Tri-Rail
A Tri-Rail train at Delray Beach Station
Overview
OwnerSouth Florida Regional Transportation Authority
LocaleGreater Miami
Termini
Stations19
Websitewww.tri-rail.com
Service
TypeCommuter rail
Operator(s)Herzog Transit Services
Daily ridership14,600 (weekdays, Q4 2023)[1]
Ridership4,402,300 (2023)[2]
History
OpenedJanuary 9, 1989; 35 years ago (1989-01-09)
Technical
Line length80.0 miles (128.7 km)
CharacterAt-grade
Track gauge4 ft 8+12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Operating speed79 miles per hour (127 km/h) ~38 miles per hour (61 km/h) overall average
Route map
Map
Mangonia Park
Palm Tran
Coastal Link
to Jupiter (proposed)
Toney Penna
PGA Boulevard
Park Avenue
13th Street
45th Street
West Palm Beach
Silver Service Greyhound Lines Palm Tran
Palm Beach Airport
(closed 1997)
Lake Worth Beach
Palm Tran
Fare zone
boundary
Boynton Beach
Palm Tran
Delray Beach
(closed 1991)
Delray Beach
Silver Service Palm Tran
Fare zone
boundary
Boca Raton
Palm Tran
Deerfield Beach
Silver Service Broward County Transit
Pompano Beach
Broward County Transit
Fare zone
boundary
Cypress Creek
Broward County Transit
Fort Lauderdale
Silver Service Metrobus (Miami-Dade County) Broward County Transit
Fare zone
boundary
I-595.svg
I-595
Port Everglades Expwy.
Fort Lauderdale Airport Fort Lauderdale–Hollywood International Airport#Rail
Broward County Transit
Sheridan Street
Greyhound Lines Metrobus (Miami-Dade County) Broward County Transit
Hollywood
Silver Service Broward County Transit
Fare zone
boundary
Golden Glades
Greyhound Lines Metrobus (Miami-Dade County) Broward County Transit
Opa-locka
Metrobus (Miami-Dade County)
 
Tri-Rail
Metrobus (Miami-Dade County)
Metrorail Transfer
Metrorail (Miami-Dade County) Metrobus (Miami-Dade County)
Hialeah Market
Metrobus (Miami-Dade County)
Miami Airport Miami International Airport#Rail enlarge…
Metrorail (Miami-Dade County) MIA Mover Greyhound Lines Metrobus (Miami-Dade County)
Metrobus (Miami-Dade County) Broward County Transit
Metrobus (Miami-Dade County) Broward County Transit

Disabled access All stations are accessible

Tri-Rail (reporting mark TRCX) is a commuter rail service linking Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach in Florida, United States. The Tri prefix in the name refers to the three counties served by the railroad: Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade.[3] Tri-Rail is managed by the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority (SFRTA) along CSX Transportation's former Miami Subdivision;[4][5] the line is now wholly owned by the Florida DOT. The 80.0-mile-long (128.7 km) system has 19 stations along the Southeast Florida coast, and connects directly to Amtrak at numerous stations, to Metrorail at the Metrorail Transfer station, Miami Airport station, and MiamiCentral, and to Brightline at MiamiCentral.

In 2023, the line had a ridership of 4,402,300, or about 14,600 per weekday as of the fourth quarter of 2023.

A second Tri-Rail line on the Florida East Coast Railway corridor, dubbed the "Coastal Link", has been proposed. The line would operate between Toney Penna station in Jupiter and MiamiCentral in Downtown Miami, and add commuter rail service between the downtown areas of cities between West Palm Beach and Miami. Combined with the existing Tri-Rail line, this expanded Tri-Rail system is estimated to have a daily passenger ridership of almost 30,000; or approximately 9 million passengers per annum, doubling Tri-Rail's current ridership.

History

The West Palm Beach station, built in 1925, is one of the many original stations built by the Seaboard-All Florida Railway in the 1920s. Today, these stations are used by Tri-Rail and Amtrak.

1920s: Seaboard-All Florida Railway

See also: Seaboard-All Florida Railway

The line on which Tri-Rail operates was built by the Seaboard-All Florida Railway (a subsidiary of the Seaboard Air Line Railroad) for intercity passenger rail service in the early 1920s. The line was inaugurated on January 7, 1927. Intercity rail service by Seaboard operated the Orange Blossom Special service from New York City until 1953. Amtrak continues to offer passenger rail service with the Silver Star and Silver Meteor trains from New York City. Today, the original 1920s Seaboard stations are used by Tri-Rail for service at West Palm Beach, Deerfield Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood. Though no longer in use, the Seaboard stations at Delray Beach, Opa-locka and Hialeah are still standing.

1980s–1990s: Planning and inauguration

Planning for a new commuter rail line began in 1983, and building the organization began in 1986. The current system was formed by the Florida Department of Transportation and began operation January 9, 1989, to provide temporary commuter rail service while construction crews widened Interstate 95 and the parallel Florida's Turnpike.[6][7] Tri-Rail was free from opening until May 1, 1990, at which time the fare became $4 round trip.[8]

Due to higher than expected ridership, FDOT made Tri-Rail a permanent service, adding more trains and stations in the process.[citation needed] Line extensions have enabled Tri-Rail to serve all three South Florida international airports: Miami International Airport, Fort Lauderdale–Hollywood International Airport and Palm Beach International Airport. The state's original plan was to use the more urban Florida East Coast Railway (FEC) line, but FEC declined the offer as it wanted freight to be their top priority.[9] In 1998, the initial 67-mile-long (108 km) route was extended north from the West Palm Beach station to the Mangonia Park, and south from Hialeah Market to Miami Airport (at an earlier station on the site of the current station). Construction of the extensions began in 1996; which added nearly 4 miles (6.4 km) to the system.

2000s: New stations, more service

Boca Raton's Tri-Rail station, an example of the mid-2000s rebuilt that includes double track platforms and a pedestrian overpass

In the early 2000s, Tri-Rail received a budget of $84.8 million[clarification needed] for double tracking, building extensions, improving stations, establishing a headquarters, and linking to buses.[10]

In 2002, Tri-Rail began to upgrade its grade crossings to include raised medians and/or four quadrant gates to prevent cars from driving around them in an attempt to beat trains. This decreases accidents and allows the cities they run through to petition for them not to use their whistle between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.[citation needed] They also decreased headways to 20 minutes during rush hours.[11]

The Pompano Beach station-slated for rebuild-was not renovated or rebuilt during Tri-Rail's double-tracking but was redone later in the 2010s.

