The public is rightly concerned about how much more freight traffic there will be on the Florida East Coast Railway tracks with the opening of a deeper port in Miami and the widening of the Panama Canal.
    With the revitalization and rejuvenation of downtowns throughout the tri-county area, there is more motor vehicle traffic. And since many towns and cities lay aside the FEC tracks and are near the Intracoastal Waterway as well, motorists must deal with both the inconvenience of long freight trains and bridge openings.
    The situation could be addressed by the FEC adopting a limit on the future length and frequency of its freight trains. Another way of addressing the problem would be to transfer freight traffic to a more western, less populated route. As Palm Beach County Commissioner Steven Abrams has pointed out to SAFE in an email, “Our region has secured large federal and state grants for two crossovers to enable some FEC freight to cross over to the CSX tracks to take it off the FEC line. My understanding is that FEC is in discussions with CSX about shifting some of their freight over to the CSX line, especially once the crossovers are built, but they would have to confirm that.”
    Has the FEC considered this option? If so, what has it discovered? Obviously, if it is possible, there would be a cost involved. Has it determined that cost?
    This problem needs to be recognized and addressed by the FEC. It not only affects its public image, but it affects the public image of All Aboard Florida and may likely be the deciding factor with the public in supporting or opposing commuter rail.
    It is in the best interest of the FEC to address this problem ASAP.
Jim Smith, Chairman,
Safety as Floridians Expect
Delray Beach

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