Our thanks to Captain Wright for this first hand report from USCG public hearings concerning the proposed All Aboard Florida railway service from Miami to Orlando, as described earlier this month in http://cruisersnet.net/?p=146374.
I attended and spoke at the USCG hearings in Stuart re: St. Lucie River RR Bridge [http://cruisersnet.net/?p=5739] closings issue.
While the USCG did state that they have no jurisdiction over the railroad, and therefore cannot take a position on the viability (or not) of All Aboard Florida’s (AAF) attempt to add 32 highs speed trains per day to the tracks between Miami and Orlando, USCG did say they are responsible and have jurisdiction over the waterways in so far as safe navigation is concerned. They can (and did in CT at the CT River Amtrak bridge in the 80′s) limit the closing of RR bridges if they interfere with the safe passage of vessels.
The proposed AAG 32 high speed trains between Miami and Orlando would increase the “bridge close time” to a total of 75 minutes every hour (greater than one hour for those not mathematically inclined) which represents not only a navigation safety issue, but is in actuality a “BLOCKADE”.
To be successful with the USCG in this matter, we must focus on what the USCG can affect, which is the impact of the bridge closings on safe navigation of the waterways.
Capt. Ken Wright, North Palm Beach, Florida