In 2007, a project to upgrade the full length of the line from Mangonia Park to Miami Airport with double track was completed with the opening of a high-level fixed bridge over the New River near Fort Lauderdale. During the 2000s, most of the stations were completely rebuilt to accommodate for double-tracking and include dual platforms, elevators, pedestrian bridges over the tracks, large roofs over the platforms, and better facilities.

In March 2006, Tri-Rail went from 30 passenger trains a day to 40 trains; the completion of the New River rail bridge, the double-tracking project, and the addition of a second Colorado Railcar diesel multiple unit (DMU) ushered in sweeping changes to Tri-Rail's operational timetables. Tri-Rail added several more trains during peak weekday commuting hours in June 2007, increasing to the current 50 trains per day, as well as increasing weekend service.[12] During "rush-hour," trains ran every twenty to thirty minutes rather than the previous schedule of every hour. This change comes at quite a fortuitous time in Tri-Rail's operation history. With gasoline prices at record highs—particularly in South Florida's sprawling metropolis—Tri-Rail saw a double-digit percentage increase in ridership in mid-2007.[citation needed] By 2009, annual ridership had reached about 4.2 million passengers.[13] This was also the time during which work was being done on I-95 to add the express lanes from the Golden Glades Interchange to the Airport Expressway near Downtown Miami.[14] In 2007, Veolia Transport commenced operating the Tri-Rail service under a contract that ran until June 2017.[15]

2009–2022: Growth and Airport Station

Fort Lauderdale station, built in 1927, serves Tri-Rail and Amtrak.

In 2009, Tri-Rail service was nearly cut drastically, with the threat of being shut down altogether by 2011,[16] even as ridership was at a record high, as Palm Beach County withheld its funding of the system and looked to cut its funding from $4.1 million to $1.6 million per year. This would mean that Broward and Miami-Dade counties would also have had to cut their support to $1.6 million each to match. The state, which was also running a budget shortfall and did not pass a rental car tax increase to help fund Tri-Rail, would have had to cut its support as well. This would have caused an immediate cut from 50 to 30 daily trains and a complete cutting weekend service, followed by additional cuts and possible shut down two years later.[17] Schedules were decreased slightly, but service was never cut altogether, as dedicated federal funding was attained through the $2.5 million grant as part of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009.

After a 25% fare increase in mid-2009, annual ridership dropped by 15% (about 600,000) in 2010.[18] However, in 2011, Tri-Rail again saw increasing ridership due to sustained high gas prices, averaging about 14,500 riders per weekday by the end of year. Throughout the year, ridership increased at a rate of about 11% per month, paired with a decline in automobile travel [19] and an increase in employment, with 285 companies and 2,829 individuals joining in the discount program.[20]

In 2011, the dilapidated Pompano Beach station received a $5.7 million federal grant, to be redone as a "green station," generating more than 100% of its energy demand through solar power, with the excess to be sent to the grid or stored for nighttime lighting. Construction started in spring 2012 with the station remaining open during construction.[21] The crossing of Race Track Road and the Tri-Rail line near the Pompano Beach station, rough for several years, was also repaired in 2012.[22]

Total ridership on the system fully recovered to earlier high levels in fiscal year 2013, to 4.2 million.[18] Tri-Rail wanted to double ridership by 2021 to 30,000 daily riders by building the Coastal Link.[23]

Miami Intermodal Center opened in April 2015. It is the largest station in Florida, serving Tri-Rail, Metrorail, and buses.

In April 2015, Miami Airport station opened at the Miami Intermodal Center, once again connecting Tri-Rail directly with the Miami International Airport for the first time since the original Miami Airport station closed in 2011. This new station has connections to MIA Mover (providing a direct link to the airport), Metrorail, Metrobus and Greyhound. After extensive delays, Amtrak has yet to move its operations from its current station.[24] This new station was under construction since 2009, with a September 2011 closure of the original Miami Airport station to allow for construction of the new station.[25]

On January 27, 2017, the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority board voted to award Herzog Transit Services a $511 million, 10-year contract to operate Tri-Rail beginning in July 2017.[26] The board disqualified the other five bidders (Amtrak, Bombardier, First Transit, SNC-Lavalin Rail & Transit and incumbent operator Transdev), stating that they had all submitted "conditional" prices despite the request for proposals mandating that the bid price be final.[26] The other five losing bidders all protested the contract, with Transdev, Bombardier, and First Transit jointly requesting a court injunction to prevent it from being awarded.[26]

2023–present: Livery redesign and MiamiCentral service

A sign at MiamiCentral displaying Tri-Rail.
A sign at MiamiCentral displays Tri-Rail. This station includes direct connections to Brightline, Metrorail, and Metromover, as well as being part of a mixed-use complex.

In the first quarter of 2023, SFRTA reported a 25% increase in Tri-Rail ridership, surpassing 350,000 riders for the first time in three years. To meet the demand, the SFRTA began an overhaul process with their Brookville locomotives, which is anticipated to be completed by 2025, and received a federal grant that will allow the replacement of a third of the aging fleet of railcars with new ones, which are expected to start service in the coming years.[27] In addition, the SFRTA created a new livery design, which debuted in time for the Tri-Rail service into MiamiCentral.[28][29]

Tri-Rail service to MiamiCentral (Tri-Rail Downtown Miami Link) began service on January 13, 2024.[30] The station, which is also a mixed-use complex, is located in Downtown Miami and includes direct access to Brightline as well as Miami-Dade Transit services. The initial service consists of a shuttle service between Metrorail Transfer station and MiamiCentral.[31] To continue traveling north or south, a transfer is required.[32] It marks the first time Tri-Rail trains use Florida East Coast's trackage for service. Tri-Rail trains switch to the FEC's Little River Branch on the Iris Connection south of Metrorail Transfer station and head east to the FEC mainline, where they turn south and head to Downtown Miami. Tri-Rail trains began testing the corridor on June 19, 2023.[33] The total cost of accommodating Tri-Rail trains in MiamiCentral was about $70 million.[34]

