Miami Intermodal Center (f/k/a Miami Central Station)

Discussion in 'Amtrak Rail Discussion' started by Ispolkom, Sep 11, 2013.

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  1. Sep 11, 2013 #1

    Ispolkom

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    Ispolkom

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    When is the new Amtrak Miami station opening? I've googled around and found older articles suggesting sometime early next year, but is there a firm date yet? Mrs. Ispolkom expressed an interest in flying to Miami and taking the train back next Memorial Day, and having the new station open would certainly simplify things.
     
  2. Sep 11, 2013 #2
  3. Sep 11, 2013 #3

    blueman271

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    I read March 2014, but that's without knowing what FDOT plans to do about NW 25th ST. What I do know is that originally Central Station was only supposed to take two years to build, but like everything else in Miami-Dade county it has turned into a boondoggle.
     
  4. Sep 11, 2013 #4

    UncleRobin

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    After reading that article, I had to look at the calendar to make sure it wasn't the 1st of April. Now I'm not a civil engineer (nor do I play one on TV), but I would think platform length of a train station is one of those key foundation numbers one would look at first.

    Wonder if the runways are long enough for jumbo jets??
     
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  5. Sep 11, 2013 #5

    afigg

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    Had not considered that problem; that the road separation & platform extension might be enough to trigger the recent level boarding regulatory requirement for the Amfleets. Might have to add a mini-high to the 2 platforms which of course will be another additional cost overrun item.

    With regards to the MCS opening date, once the station is complete, the platforms will be plenty long enough to Tri-Rail - and the normal Meteor/Star consists. The station may open for Tri-Rail service with Amtrak only relocating after the problem with blocking 25th St is fixed. And at the pace this project has been going, that could be several years.
     
  6. Sep 11, 2013 #6

    afigg

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    The station is/was being built with long platforms, over 1000' long as I recall. Long enough for the current typical Meteor and Star train. The screw-up was that, as I follow it, is that Amtrak either did not point out or failed to make it clear to the MSC planners that a longer Meteor might sometimes block 25th St at the grade crossing. Or that the Amtrak representative(s) had not considered possible future plans to at peak periods to add an extra sleeper car & coach car, or if several PVs are added to either Silver train. Whatever the reason, it was a major screwup that should have been avoided.
     
  7. Sep 11, 2013 #7

    jis

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    I guess they'll just have to create a special train numbered 897 and 898 which are those extra cars that are dropped off/picked up at Hialeah with last/first stop at Hollywood connecting with Tri-Rail :) :p Problem solved :hi:
     
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  8. Sep 11, 2013 #8

    MattW

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    I thought the requirements still allowed the use of lifts to access the train?
     
  9. Sep 11, 2013 #9

    NE933

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    Seems there was some blame on both sides: Amtrak not considering the expansion of consist during peak periods, or, (dare I speak the dirty word): GROWTH from increase of business!! Nobody rides intercity trains anymore though, so they be damned.

    Then there's the contractor side of things, in which somebody designed the length of the platform to-the-tee, for eleven or so cars, failing to factor in there will be locomotives pulling the train, and yes, they have to be attached to it in order for the whole process to work properly. Like, "B' comes after 'A', 'C' after 'B', one plus one equals three, um excuse me, two, etc. etc.

    Perhaps some of the people involved have bad DNA.
     
  10. Sep 11, 2013 #10

    afigg

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    No, the US DOT issued a Final Rule on level boarding in September, 2011 which has wide ranging implications on ADA compliance. Until the new Final Rule, only platforms that are adjacent to tracks that carry regular revenue freight traffic are exempt. Amtrak is striving to minimize the impact by applying the level boarding requirements to stations with more than 7,500 boardings and alightings a year. The low volume stations with non-level platforms with less than 7,500 passengers will use lifts. All rather complicated. There were two letters to Congress in 2012 on ADA compliance & accessible stations that discuss the issue in depth that are on the Reports & Documents webpage under PRIIA Submissions and Reports for the nitty gritty.

    The new rule does not apply to construction contracts that were signed before February 2012, so the Miami Central Station may have gotten a pass. If new design and construction contracts for platform work are awarded, then the new level boarding regulations might apply. something for the lawyers to figure out.
     
  11. Sep 12, 2013 #11

    blueman271

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  12. Nov 1, 2013 #12

    afigg

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    Ok, FL DOT has settled on a solution of the problem of long Amtrak trains sometimes blocking the NW 25 st road north of the station. Miami Herald report: Long trains, short platforms at new Miami airport train station won’t force permanent street closure. They went with the lowest cost solution of adding 2 short connector roads that will allow people to drive around the north end of the train. The construction of the 2 new short roads is expected to be completed by next summer. So perhaps Amtrak moves its Miami stop to the Central Station by next fall?
     
  13. Nov 2, 2013 #13

    Bus Nut

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    My understanding of the contretemps is that FDOT and Amtrak are pointing fingers at each other, but the underlying problem is that engineers in Florida are trained to do highway stuff. Well, pick most any other state and it would probably be the same. Passenger rail is not really on the radar. You can be an ignoramus and still proudly wave that PE around. The info was out there for the picking (on the internet, no less) for the engineers who did the project but the engineers didn't know what they didn't know.

