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First Coast Commuter Rail

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First Coast Commuter Rail
Overview
TypeCommuter rail
StatusAlternative Study Stage
LocaleNorth Florida
TerminiCentral: Downtown Jacksonville, FL
North: Yulee, FL
Southwest: Green Cove Springs, FL
Southeast: St Augustine, FL
Websitehttp://www.jtafla.com/JTAfutureplans/Rail/
Operation
CharacterAt-grade
Technical
Line length91 mi (146 km)[1]
Track gauge4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
Route map
Yulee
Hedges
Nassau
Duval
Pecan Park
Airport Center Dr
Cole/New Berlin Rd
Busch Dr
Heckscher Dr/Zoo
East 64th
East 44th
East 21st
Warehouse District
Shands
West 8th
Kings
Jacksonville Regional Transit Center
(Future Amtrak?)
Prudential Dr/San Marco
Riverside
FCCJ-Kent
Emerson St/Jackson Sq
San Juan Av
J. Turner Butler Blvd
Timuquana
Baymeadows Rd
NAS Jacksonville
Avenues
I-295
Duval
Clay
Orange Park
Old St. Augustine Rd
Lakeside
Race Track Rd
Duval
St. Johns
Doctors Inlet
Lake Asbury
Palencia
Green Cove Springs
Amtrak Silver Service to Miami
St. Augustine/St. Johns County Airport
St. Johns County Complex
St. Augustine
West Augustine
FEC Mainline to Miami

Sources: [2]

The First Coast Commuter Rail is a proposed commuter rail system serving Jacksonville, FL and northeast Florida. It is currently in the very early planning stages, having completed the first step of a feasibility study and currently pursuing an alternatives analysis.

Three routes were analyzed in depth, north to Yulee, FL, southwest to Green Cove Springs, FL and the southeast to St. Augustine, FL.[3]

A feasibility study was completed in November 2009 for the Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA). James Boyle, JTA's regional transportation planner, has since said that there are no fatal flaws in the study.[1]

History[edit | edit source]

JTA hired a consultant to conduct a feasibility study in early 2008 at the cost of $400,000. It was completed in November 2009.[4] The study looked into 7 routes, most along existing freight rail right of ways. Three of these, north to Yulee, FL, southwest to Green Cove Springs, FL and the southeast to St. Augustine, FL were selected for in depth study.[3] In the Summer of 2010, JTA allocated $1 Million for an Alternative Analysis study on the proposed system. This is required step to participate in the Federal Transit Administration's (FTA) New Starts program.[5]

In May 2013, St. Augustine City Commission voted in a resolution supporting the proposal of a commuter train service on the southeast corridor. JTA says that the federal government could fund half of southeast corridor project, estimated to cost about $193.3 million. The proposal still needs approval from St. Johns County, The North Florida Transportation Planning Organization board and the Jacksonville Transportation Authority board.[6]

Routes[edit | edit source]

FC Commuter Rail.png

All routes in the in-depth study start in downtown Jacksonville and head out in one of three directions, North, Southwest and Southeast.

North Corridor[edit | edit source]

North Corridor
Overview
SystemFirst Coast Commuter Rail
StatusPlanning (Alternatives Analysis)
TerminiDowntown Jacksonville, FL
Yulee, FL
Stations15
Daily ridership1020 to 2040 (Projected 2015)
Technical
Line length23.7 mi (38.1 km)
Track gauge4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)

The North Corridor originates in Downtown Jacksonville, and heads North along the abandoned S-Line to the CSX Kingsland division line to Yulee, FL. The Kingsland division line is a remnant of the Seaboard Air Line's mainline. The route passes two miles (3 km) from Jacksonville International Airport.

Southwest Corridor[edit | edit source]

Southwest Corridor
Overview
SystemFirst Coast Commuter Rail
StatusPlanning (Alternatives Analysis)
TerminiDowntown Jacksonville, FL
Green Cove Springs, FL
Stations12
Daily ridership1490 to 2970 (Projected 2015)
Technical
Line length29.3 mi (47.2 km)
Track gauge4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)

The Southwest Corridor originates in Downtown Jacksonville, and heads South along the CSX A-Line to Green Cove Springs, FL.

Southeast Corridor[edit | edit source]

Southeast Corridor
Overview
SystemFirst Coast Commuter Rail
StatusPlanning (Alternatives Analysis)
TerminiDowntown Jacksonville, FL
St. Augustine, FL
Stations13
Daily ridership2410 to 4810 (Projected 2015)
Technical
Line length38.4 mi (61.8 km)
Track gauge4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)

The Southeast Corridor originates in Downtown Jacksonville, and heads Southeast along the Florida East Coast Railway's main line to St. Augustine, FL. The proposed 38.4-mile (61.8 km) route is the northernmost part of a 368-mile (592 km) freight rail line to Miami.

The corridor already serves 17 regularly scheduled interregional freight trains a day. The 2009 feasibility study estimated that this route could carry an estimated 5,132 riders in 2015 and 5,469 by 2020 on trains between Jacksonville and St. Augustine. Travel time is estimated at 51 minutes end to end.[7]

Notable proposed stops along the route include Palencia, The Northeast Florida Regional Airport, the St. Johns County Complex, downtown St. Augustine, West Augustine, Race Track Road, Avenues and JTB.[6][7]

See also[edit | edit source]

Northeast Florida Regional Transportation Commission

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Chapman, David (April 9, 2010). "JTA finds 'no fatal flaws' in commuter rail study". Daily Record.
  2. "Candidate Rail Stations". Jacksonville Transportation Authority. Archived from the original on February 3, 2015. Retrieved February 4, 2011.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Feasibility Study Final Report" (PDF). Gannett Fleming. July 2009. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 13, 2011.
  4. Hannan, Larry (September 28, 2009). "Report: Jacksonville commuter rail would be costly". jacksonville.com. Retrieved May 6, 2016.
  5. "Jacksonville Commuter Rail Plans Progressing". Metro Jacksonville. July 2, 2010. Retrieved May 6, 2016.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Inclan, Lorena (May 14, 2013). "Commuter rail from Saint Augustine to Jax gets preliminary green light". ActionNewsJax.com. Archived from the original on September 1, 2013.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Jordan, Douglas (May 13, 2013). "St. Augustine asked to support commuter rail link to Jax". StAugustine.com. Retrieved May 6, 2016.


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