Extensions and upgrades

Proposed Tri-Rail Coastal Link
Toney Penna
PGA Boulevard
Park Avenue
13th Street
Mangonia Park
45th Street
Northwood Connection
Silver Service West Palm Beach
Brightline West Palm Beach
Gregory Road
Lake Worth Beach
Lake Avenue
Fare zone
boundary
Boynton Beach
Boynton Beach Boulevard
Silver Service Delray Beach
Atlantic Avenue
Fare zone
boundary
Boca Raton
Brightline Boca Raton
Northeast 2nd Street
Silver Service Deerfield Beach
Hillsboro Boulevard
Pompano Beach
Pompano Beach crossover
Fare zone
boundary
Atlantic Boulevard
Cypress Creek
Oakland Park
Wilton Manors
Silver Service Fort Lauderdale
Brightline Fort Lauderdale
Fare zone
boundary
Fort Lauderdale Airport
Fort Lauderdale Airport
Sheridan Street
Dania Beach
Silver ServiceHollywood
Downtown Hollywood
Fare zone
boundary
Golden Glades
Hallandale Beach
Opa-locka
Brightline Aventura
North Miami Beach
North Miami
Metrorail (Miami-Dade County) Metrorail Transfer
Miami
(Amtrak only)
Upper Eastside
Iris Connection
Hialeah Market
Design District/Midtown
Metrorail (Miami-Dade County) MIA Mover Miami Airport enlarge…
Brightline Metrorail (Miami-Dade County) Metromover MiamiCentral enlarge…

Boca Raton Glades Road station

In early 2012, it was announced that a second Tri-Rail station in Boca Raton was once again being considered at the busy intersection of Glades Road (S.R. 808) and Military Trail (S.R. 809), near Town Center Mall, Florida Atlantic University and large office parks. A station was proposed for this location in the early 2000s while many other stations were being renovated. Boca Raton station near Yamato Road (S.R. 794) is the busiest station in the system[35] as of 2014, with 1,600 riders a day,[36] surpassing the Tri-Rail and Metrorail transfer station in Miami-Dade County. For this reason, and the fact that Glades Road is considered the most congested road in the county, an infill station there has been long considered.[37] As of 2023, the station was not under construction.

Coastal Link (FEC line service)

See also: Northeast Corridor Rapid Transit Project

In the 2025 and 2030 long-range transportation plans, Tri-Rail has envisioned moving to or adding service on the Florida East Coast Railway (FEC) corridor, which runs parallel to U.S. 1 (Biscayne Boulevard/Brickell Avenue in Miami-Dade County, and Federal Highway in Broward and Palm Beach counties). This corridor will provide more opportunities for pedestrian travel from stations to end destinations than does the current South Florida Rail Corridor, which must rely almost exclusively on shuttle buses for passenger distribution. Tri-Rail officials project that the project would cost about $2.5 billion and that 59,000 people per day would ride it,[9] The FEC, which denied the state's request to use the line for commuter rail in the 1980s, is now under new ownership as of 2017, and has now stated that it is willing to allow the use of the 85-mile-long (137 km) segment of track between downtown Miami and Jupiter for passenger trains.[9]

Tri-Rail service on the FEC line would bring stations to Downtown Miami's transit hub, Government Center station via MiamiCentral, as well as service in Midtown Miami/Miami Design District, Upper East Side/Miami Shores, North Miami, North Miami Beach/Aventura, Downtown Hollywood, and Downtown Fort Lauderdale, putting it within walking distance of thousands of potential riders. Getting to and from the current stations has been a major detractor of Tri-Rail's convenience since opening.[38] Miami's Downtown Development Authority along with Miami-area politicians are[when?] actively lobbying to bring Tri-Rail to the city core.[39]

Track connections between the FEC tracks and the South Florida Rail Corridor are also currently under construction.[when?] These connections are mainly for freight connectivity between the two lines, but are planned for future Coastal Link use. The Northwood Connection just north of West Palm Beach will provide a new connection as well as rehabilitating an existing connection. The Iris Connection will connect the SFRC to the FEC's Little River Branch near Hialeah. FDOT is building both connections, which were funded by a federal TIGER grant.[40]

The Coastal Link is planned to begin in phases. The first phase is known as Tri-Rail Downtown Miami Link, which began service on January 13, 2024.[41]

A later phase would allow Tri-Rail to begin service to Jupiter by having trains switch to the FEC on the new Northwood connection north of West Palm Beach and head north to Jupiter with additional stops in Palm Beach Gardens, Lake Park and Riviera Beach. No official timeframe has been given for this phase.[42]

Miami-Dade County is also working to find funding for service on the FEC from Downtown Miami as far north as Aventura.[43] Construction of an additional track for commuter service would require the approval of Brightline, which owns perpetual rights to operate passenger trains over the corridor.[44]

If the Coastal Link is fully implemented, Tri-Rail would operate in three separate services with a line on the FEC tracks from Jupiter to Downtown Fort Lauderdale, a line on the existing tracks from Mangonia Park to Pompano Beach, and then transition to the FEC tracks and continue to Downtown Miami. Another line would run on the existing tracks from Boca Raton to Miami Airport.[45]

Before full implementation of the Coastal Link service can begin, officials have acknowledged that a new higher rail bridge over the New River in Fort Lauderdale is necessary. The FEC's current low-level drawbridge is unable to handle Tri-Rail service along with Brightline and FEC freight service without negatively affecting vessel traffic on the river since the bridge would need to be lowered quite often. Proposals include a taller bridge or possibly a tunnel under the river.[43]

In 2020, Brightline solicited a proposal to operate a commuter rail service on the FEC, utilizing its exclusive trackage rights for passenger service, under a different system known as the Northeast Corridor Rapid Transit Project.[46][47] Under these plans the city of Miami would support the service operated by Brightline, without direct involvement of Tri-Rail.[48]

Homestead and Doral (CSX Homestead Subdivision line service)

There had been proposals in the past[when?] by Miami-Dade County and CSX to use the CSX Homestead Subdivision for Tri-Rail service, with the corridor being purchased by the county or the Florida Department of Transportation.[49][50] However, one of the problems at the time[when?] was that the price of the corridor was exorbitant. Since then,[when?] CSX has had new leadership, and the company is now willing to make a deal with Miami-Dade County to potentially have passenger rail service initiated on the corridor.[51] Service could include the Lehigh spur from the Miami Intermodal Center to Doral, as well as the Homestead Subdivision from the Miami Intermodal Center to Homestead.[51][52][53] Currently,[when?] both lines only see sporadic freight service, and the southernmost 12 miles (19 km) of the Homestead Subdivision (south of the Gold Coast Railroad Museum) have been out of service since 2019.[54]

