News & Reviews News Wire PTC stalls Tri-Rail move to MiamiCentral station

PTC stalls Tri-Rail move to MiamiCentral station

By Angela Cotey | June 19, 2019

| Last updated on December 11, 2021

Certification issue delays PTC process, report says

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Light blue commuter train departs from station
A Miami-bound Tri-Rail commuter train departs the Boynton Beach station in January 2017. Tri-Rail service to Virgin Train USA’s MiamiCentral station is being delayed because of positive train control issues. (Trains: David Lassen)

MIAMI — Positive train control issues will delay Miami’s Tri-Rail commuter service from starting operations at Virgin Trains USA’s MiamiCentral station before the end of the year, as had been anticipated.

Miami Today reports that Virgin Trains host and parent Florida East Coast Railway is still awaiting government certification for its PTC system, and that Tri-Rail can’t apply to become a tenant on the FEC tracks until after that certification is approved. Tri-Rail’s PTC is not compatible with the FEC system, so Tri-Rail must install compatible equipment on its locomotives and trackside.

Tri-Rail is investing $70 million to establish its service to the downtown MiamiCentral station, a project involving 26 trains and 9 miles of new infrastructure. Projections are that the service to downtown will draw an extra 1,000 passengers on the first day of service alone, Florida Today reports. Tri-Rail’s Miami terminal is currently at Miami International Airport, almost 5 miles from MiamiCentral’s downtown location.

8 thoughts on “PTC stalls Tri-Rail move to MiamiCentral station

  1. Mr. Ash makes a good point. How many people were killed in Chatsworth? I think it was 25, and the railroads have to spend billions of dollars on questionable PTC. 33,.000+ are killed every year in cars and the government does nothing. You can still text from your vehicle moving at 85 mph down the highway with no protections.

  2. The PTC requirement should have been handled by the FRA directly under their control and contract. It is and was a federal mandate. Having the railroads be responsible for the implementation is similar to letting major airlines develop their own traffic control systems that would have talk to each other. I agree with Mr. Hoffman too as to the California senators that were involved in demanding the implementation of such a complicated system such as PTC did not know what they were doing. The Chatsworth crash was a terrible wreck for sure, but to go so far over board was the wrong good feeling decision. Other proven train control systems could have been employed that would have been nearly as effective. Furthermore, what are the genius senators doing about the 33K people killed every year in car wrecks? Where is their PTC system. You can see how disproportionate the legislative mandate for PTC was.

  3. Tri-Rail’s current Miami terminal at Miami International Airport is just as bad as the proposed location of Texas Central’s rail terminal six miles from Downtown Houston. [Texas Central claims it determined the proposed location of its terminal in Houston from the suggestion of the FRA. The fact of the matter is that officials at the FRA are DC-area residents who do not live in Houston!]
    Amtrak would also do well to move its train operations to Virgin Trains USA’s MiamiCentral Terminal from their remote location in Hileah which is farther than the airport. Passengers on arriving Amtrak trains are most likely travelling to Miami, not just Hileah (the Emeryville of the southeast).
    The location of rail terminals away from downtown areas defeats the advantage passenger trains have over airlines in connecting cities in their respective central business districts and suburbs.

  4. JOHNNY – I don’t know anything about the California’s senator’s role in PTC, but I do know this: Former Senator Boxer (and her successor Harris as well) made DiFi look like a sane moderate in comparison.

  5. This is what happens when government mandates the installation of something that, at the time, did not even exist. It was the doing of the 2 Senators from California Boxer and Difi both of whom are and were less than worthless.

  6. Hialeah is bad however Amtrak keeps goin to MIA to a station there, the train blocks the street and car traffic is diverted to a loop. Amtrak should go to Downtown Miami but probably won’t.

  7. The worst location is the Amtrak facility in Hialeah. A few years ago it cost me $17 to get to the airport car rental terminal. If you’re going into downtown Miami, transfer to Brightline (Virgin Trains) somewhere along the line and arrive right downtown. It’ll probably be a lifetime before Amtrak makes it back downtown.

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