It looks like the FEC got things rolling well ahead of the All Aboard Florida announcement; this blog notes a PR stating that they're expecting to have their go/no-go study done this month (i.e. June). Considering that I've never even heard of a half-decent non-poll study turning around that quickly (Two months? Really?), this tells me that they started the planning on this a while ago...I'm going to guess that they started immediately after the Orlampa project collapsed.* Not that I can blame them for holding out this long before going public...but it suggests that they already had an idea what the study was going to say before All Aboard Florida made its announcement. Of particular interest is the travel time from Orlando to Miami (3:02). This is just...amazing (though it's probably a shame that they couldn't find :03 to shave off so they could wave around "Less than three hours!" in a PR...but I expect we'll see a move for some sort of upgrade a year or two in that will allow this, giving them either a way to ask for money or some minor service upgrade that they get a free round of press for). This would also seem to hint at a stop-included average speed of around 80 MPH (which, IIRC, isn't too much slower than the Acela WAS-NYP)...and it would also, I believe, suggest that you might well pick up a decent bit of traffic driving from Daytona/Jacksonville Cocoa and picking up the train there. Another thing that has me scratching my head a bit: This project is going to cost $1 billion, which I love. But if this can be done for $1 billion and (per my dinner with Daniel Lyons) Orlampa could probably be done for $400 million at 125 MPH for only a 15-minute loss, that gives a total cost of Tampa-Orlando-Miami of $1.4 billion or so. IIRC, the HSR project was supposed to run something like $10 billion for the same general route. What was the TPA-MIA travel time for that project (or, in other words, what were we going to pay $9 billion for)? Finally, two hunches here following up on the blog's speculations: 1) The FEC will probably aim to do the passenger rail project itself entirely on their own (to keep the Feds as far out of it as possible and reduce at least some of the study requirements), and handle the crossing upgrades (which have their own merits, and their elimination has been an FRA safety priority for some time) as a nominally separate project that shouldn't require lots of environmental work. 2) I can't help but wonder if they're not hauling ASCII on the project to try and get something in if CA melts down. A ready-to-go project with an aimed completion date of 2014 or thereabouts would almost be tailor-made for that money, even if it just went to grade crossing "fixes"...though I don't know if they'd even be eligible to apply for the money. *Either that or this study ought to be a scathing indictment of government feasibility studies taking as long as they do. Blogpost link: http://reasonrail.bl...mi-orlando.html Edit: This guy also did a back-of-the-envelope analysis of the ridership that's expected to be needed to make the operation work. The conclusion? About 3 million riders per year, which is about what AAF expects to attract from what I can tell. Finally, for the kicker of the day: Apparently, the Miami Tea Party folks have backed the plan. Granted, if it works out with mostly private money (public funds only covering some odd-and-end compliance stuff)...well, Atlas Shrugged centered around a railroad.