Operations

Tri-Rail shares the South Florida Rail Corridor trackage with Amtrak's Silver Meteor and Silver Star and CSX Transportation's Miami Subdivision. The Florida Department of Transportation purchased the track from CSX in 1989. Under the terms of the agreement, CSX would continue to provide dispatch services and physical plant maintenance for the track and would have exclusive freight trackage rights until certain conditions were met. At midnight on March 29, 2015, CSX handed over dispatching and maintenance to SFRTA (Tri-Rail). While this should have the advantage of giving passenger trains signal priority over freight trains, it was at first wracked with delays.[55]

Tri-Rail participates in the EASY Card regional smartcard-based fare collection system along with Miami-Dade Transit. Purely paper tickets are also available for same-day or weekend use. A paper ticket or an EASY Card with a paper-based transfer receipt (created after a confirmed trip is completed) can be used to obtain transfer discounts when transferring to Broward County Transit as well as Palm Tran. However, only EASY Cards may be used to obtain a transfer discount when transferring to Miami-Dade Transit.[56][57][58]

Due to the route's success, Amtrak's Silver Meteor and Silver Star do not allow local travel between West Palm Beach and Miami. The two trains only stop to discharge passengers southbound and receive passengers northbound. This policy is in place to make seats on those two trains available for passengers making longer trips.

Fares and services

Tri-Rail fare is divided into six zones for 24-hour passes, ranging from $2.50 to $8.75, with fare calculated by the number of zones traveled through, and whether it is one-way or round trip. On weekends, a $5 all-day pass good for all zones is available, though trains run hourly headways. For frequent use, Tri-Rail offers a $110 monthly pass (good for Tri-Rail only) and a $155 regional monthly pass (good on Tri-Rail, Metrorail, and Metrobus). Discount fares are available for senior citizens, the disabled, students, and children under 12.[59] Certain businesses allow their employees to register for the Employer Discount Program, which reduces their fares by 25%.[12] Free parking is available at all Tri-Rail stations.[60] On weekdays, 50 train trips are made in all, with 25 in each direction, while on weekends only 30 trips, 15 north and 15 south, are made in all, with 1-hour headways between each train. While Tri-Rail peaks at speeds of 79 miles per hour (127 km/h), it can be extracted from the timetable and the distance of the line that its overall average speed is approximately 38 miles per hour (61 km/h).

Revenue and expense

For fiscal year 2010, train revenue was approximately $10.3 million.[61] Total operating expenses for fiscal year 2010, including depreciation expense, were approximately $86.9 million. Expenses increased by approximately $14.9 million or 20.7% when compared to fiscal year 2009.[61] 2010 was a low year for ridership after the economy crashed and there were service cuts. By 2015, ridership was about 25% higher.[62] By 2018, fare revenue was budgeted at $13.4 million, whereas operating expense was $119.8 million.[63]

Travel direction

The line has no turn around point so all trains will face one direction at all times. Locomotives will always face south. For this reason, Dual Operation Passenger Cabs are located on the opposite side of the train facing north. Trains will travel north in reverse and south forwards.

Stations

Schematic of rapid transit and passenger rail service in the Miami area in 2018. Tri-Rail's Downtown Miami Link (shown in pink) became operational on January 13, 2024.[30]

A typical station contains two tracks and two side platforms connected by an overpass. Most stations have large parking lots, however, some, like West Palm Beach and Hollywood have a limited number of spaces, most of which are reserved for Amtrak travelers.

Location Zone Station Time to
Pompano Beach
Year
opened
Connections
Mangonia Park 1 Mangonia Park 48 min 1998 Bus interchange Palm Tran: 21, 31, 33
West Palm Beach West Palm Beach 42 min 1925
Lake Worth Beach Lake Worth Beach 33 min 1989 Bus interchange Palm Tran: 61, 62
Boynton Beach 2 Boynton Beach 28 min Bus interchange Palm Tran: 70, 71, 73
Delray Beach Delray Beach 19 min 1991
Boca Raton 3 Boca Raton 13 min 1989
Deerfield Beach Deerfield Beach 6 min 1926
Pompano Beach Pompano Beach 1989 Bus interchange BCT: 34
Fort Lauderdale 4 Cypress Creek 8 min Bus interchange BCT: 14, 60, 62
Fort Lauderdale 15 min 1927
Dania Beach 5 Fort Lauderdale Airport 22 min 2000
Hollywood Sheridan Street 26 min 1996
Hollywood 30 min 1928
Miami-Dade 6 Golden Glades 39 min 1989
Opa-locka Opa-locka 45 min 1927
Hialeah Metrorail Transfer 52 min 1989
Hialeah Market 58 min Bus interchange Metrobus: 132
Miami Miami Airport 64 min 2012
MiamiCentral 72 min (transfer at Metrorail Transfer) 2018

Ridership

Tri-Rail and Metrorail Transfer Station is one of the busiest stations on the line and serves as a major transfer point between Tri-Rail and Miami-Dade Transit
Opa-locka features Moorish Revival architecture similar to historic buildings in Opa-locka.

