Proposed Chicago-Florida passenger train route bypasses Tampa

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Amtrak's Silver Star line departing for Miami: By Josh Holton (5/13/23)

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A proposed passenger train route from Chicago to Miami would potentially bypass Tampa’s Union Station, and transit advocates are calling for Tampa to be included.

The Chicago-Miami passenger rail route was included in the Amtrak Daily Long-Distance Service Study’s Proposed Network of Preferred Routes. The route would have Florida stops in Jacksonville, Orlando, and Miami.

“We noticed there were these amazing routes all over the country, especially the one from Chicago to Florida, and then we looked closely, and we realized they were bypassing Tampa,”

Brandie Miklus is the president of Friends of Tampa Union Station. The nonprofit advocates for the station. Union Station currently has service from New York to Miami, with one train northbound and one train southbound per day.

The group posted about the proposal on social media, and received overwhelming feedback.

“The simple message is: Tampa wants Amtrak. Tampa wants more passenger rail service, they want to be connected to other areas of the country.”

The Federal Railroad Administration told WMNF that the route is only “conceptual”, and in its very early stages.

Both the FRA and Miklus encouraged Tampa residents to provide feedback on the proposed plan.

You can submit your comments to FRA by email: [email protected].

Public comments are open until March 8th.

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