25 December, 2009

FLORIDA HIGH SPEED RAIL

JACKSONVILLE AT HIGH SPEED... 1947 Style


Southern Railway in 1947, heading our way through Tennessee and Georgia. After breakfast we'll be rolling past the 15 platforms, and 32 tracks, of the great Jacksonville Terminal. In those days 7 railroad lines, and 4 major railroad carriers, met at the downtown station. Today, 6 lines and 4 major railroad carriers still do!

In 2009 Florida has finally made the leap to establish passenger trains throughout our state once again. Sadly these same people are putting a huge amount of energy and effort into a largely useless High Speed Rail plan. If Florida would just look back a few years, they would find that we have been there and done that already. Does Tallahassee even understand that Jacksonville is the railroad hub of Florida? Why are they focusing on Orlando and Mickey Mouse? Why would they promote a hub and spokes railroad system, when nothing like that has ever worked on the ground before? Sometimes your blogger wishes for those simpler times of 1947.








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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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