Annual ridership averages

Date Passengers[64][65]
Annual total
% Change Passengers
Weekday average
1995 2,481,200 - N/A
1996 2,301,400 -7.2% 7,500
1997 2,377,700 +3.3% 8,000
1998 2,215,600 -6.8% 7,200
1999 2,180,000 +1.6% 7,300
2000 2,397,900 +10.0% 8,700
2001 2,543,604 +6.1% 8,500
2002 2,629,400 +3.4% 9,200
2003 2,755,300 +4.8% 9,200
2004 2,814,800 +2.2% 9,700
2005 2,619,900 -6.9% 8,500
2006 3,177,000 +21.3% 11,600
2007 3,502,500 +10.2% 12,600
2008 4,303,600 +22.9% 14,800
2009 3,789,700 -11.9% 12,400
2010 3,645,000 -3.8% 12,300
2011 3,947,900 +8.3% 13,300
2012 4,070,700 +3.1% 14,300
2013 4,350,782 +6.9% 14,800
2014 4,389,600 +1.0% 14,400
2015 4,292,705 -1.0% 13,900
2016 4,240,699[66] -1.0% 13,900
2017 4,287,400[67] +1.1% 13,900
2018 4,413,900[68] +2.9% 13,900
2019 4,505,100[69] +2.0% 13,900
2020 2,204,500 -51.1% 6,400

Ridership records

Tri-Rail posted its highest-paid daily ridership in the commuter-rail system's 24-year history on June 24, 2013. It transported 19,060 people, many of whom attended a "victory parade" for the Miami Heat, which won the 2013 National Basketball Association championship. Most trains operated at or near capacity, SFTRA officials said in a press release. Special four-car sets were operated to accommodate the anticipated overflow crowd.[70]

Previous Miami Heat victory parades resulted in high ridership counts for Tri-Rail, as well. On June 23, 2006, Tri-Rail transported 18,613 riders; and on June 25, 2012, the agency carried 18,355 passengers. In 2019, TriRail reached its highest annual ridership with 4.5 million riders.[69]

Rolling stock

This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources in this section. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (April 2019) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)

Locomotives

The service began with five F40PHL-2 diesel locomotives. Tri-Rail later took delivery of three F40PH-2C locomotives and two ex-Amtrak EMD F40PHRs (Now upgraded to 3C specifications and electronics). In 2006, six EMD GP49 locomotives were acquired from Norfolk Southern and were rebuilt by Mid America Car Company to the designation GP49H-3.[71]

On October 29, 2008, the Tri-Rail switched to biodiesel fuel with a goal of a 99-percent blend, when available.[72]

On February 25, 2011, Tri-Rail announced an order for ten Brookville BL36PH locomotives, with options for 13 more, from the Brookville Equipment Corporation at a cost of $109 million.[73] The purchase was met with criticism by the Florida Chamber of Commerce and state lawmakers, who claimed the bidding process was flawed. Rival bidder MotivePower filed a lawsuit against Tri-Rail, claiming that the bidding process was skewed in Brookville's favour.[73] Tri-Rail later added two more BL36PH locomotives to the order for a total of 12. As of 2015, all locomotives have been delivered and are used in regular service, allowing the F40PHL-2, F40PH-2C, and F40PH locomotives to be retired. However, in July 2018, all the F40PHM-2C and F40PHR locomotives were sent up to Progress Rail in Patterson, Georgia to be rebuilt and returned to service for use on the Coastal Link. They were returned from August 2020 to January 2021, and have been put back in service on the RTA mainline.

Passenger cars

Tri-Rail uses two types of passenger cars. Since the beginning of operations, the system has used 26 Bombardier BiLevel Coaches purchased new from Urban Transportation Development Corporation (even though they were delivered in GO Transit colors, the Tri-Rail cars were purchased new and never used or sold secondhand by GO, only leased by GO for a short period of time), a common model among Canadian and US commuter railroads, 11 with operating cabs and 15 without. Briefly, bi-level rolling stock from Colorado Railcar (4 DMU power coaches and 2 unpowered coaches) was used beginning in 2006.

In 2010, the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority agreed to purchase new rail cars from Hyundai Rotem for $95 million.[74] The first new car was put into service in March 2011. By late 2011, the 12 new locomotives and 24 new passenger cars had not yet been delivered, and the original cars, many over 30 years old, were falling into disrepair. This led to Tri-Rail often running two cars per train instead of three despite increasing ridership, leaving only standing room on many trains during rush hour.[75] By January 2013, all trains were again running with 3 cars, just as most of the Hyundai Rotem rail cars were delivered. In addition to decreased comfort but more reliability, the new cars provide additional safety with front and rear crumple zones designed to absorb energy in a crash.[74]

In 2015, three Bombardier coaches were renovated to include additional bicycle capacity. Cars 1002, 1006, and 1007 had one side of seating removed from the lower levels, which were in turn replaced by bike racks. These trains with special bike cars have the capacity to carry an additional 14 bicycles per train.

Diesel multiple units

In 2003, after receiving a grant from the Florida Department of Transportation, Tri-Rail contracted to purchase two pieces of rolling stock from Colorado Railcar: a self-propelled diesel multiple unit (DMU) prototype control car and unpowered bi-level coach entered regular service with Tri-Rail in October 2006. The new purpose-built railcars are larger than the Bombardier BiLevel Coaches, holding up to 188 passengers, with room for bicycles and luggage. Tri-Rail possessed four DMU control cars and two unpowered trailer cars. One DMU train usually consists of two DMU power cars at each end of a trailer coach (making for two complete DMU+trailer+DMU sets on the system). Throughout their short careers, the cars suffered from many mechanical issues. Because of this all the cars were placed in permanent storage in 2012. As of 2024, all the DMUs and trailers have been retired with 704, 7001, and 7002 sold to the Indiana Railway Museum for excursion train service and are now off the property.

