Plans & Programs: Rail Initiatives

Brevard County has had rail services since late 1885 when the Jacksonville, Tampa and Key West Railroad line arrived in Titusville. Although regular passenger rail services are currently no longer operating in Brevard, Florida East Coast Railway maintains and owns all of the 351-miles of mainline track from Jacksonville to Miami, transporting tons of cargo freeing our roadways from hundreds of trucks daily.

The Space Coast TPO has facilitated the study of both the applicability of “quiet zones” and a Passenger Rail Station Location Study.  Below are resources and documents currently available related to rail initiatives in Brevard.

RAILROAD QUIET ZONE ANALYSIS

The Space Coast TPO coordinated an analysis in 2014 to assess the applicability of “quiet zones” at specific locations along the Florida East Coast (FEC) rail corridor. The analysis was conducted to address concerns by local jurisdictions and citizens about increased warning horn noise along the railway due to the frequency of the passenger trains to be running by Virgin Trains, anticipated to start in 2022.

Quiet Zone Technical Memorandum – September, 2014 (Large File ~ 38 MG)

SCTPO Resolution 15-12 – Resolution authorizing the SCTPO to coordinate the application for quiet zone designation at grade crossings along the Florida East Coast Railway corridor in Brevard County – October 9, 2014

Quiet Zone Status – Virgin Trains is beginning construction to expand its passenger rail services from West Palm to Orlando Airport. It is expected construction in Brevard County will take approximately 2 1/2 to 3 years and all at grade crossings will receive safety improvements necessary to meet quiet zone requirements. Upon completion of construction of all safety features and updating the crossing inventory to the Federal Rail Administration, an application will be submitted to have a quiet zone established in Brevard for all crossings from SR 528 south to Indian River County. The quiet zone would apply to both cargo (freight) and passenger trains. 

PASSENGER RAIL STATION LOCATION STUDY

In 2015, the Space Coast TPO conducted a passenger rail study in response to the prospect that passenger rail services may return to Brevard via Virgin Trains, a new private endeavor to provide higher speed passenger train service between Miami and Orlando. This was determined to be an opportunity to advance the County’s public transportation vision, as described in the TPO’s adopted 2040 Long Range Transportation Plan, and support the region’s economy and tourism industries. The TPO has been encouraging Virgin Trains to add a station in Brevard County upon the start up of service between Orlando and West Palm. The results of this study have been provided to Virgin Trains and they are open to conducting a revenue study to finalize where best to locate a station.

Passenger Rail Station Location Study – May 2016

SCTPO Resolution 16-14 – Resolution endorsing future passenger rail station locations in Central and South Brevard County and a preferred location.