. Another 3,000 might live on that site within 5-7 years. Everyone should ask the FEC executives to keep the trains as quiet as possible.


  14. Really? says:

    So taking an antiquated track that services less than 10 trains a day through the most densely populated stretch of South Florida and placing potentially 60 trains a day (All Board Florida, freight, Amtrak and TriRail) with no upgrade to infrastructure is a good thing? There has been no planning by local governments for this - quiet zones require specific safeguards, all of which are not paid for by the railroad. FEC, which doesn’t seem to be turning a profit the past few years, whips this out of their collective asses as a way to save their company and everyone gets happy never thinking about what it is actually going to take to make this a viable and safe reality. Fast rail crossing surface streets through the heart of the 8th largest metropolitan area in the country? A multi-use trail is the least of the worries.


  15. Gables says:

    Actually, “Really?” you are incorrect about several things. 1. Miami already has quiet zones in place. 2. Other municipalities have been planning for quiet zones and FEC is working with them to submit applications for federal grants. 3. Local governments and SFRTA have been planning to put passenger trains on the FEC for a long time.


  16. Really? says:

    Sure, “Gables”. Just as you stated - this is so well thought out and everyone is aware of the responsibilities and costs:


  17. They are hiding something says:

    Why is it being kept secret that All Aboard wants to build a 2,000 space parking garage in the heart of Overtown and west of the train station?


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