Chart

Current fleet

Year built Make and model Road Nos. Number delivered Number in service Capacity Notes
Locomotives
1992 (Rebuilt 2020–21) M-K F40PHM-3C 807-809 3 3 3 crew Units rebuilt between 2016-2019. Re-entered service in May 2021.
1981 (Rebuilt 2020–21) EMD F40PHR-3C 810-811 2 2 Ex-Amtrak units acquired in 1997. Units rebuilt between 2016-2019. Re-entered service in May 2021.
1980 (Rebuilt 2006) EMD GP49H-3 812, 815, 816 6 3 Ex-NS GP49s. Locomotives were rebuilt and reclassified as GP49H-3 in 2006. Originally part of a larger fleet of GP49H-3 locomotives, numbered 812-817.
  • 813 was retired after a crash in January 2016.
  • 814 was retired after a mechanical failure and was then used as a parts source.
  • 817 was retired after a mechanical failure and is currently waiting final disposition.
  • As of July 2023, 813 and 814 have been sold to BUGX and are now off property.
  • Remaining units to be retired by 2025.
2013–15 Brookville BL36PH 818-829 12 12 Delivered from 2013 to 2015. All are in service.
  • 819 and 822 are wrapped in the new paint scheme.
Passenger coaches and cab cars
1987 UTDC Bi-Level Cab Car 501-506 6 6 136 and 3 crew Single-window half-width cab cars..
  • 503 is wrapped in the new paint scheme.
1987–1990 UTDC Bi-Level Passenger Coach 1001–1015 15 15 142 (trailer cars),
128 (bicycle cars)
All are now bicycle cars, with the exception of 1009 and 1015.
  • 1004 is wrapped in the new paint scheme.
1996 Bombardier Bi-Level Cab Car 507-508 5 2 136 and 3 crew Full-width cab cars with two front windows and washroom at B end of car. Originally part of a larger fleet of coaches, numbered 507-511.
  • 509 was retired after sustaining damage in a crash with a truck and is currently being used as a parts source.
  • 510 was severely damaged after colliding into garbage truck in 2016. However, it was repaired at Alstom’s plant in Hornell, New York and has returned to South Florida.
  • 511 is currently stored with a broken plow following a 2022 collision with an abandoned vehicle, but is scheduled to be repaired and returned to service by 2024.
2010–11 Hyundai Rotem Cab Car 512-521 10 9 140 and 3 crew In service since 2013. Briefly banned from leading following the failure of an inspection in 2019.
  • 513, 518, and 521 are wrapped in the new paint scheme.
  • 517 is stored with damage caused by a collision with a car.
  • 519 is stored for unknown reasons.
Hyundai Rotem Passenger Coach 1101–1114 14 14 146 Entered service from 2011 to 2013, and all are currently active.
  • 1101, 1102, and 1104 are wrapped in the new paint scheme.

Former fleet

Year built Make and model Road Nos. Quantity Capacity Notes
Locomotives
1968 (Rebuilt 1988) M-K F40PHL-2 801-805 5 3 crew Rebuilt from CR GP40 locomotives using BN F45 parts in 1988. Retired in 2015.
  • 802, 803, and 805 were sold to BUGX and are stored in St. Marys, Georgia awaiting scrapping.
  • 801 and 804 were sold to Motive Power and Equipment Solutions[a] and rebuilt into F40NG’s for the D&SNG.
1980 (Rebuilt 2006) EMD GP49H-3 813-814, 817 3 Ex-NS GP49s. Locomotives were rebuilt and reclassified as GP49H-3 in 2006, alongside the currently-active 812, 815, and 816.
  • 813 was retired after a crash in January 2016 which burned its engine.
  • 814 was retired after a mechanical failure in 2015.
  • 817 was retired after a mechanical failure in 2023 and is currently being used as a parts source.
  • As of July 2023, 813 and 814 have been sold to BUGX and are now off property.
Passenger coaches and cab cars
1996 Bombardier Bi-Level Cab Car 509-511 3 136 and 3 crew Full-width cab cars with two front windows and washroom at B end of car. Built alongside the active 507 and 508. 509 is stored with damage to its left front following a 2019 train vs truck collision, 510 was shipped out for repair after a collision with a garbage truck that bent its frame and has yet to be returned, and 511 is also stored with a broken plow following a 2022 collision with an abandoned vehicle.
Diesel multiple units
2002 Colorado Railcar Single-Level DMU Demo 702 1 73 and 3 crew Formerly Colorado Railcar #2002; brought by Tri-Rail, repainted, and given a new number in 2004. It is now stored in Pueblo, Colorado.
2005–09 Colorado Railcar Bi-Level DMU 703-706 4 165 and 3 crew All were retired in 2012 due to reliability issues, left Tri-Rail in August 2023. 704 Sold to Indiana Railway Museum and was delivered in March 2024.
2005–07 Colorado Railcar Bi-Level Trailer Coach 7001-7002 2 182 Large double-decker coaches that usually transited with two DMUs. Sold to Indiana Railway Museum and were delived in March 2024.

Accidents and incidents

On January 4, 2016, a passenger train collided with a garbage truck which had broken down on a grade crossing at Lake Worth Beach station and was derailed. Twenty-two people were injured.[78] This marked the first derailment in almost 27 years of operation.

On January 28, 2016, Tri-Rail suffered their second derailment in Pompano Beach, after a train hit debris on the tracks between the Cypress Creek and Pompano Beach stations. This section of track is also where Tri-Rail is allowed to go its fastest speed, 79 MPH. One injury was reported and GP49H-3 locomotive #813 and a Bombardier BiLevel Coach directly behind it came off the rail.[79]

On October 25, 2019, a northbound Tri-Rail train led by Bombardier cabcar #509 hit a semitruck in Oakland Park. Several people were injured, and cabcar 509 was sidelined after the incident.[80]

On August 19, 2020 at Deerfield Beach, GP49H-3 locomotive 816 was caught on fire and its passengers from the train were safely evacuated. No injuries were reported.[81]

On August 27, 2022, a northbound Tri-Rail train hit a vehicle left on the tracks in Fort Lauderdale. 6 people were taken to the hospital with minor injuries. The train was partially derailed as a result of the impact. [82]

