23 January, 2009


Current Rail Access to JAXPORT's Port Of Gold.

Investors paradise? Considering that some 2 Million Containers a year will start pouring from the Tri-Pac/Hanjin/MOL Line's new ship terminals within two years, JAXPORT might be one of the only bright spots in the economy. It does however, offer a huge opportunity for railroad investment or betterment to increase access to the port for all carriers. Rail, THIS is where the opportunity for a mega project lay just beneath the surface of the current maps of the Port.

On this map we see some of the lines have changed hands - some of this is coming with Commuter Rail anyway. Possible Neutral access for all rail carriers with State and Local purchase of all Terminal Trackage and the start of Jacksonville Commuter Rails North Line. With reconstruction of the old "S" line (Former Mainline of the Seaboard Railroad now owned by the City) Florida East Coast and Norfolk Southern would enjoin CSX with total access.

In this scene, we see what happens if Commuter Rail North becomes Light-Rail and CSX maintains a stranglehold on the booming North side Port Terminals. Call this scene OPPORTUNITY knocking. The immense warehouse districts on the West Side and Northwest side of Jacksonville being connected to the Booming northeast area Port via a ready made right-of-way, under Jacksonville Electric Authority Power lines. This northern "BELT RAILROAD" touching as it does (or could) the Southern boundary's of the International Airport would thus Perice the Free Trade Zone. With FEC as a partner, it gives Norfolk Southern access to the fastest growth area in Florida.
It could go either way, one thing is certain, change for the better is right around the bend and World Ports already know, Jacksonville is on stage. Someone grab a shovel.

The Illusion Of A One Track Town - A SAGA OF CSX

"...As The Sun Pull's Away From The Pier, and Our Boat Sinks Slowly In The West..." (apologies to the Late Great Spike Jones)

CSX south florida, originally uploaded by bobissouthern.

Headquartered in Jacksonville, the largest railroad in the East has all of the newer terminals, in fact the entire Northside of the port locked in to their system.

If CSX is not willing to allow for City ownership and open access to the port for all roads, through the agency of a Terminal Company then the City has some work to do to provide that access for all railroads, giving our new shipping lines a choice.

If our port access is not shared then the question must be asked of CSX, why they left us out of their National Freight Corridor Plan which bypasses us for State Ports in Virginia and North Carolina?

We may be the new "Big Dog" on the block when it comes to international shipping, but no big dog is going to run for long on one leg.


2178334387_dcaf99e3cf, originally uploaded by bobissouthern.

The second major carrier headquartered in Jacksonville. Why has the Florida East Coast not been a player in our ports since the 1960's? Moreover why are we investing in Port highways, putting rail on the back burner, when from 11PM until daybreak, the FEC RY floods the downtown freeways with container trucks making the ferry move from the Northsides Talleyrand Ship Terminals to Bowden Yard on the City's South Side? Wouldn't replacing the former "S" line of the Seaboard - owned by the city, open an all rail route which would greatly lessen the need for the new highways?

Norfolk Southern Locked Out?

2179124938_13290e09f4, originally uploaded by bobissouthern.

Two daily NS locomotives await the connections from the Talleyrand Terminal Railroad in Springfield, North of Downtown Jacksonville. Why are they not players in our major Blount Island or Tri-Pac Terminals?


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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