THE FOLLOWING IS FACTUAL PUBLIC INFORMATION from All Aboard Florida’s (AAF) Environmental Impact Statement, AAF’s presentation to the Vero Beach Rail Commission and their environmental presentation at a previous “open town meeting” at Indian River State College.
All Aboard Florida’s projections for 2017 are that 20 freight and 32 high-speed passenger trains will pass through Vero Beach every day. That’s 364 trains per week.
Daily high-speed passenger traffic during peak hours is eight trains from 7:00 am – 9:00 am; nine trains from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm; and 12 train from 4:00 – 7:00 pm. This is 29 trains. The remaining three trains will run during non-peak hours.
The above traffic does NOT include freight trains, projected at 20 per day.
There will be fewer freight trains traveling on the weekend, thus skewing up their travel during weekdays.
The length of an AAF freight train is up to 12,000 feet (2.3 miles). The track distance through Vero Beach city limits is approximately 2 miles.
There are seven “at grade” crossings in the City of Vero Beach and fewer than 10 from New York City to Boston with Acela.
The Federal Railroad Administration has developed a system of classification for track quality. The class of a section track determines the maximum possible speed limit.
AAF has a class six classification, which means it can run at a speed up to 110 miles per hour. (Why then does AAF say they will run at speeds of 115 miles per hour?)
With safety improvements and others such as welded seams it could receive a Class seven classification, allowing it to achieve speeds of up to 125 miles per hour.
The speeds indicated above apply to both freight and passenger trains.
What’s interesting is that in Orlando, Ft. Lauderdale, Miami and Palm Beach, AAF high speed passenger trains will be servicing a metropolitan area of approximately six million people, whereas Acela services the metropolitan areas from Washington DC to Boston services of approximately 50 million people.