See also

References

  1. ^ A former locomotive builder in Greenville, South Carolina.[76][77] This company is not to be confused with MotivePower, Inc..
  1. ^ "Transit Ridership Report Fourth Quarter 2023" (PDF). American Public Transportation Association. March 4, 2024. Retrieved March 14, 2024.
  2. ^ "Transit Ridership Report Fourth Quarter 2023" (PDF). American Public Transportation Association. March 4, 2024. Retrieved March 14, 2024.
  3. ^ "Tri-Rail Train Schedule". July 9, 1997. Archived from the original on July 9, 1997. Retrieved November 8, 2021.
  4. ^ "MI-Miami Sub – The RadioReference Wiki". wiki.radioreference.com. Retrieved May 22, 2020.
  5. ^ Downing, R.R. (January 1, 2005). "CSX Transportation|Jacksonville Division Timetable No. 4" (PDF). multimodalways.org. Retrieved May 22, 2020.
  6. ^ 3,000 a day ride Tri-Rail trains Railway Age February 1989 page 24
  7. ^ "TRI-RAIL South Florida's Commuter Rail System". GetCruising.com. Retrieved November 10, 2011.
  8. ^ "Tri-Rail's hardtimes WTVJ 1990". WJTV/YouTube. Retrieved December 2, 2011.
  9. ^ a b c "Officials seek public input on new transit option along FEC tracks". Sun-Sentinel. September 16, 2010. Archived from the original on September 21, 2010. Retrieved November 14, 2011.
  10. ^ Gibson, William E. (April 10, 2001). "Tri-Rail gets boost in U.S. budget shortfall: Bush's budget proposal leaves Everglades projects out $58 million". Sun-Sentinel. Retrieved December 2, 2011.
  11. ^ Turnbell, Michael (June 20, 2002). "Tri-rail Upgrade To Speed Service". Sun-Sentinel. Archived from the original on February 4, 2014. Retrieved December 1, 2011.
  12. ^ a b "Now we can get you to work faster..." (PDF). SFRTA. Retrieved January 12, 2012.
  13. ^ "Gov. Rick Scott raps Tri-Rail while rejecting high-speed rail funding". Politifact. March 1, 2011. Retrieved December 29, 2018.
  14. ^ "I-95 express lane construction comes to Broward starting Nov. 28". Sun-Sentinel. Archived from the original on February 3, 2013. Retrieved November 23, 2011.
  15. ^ "Veolia gets Tri-Rail contract extension". Railway Age. August 30, 2013.
  16. ^ "We can't let Tri-Rail close!". CNN. June 7, 2009. Archived from the original on April 21, 2010. Retrieved November 28, 2011.
  17. ^ Polansky, Risa (April 2, 2009). "Tri-Rail may be forced to cut half its weekday routes, eliminate weekend service". Miami Today News. Retrieved November 28, 2011.
  18. ^ a b "Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, Fiscal Year Ended June 30, 2013" (PDF). South Florida Regional Transportation Authority. December 12, 2013. Retrieved June 12, 2014.
  19. ^ Salisbury, Susan (December 9, 2011). "Driving on the decline as gas prices remain above $3 a gallon". Palm Beach Post. Retrieved December 9, 2011.
  20. ^ Turnbell, Michael (January 12, 2012). "Tri-Rail's ridership soars in 2011". Sun-Sentinel. Archived from the original on February 3, 2013. Retrieved January 12, 2012.
  21. ^ Turnbell, Michael (November 27, 2011). "New Pompano Beach Tri-Rail station will be solar-powered". Sun-Sentinel. Archived from the original on March 3, 2016. Retrieved November 28, 2011.
  22. ^ Turnbell, Michael (November 25, 2011). "Rough railroad crossing in Pompano Beach irks jostled drivers". Sun-Sentinel. Archived from the original on July 23, 2013. Retrieved December 1, 2011.
  23. ^ Smiley, David (April 11, 2015). "Push to build Miami Tri-Rail station driven by desire as much as data". Miami Herald. Retrieved April 14, 2015.
  24. ^ "The trains are too long. The platform is too short. Bad news for the new station". Miami Herald. January 29, 2017. Retrieved January 30, 2017.
  25. ^ Turnbell, Michael (April 5, 2015). "Tri-Rail opens Miami airport station". Sun-Sentinel. Retrieved April 5, 2015.
  26. ^ a b c "Massive Tri-Rail deal approved after bids tossed, warnings issued". Miami Herald. January 27, 2017. Retrieved January 30, 2017.
  27. ^ "Game-changing grant bringing Tri-Rail one-third new locomotives, cars". Miami Today. May 9, 2023. Retrieved May 10, 2023.
  28. ^ Dech, David. "From the Desk of David W. Dech – April 2023". Retrieved April 18, 2023.
  29. ^ Mackey, Ryan (April 18, 2023). "Tri-Rail trains will soon get a new look". WPLG. Retrieved April 18, 2023.
  30. ^ a b Beyer, Brandon; Quintana, Julian; Rosario, Rubén (January 12, 2024). "Grand opening ceremony held for Tri-Rail service into downtown Miami". WSVN. Sunbeam Television. Retrieved January 13, 2024.
  31. ^ "Initial service plan will be a dedicated train between Metrorail Transfer and MiamiCentral". Twitter. March 23, 2023. Retrieved March 24, 2023.
  32. ^ "Won't need to pay for another fare, and direct service between Transfer station and downtown". Twitter. March 24, 2023. Retrieved March 24, 2023.
  33. ^ "SFRTA begins testing Tri-Rail trains on FEC Tracks". www.masstransitmag.com. June 20, 2023. Retrieved June 20, 2023.
  34. ^ "Tri-Rail Downtown Miami Link Service". Tri Rail. Southern Florida Regional Transportation Authority. Retrieved November 21, 2019.
  35. ^ Streeter, Angel (January 4, 2011). "Second Tri-Rail station in Boca Raton proposed". Sun-Sentinel. Archived from the original on February 3, 2013. Retrieved January 4, 2011.
  36. ^ Latzman, Philip D. (April 7, 2015). "As ridership increases, Boca Raton embraces train travel". Sun-Sentinel. Retrieved August 19, 2016.
  37. ^ Streeter, Angel (May 11, 2014). "New Boca Raton Tri-Rail station on the horizon". Sun-Sentinel. Archived from the original on July 1, 2017. Retrieved August 19, 2016.
  38. ^ "Tri-Rail Open WJTV". WJTV/YouTube. 1989. Retrieved November 27, 2011.
  39. ^ "Miami Downtown Development Authority hashing out plans to bring Tri-Rail downtown". Miami Today News. October 29, 2009. Retrieved February 27, 2011.
  40. ^ "S. FL Freight and Passenger Rail Enhancement Project". Florida Department of Transportation. Retrieved August 24, 2017.
