THE ALL ABOARD FLORIDA RUSE
The All Aboard Florida passenger train appears to be a ruse by Florida East Coast Industries (FECI) to wangle taxpayer funding of upgrades to their rail corridor so FECI will be able to more efficiently and profitably accommodate the increased freight traffic they expect to garner from the Panama canal enlargement.
All Aboard Florida seems to have no plan. No details have been provided on where they will get the passengers they need to fill 32 daily 400-passenger trains, what the operating costs will be, or what they will have to charge for a train ticket to be profitable. At the meeting on April 17th we were told All Aboard Florida has not even selected the train they will buy.
But what All Aboard Florida does clearly know is the necessity to borrow $2.5B from the taxpayers. With that money they will be able to add one or two parallel tracks to accommodate all the fast-moving passenger trains and slower-moving freight trains simultaneously moving North and South, upgrade crossings to make it unnecessary to constantly blow the horns, make the corridor secure to minimize trespassing, and improve the bridges over the waterways they transit.
A most likely scenario (if it even goes that far): The passenger service will quickly go belly-up for lack of riders, the loans will not be repaid and the taxpayers will be stuck holding the $2.5B bag. But the increased freight service will be even more profitable for FECI with a modern upgraded rail corridor paid for by the taxpayers.
Are the politicians and taxpayers really so stupid as to allow that to happen?