For those that would like to claim the dream of having a predominantly pedestrian lifestyle that is free from cars, this reality can't come soon enough. All Aboard Florida is moving toward the promise to connect Miami to Orlando by rail, removing an estimated 3 million cars annually in the process.
The $3 billion project will connect Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach by rail, with a final stop at the Orlando airport. Travel times include Miami to Fort Lauderdale in about 28 minutes; from Miami to West Palm Beach in less than an hour; and Miami to Orlando in less than three hours.
TRD reports on a tour that MiamiCentral's construction is proceeding smoothly toward completion in mid-2017. While the it's foundation gets poured, the station will have 200,000 square feet of retail below the tracks, including a grocery store. And up in the air, trains will run 50 feet above ground, which will link to Tri-Rail, Metromover, and Metrorail. Each train will have seven passenger cars, with the all-important cafe car included, that can accommodate 400 people.
MiamiCentral station, located at NW 1st Ave between NW 3rd Street and NW 8th Street, will have plans to live, work, and play at the 3 million-square-foot, 11 acre site. Four towers will eventually rise: two residential towers, one office building, and a parking garage with the grocery store and 100,000 square feet of office space. A "super tower" will stand 800-feet-tall, with a hotel and residences. About 1 million square feet is supposed to be dedicated to residential space.
As the only privately funded infrastructure project of its kind in the nation, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP is working with Zyscovich Architects on the design of the three stations. All Aboard contends that the project intends to enhance the performance of roads and bridge crossings across the state, as well as the existing corridor established by Flagler a century ago.
Now, if we could only keep the line going up the coast, so we could speed toward NYC and Boston...