Space Coast Progressive Alliance

The Future of the American Experiment is in Your Hands
Tuesday, 11 August 2015 21:07

Petition: Stop Port Authority's proposed rail

Written by  Doug Sphar and others, compiled by Team SCP'A

Posted August 11, 2015, modified Aug. 12, 2015 at 11:50am
Brevard Politics, Environment + The Lagoon, cont'd.
The Port Canaveral Port Authority seems to have authority way beyond what it should have, and citizens are trying to stop a proposed environmentally harmful railroad extension across Banana River, thru Merritt Island and the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. Thank you to Douglas Sphar for a concise summary of the situation. See, and sign, the petition.
-- SCPA Editor

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The Port Authority and Proposed Freight Railroad
by Douglas Sphar

Other options (for the railroad) have been presented. The most logical would be thru the Air Force Station, which has an existing rail line, but the Air Force cites security concerns and possible conflict with launch operations. The other option would be along the SR 528 (Bee Line, now called 'Beach Line") right-of-way.

With regard to the expansion. Other ports in Florida tout their access to rail, which is a plus for attracting container ships. An 18-wheel truck can only haul one container, whereas one rail car flatbed can stack two containers and a single train can be comprised of many flatcars.

According to an article in Wall Street Journal, all the East Coast Ports are expanding their capabilities to handle Panamax ships, i.e., the new generation of large container ships that will traverse the widened Panama Canal. 

According to WSJ, this potential booming market may be elusive, as some experts claim that shippers from the Far East will find it more cost effective to offload at US west coast ports and ship from there on truck (or cross country on rail from West Coast). 

Bottom line: Savanna, Jacksonville, Tampa, Miami, and Port Everglades are also aggressively in this game and are probably ahead facility wise.

Personally, I think the Port (Canaveral) should lower their expectations and continue to carve out a niche as a cruise ship and tourist destination (i.e., the Cove). 

The All Aboard Florida will be running from Orlando International Airport to Cocoa within the existing SR 528 right-of-way. The right-of-way is the same width on out to the Port area, so it seems reasonable that rail could be be within the ROW. In fact, the Expressway Authority and FDOT brandish maps showing SR 528 expanding to a "super corridor" that contains rail lines, etc.

The Port, FDOT, and the Expressway Authority should get on one sheet of music on this.

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Doug Sphar is a retired engineer and a member of Turtle Coast Sierra Club.

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Citizen's Petition to Stop the Proposed Railroad Expansion

We are OPPOSED to The Canaveral Port Authority’s two chosen plans and the Environmental Impact Statement’s (EIS) approval, (Docket # FD35852) to run a causeway/bridge for a cargo train from ...

SIGN PETITION:
http://stopportcanaveralrailextension.com/

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Push Back against the freight rail in Our Lagoon!

Port Commissioner’s Emails:

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Thanks to Dorothee Custer, Douglas Sphar, and Mary Hillberg. Compiled by Team SCPA.

 

Last modified on Wednesday, 12 August 2015 09:54
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