  41. ^ "Tri-Rail sets date to launch long-planned service to downtown Miami". Trains. January 5, 2024. Retrieved January 6, 2024.
  42. ^ "Tri-Rail Coastal Link Project Update" (PDF). Tri-Rail Coastal Link. Archived from the original (PDF) on August 25, 2017. Retrieved November 9, 2023.
  43. ^ a b Barszewski, Larry. "Difficult track ahead for coastal commuter rail". Sun Sentinel. Retrieved August 24, 2017.
  44. ^ Lyons, David (November 8, 2019). "Waiting for Tri-Rail to run through downtowns? Don't hold your breath". Sun Sentinel. Retrieved November 12, 2019.
  45. ^ "Tri-Rail Coastal Link System Map" (PDF). Tri-Rail Coastal Link. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 19, 2015. Retrieved November 9, 2023.
  46. ^ "Brightline in talks with Miami-Dade to run commuter-rail line, report says". Progressive Railroading. May 29, 2020. Retrieved May 31, 2020.
  47. ^ Price-Williams, Abigail. "Memorandum" (PDF). Miami Dade County. Retrieved May 31, 2020.
  48. ^ "Brightline close to county deal on commuter tracks. Next up: Fights over stations". Miami Herald. Retrieved September 25, 2020.
  49. ^ McCaughan, Sean (August 6, 2015). "What if Tri-Rail Extended All the Way to Homestead?". Curbed Miami. Retrieved April 21, 2023.
  50. ^ https://www.miamidadetpo.org/library/studies/csx-corridor-evaluation-study-final-2009-08.pdf
  51. ^ a b Gothner, Chris (April 20, 2023). "To tackle traffic, Miami-Dade officials consider new people movers, trains". WPLG. Retrieved April 21, 2023.
  52. ^ "Gears shifting from buses to rail for East-West Transit corridor". Miami Today. April 18, 2023. Retrieved April 21, 2023.
  53. ^ Hanks, Douglas (April 21, 2023). "Could western, southern commuters get a rail option? Miami-Dade revives 836 train idea". Miami Herald. Retrieved April 23, 2023.
  54. ^ "CSX Transportation, Inc.-Discontinuance of Service Exemption-in Miami-Dade County, Fla". Surface Transportation Board. Retrieved June 27, 2019.
  55. ^ Turnbell, Michael (April 6, 2015). "Tri-Rail falters in first week of dispatching". Sun-Sentinel. Retrieved April 13, 2015.
  56. ^ "rider_info/fare_information". tri-rail.com. Retrieved April 7, 2017.
  57. ^ "rider_info/transfer_info". tri-rail.com. Retrieved April 7, 2017.
  58. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on February 16, 2012. Retrieved February 29, 2012.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  59. ^ "Calculating Your Fare". Tri-Rail. Retrieved October 28, 2013.
  60. ^ "Save Money on Holiday Travel by Riding Tri-Rail to Airports Across South Florida". prweb.com. Retrieved December 4, 2011.
  61. ^ a b "South Florida Regional Transportation Authority Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, Fiscal Year Ended June 30, 2010" (PDF). SFRTA.
  62. ^ Smiley, David (April 11, 2015). "Push to build Miami Tri-Rail station driven by desire as much as data". Miami Herald. Retrieved April 12, 2015.
  63. ^ https://media.tri-rail.com/Files/About/SFRTA/Resources/Financials/Operating/Complete%20PDF%20FY%202019-2020%20Operating%20Budget.pdf[bare URL PDF]
  64. ^ "2002-2007 Annual Ridership through March 31, 2007" (PDF). SFRTA. Retrieved December 11, 2011.
  65. ^ Kittelson & Associates (August 2007). "Performance Measurement Evaluation" (PDF). SFRTA. Retrieved December 11, 2011.
  66. ^ "Annual Update Final Draft" (PDF).
  67. ^ https://ti.org/pdfs/2017-Q4-Ridership-APTA.pdf&ved=2ahUKEwi6jq_wysbpAhUBvp4KHQ4lAGwQFjAGegQIAhAB&usg=AOvVaw0iP1Ehgb5Wi9FyXE0CHqiA[dead link]
  68. ^ https://www.apta.com/wp-content/uploads/2018-Q4-Ridership-APTA.pdf&ved=2ahUKEwjXorbg8MbpAhWLvp4KHSgTDNMQFjACegQIAxAB&usg=AOvVaw3zy8tDw-Nrwdr4s-sREYIM[dead link]
  69. ^ a b https://www.apta.com/wp-content/uploads/2019-Q4-Ridership-APTA.pdf&ved=2ahUKEwiUrpeOkMjpAhWSJzQIHRcmCjQQFjAEegQIBBAK&usg=AOvVaw2Uwd3rFLsZ9LeH_rk_7YT0[dead link]
  70. ^ "Tri-Rail scores record daily ridership due to Miami Heat parade". SFRTA/Progressive Railroading. June 2013. Retrieved June 26, 2013.
  71. ^ Tri-Rail takes on rare GP49s Trains April 2007 page 29
  72. ^ "South Florida Regional Transportation Authority". Sfrta.fl.gov. Retrieved February 27, 2011.
  73. ^ a b "$109 Million Tri-Rail Contract Awarded After Challenge". Sunshine State News. February 25, 2011. Archived from the original on March 12, 2011. Retrieved February 27, 2011.
  74. ^ a b Turnbell, Michael (January 5, 2013). "Tri-Rail gets new, safer passenger cars". Sun Sentinel. Archived from the original on July 2, 2013. Retrieved May 9, 2013.
  75. ^ "Tri-Rail faces more challenges than crowded cars". Sun-Sentinel. December 2, 2011. Archived from the original on February 3, 2013. Retrieved December 2, 2011.
  76. ^ Hawes, Clarissa (February 25, 2022). "Rail equipment provider files Chapter 7, cites 'cash flow issues'". FreightWaves. Retrieved December 29, 2023.
  77. ^ "Railroad Locomotives for Sale - MP&ES". Motive Power & Equipment Solutions, Inc. Archived from the original on March 9, 2021. Retrieved December 29, 2023.((cite web)): CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  78. ^ Sutton, Scott; Noce, Christina; Sarann, Gabrielle (January 4, 2016). "Tri-Rail hits garbage truck in Lake Worth; 22 people suffer minor injuries". WPTV. Archived from the original on January 7, 2016. Retrieved January 5, 2016.
  79. ^ "Delays expected after Tri-Rail train derailment in Pompano Beach". WSVN-TV – 7NEWS. January 28, 2016. Archived from the original on January 29, 2016. Retrieved November 16, 2016.
  80. ^ "Several Injured In Tri-Rail Collision With Semi-Truck In Oakland Park". CBS Miami 4 News. CBS Miami 4. October 25, 2019. Retrieved May 8, 2022.
  81. ^ "Tri-Rail train evacuated after engine catches fire in Deerfield Beach". YouTube. WPLG Local 10. Retrieved July 17, 2022.
  82. ^ "6 sent to hospital after Tri-Rail train slams into abandoned vehicle, partially derails". WPLG Local 10. August 27, 2022. Retrieved August 27, 2022.
KML is from Wikidata