06 April, 2009

KANSAS CITY SOUTHERN COMING TO JACKSONVILLE?


Is this a sign of the mega-railroad of the near future? Norfolk Southern + Kansas City Southern + Florida East Coast, would be one hell of a marriage. Such a merger would create a line from New England to Central Mexico, and from Kansas City to Miami. Of course there is no official word or even a good roumor that this might come about, but with the railroad industry continuing to be riding high, adding capacity and miles, anything could happen. Jacksonville's transportation watchers will enjoy seeing the occasional colorful Kansas City Southern Diesels rolling through our City. Someone at the Chamber of Commerce needs to remind KCS and NS where the nations fastest growth port is... Got wheat and corn? We have ships, lots and lots of ships.



Kansas City Southern Railway, Florida East Coast and Norfolk Southern Railway on March 30 began offering container and trailer service from Dallas to the Norfolk Southern - Florida East Coast, new Titusville, Fla., terminal. Traffic is routed over KCSR from Dallas to Meridian, Miss.; and over NS from Meridian to Jacksonville, and the Floridca East Coast from Jacksonville to Titusville. Previously, KCSR moved central Florida-destined intermodal shipments to Meridian, and NS moved the loads from Meridian to the Norfolk Southern's massive intermodal terminal in Jacksonville's Simpson Yard, where it was trucked to various distribution centers. The new routing provides intermodal marketing companies and asset providers a more cost-effective option, and enables KCSR to be more competitive with over-the-road carriers, the Class I said.

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The arguments rage to this date, "Should have never been built," "waste of taxpayer money," "Doesn't go anywhere," "Nobody rides it..." etc. Bottom line is we have it, and it is finally showing signs of life. Simple extensions to the Stadium, San Marco, and the area of Blue Cross in North Riverside would turn this little train around. Addition of Park and Ride garages and multimodal transit terminals at the end points would bring on the crowds. The video must have been shot on a Sunday Morning, as downtown is certainly as packed with life as any other major City on weekdays. Jacksonville is a city of Bikes, joggers, walkers, buses and cars, one almost wonders how the photographer managed to find this quiet moment.

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