    Passenger rail and transit (even bus transit) should be its own sub-specialty but I don't really see it. The sad thing is that when money is put up to build transportation centers the highway-trained engineers sometimes don't do the best work. Unless I guess if you hire one of the big boys that has a whole department that does nothing but transit. But that can add a lot of cost to a project.
     
  14. Nov 2, 2013 #14

    PRR 60

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    The Miami Central Station project is being designed by AECOM. AECOM has extensive rail engineering experience in both the US and Europe. As for being a "big boy", AECOM is the #1 ranked AE firm (by revenue) on the ENR top 500 design firm list for 2012.
     
  15. Nov 2, 2013 #15
    All right then. That won't trigger the level-boarding rule because there's a specific exception for places where trains board across road grade crossing....

    I guess Amtrak will probably move in in March.
     
  16. Jan 9, 2014 #16

    PRRNUT

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    Any update to when this station will be used by Amtrak? I'm planning a trip to Key West in June and would like to ride one of the "Silvers" to Miami and rent a car at the airport. I want to avoid the cab to the airport thing if possible. I tried this a few years ago and the rental car company home office told me they would pick up us at the train station and take us to the rental office but when we arrived the local agent smucks wouldn't do it. If the station isn't open by then does anyone know of a rental car company in Miami that will shuttle you from the station?
     
  17. Jan 9, 2014 #17

    blueman271

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    Central Station is scheduled to open March 7th however, I am not sure if that date includes Amtrak. As far as rental cars are concerned, if you don't want to deal with the transfer to the airport your best bet would be to get off the train at Hollywood and rent a car from one of the local offices there. I believe that Hertz or Enterprise will pick you up at the Hollywood station.
     
  18. Jan 9, 2014 #18

    afigg

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    Has there been a publicly announced opening date for the Miami Central Station? Did not find one with a google search nor did I see one on the MCS website. The news articles from 2+ month ago only said summer of 2014 as the projected date. Which, of course, might have been moved up. But, yes, even if the MCS does open for Tri-Rail in March, Amtrak may move on its own schedule at a later date.
     
  19. Jan 10, 2014 #19

    cirdan

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    So are they just goinmg to accept that they can't run longer trains? Or is something being done to remedy the situation.
     
  20. Jan 10, 2014 #20

    MikefromCrete

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    I understand they're going to building another road crossing several blocks north and install signaling that will divert traffic to the new crossing when an Amtrak train is blocking the original crossing. Of course, an overpass would be better, but this is a simpler, cheaper way around the problem.
     
  21. Jan 10, 2014 #21

    chrsjrcj

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    Would be quite ironic if Amtrak ends up not moving in anyway. A while back I was always under the impression that Amtrak would NOT move in because of the platform length issue, but then a couple of years ago this huge controversy arose.

    The new station ends about 300 feet north of the previous station. If they kept the length of the new platforms (or at least one) the same as the old, I believe this wouldn't even be an issue.
     
  22. Jan 10, 2014 #22

    afigg

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    See the posts and links earlier in this thread from beginning of November. The fix is to build a bypass road across the tracks further north when the Amtrak trains are blocking 25th st.
    If the station is completed and Amtrak moves in the next 6 months, that means Amtrak will move in the first half of 2014 to restored/new intermodal stations in 3 major US cities: Denver Union Station, St Paul Union Depot, and MSC. All 3 will have at the move or in the near future, direct connections to local rail transit systems. With Denver and the Twin Cities actively expanding their transit systems. Much better than an isolated Amtrak station only accessible by car or a hike from the nearest bus stop. And superior access to car rental options.
     
  23. Jan 10, 2014 #23

    VentureForth

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    And don't forget when they run the 5th grade special twice a year and run something like 20 cars... Though in that case, I don't think they'll run the train to MIA. I think they stage a bit further north.

    Are they planning to service the train at the station in the airport? Or are they going to pull in, unload, Wye, and service & park the train overnight at the old MIA station?

    Is there one or two platforms at the new station? Can the Silvers both be there at the same time?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 10, 2014
  24. Jan 10, 2014 #24
    Four platforms, actually. (Well, four platforming tracks -- two double-sided platforms.) Normally I think the plan is to use two tracks for Tri-Rail and two for Amtrak.

    However, it gives a lot of flexibility. A really long special could be cut in two and load on both sides of one of the platforms; another Amtrak train could still stop at a third platform; and Tri-Rail could *still* pull in at the fourth platform.
     
  25. Jan 10, 2014 #25
    Regarding servicing, I believe Amtrak normally runs the trains out to Hialeah Maintenance Facility for servicing, because it is the central maintenance base for Viewliners. If I'm not mistaken, they do a lot more maintenance at the end of the Silvers' runs than just "fuel, clean and turn around" . The "old station" per se wouldn't be involved, though given its location just south of the maintenance facility, it might be converted into an extension of the maintenance facility.
     

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