Posts Tagged ‘Amtrak in Miami’

Remembering Amtrak’s SDP40Fs

April 17, 2017

Amtrak first new diesel motive power was the SDP40F locomotive built by EMD and which took to the rails in June 1973 between Chicago and Los Angeles.

The big cowl units also initially pulled trains between Chicago and Houston, and on some segments of the route of the Empire Builder.

Amtrak bought 150 of the locomotives and between 1974 and the late ’70s they were ubiquitous on the point of long-distance trains. They also were assigned to some corridor service during that period of time.

Some railroads thought the SDP40F was derailment prone and didn’t want them on their rails. By the late 1970s, E units had made a comeback on some routes, particularly on Conrail, and the SDP40Fs were traded in for new F40PHs.

One of the last strongholds for the SDP40F was between Washington and Florida where they continued to pull trains through the early 1980s.

In this photograph above, it is Dec. 13, 1979, at the Amtrak station in Miami. I am waiting to board the northbound Silver Star and I took the opportunity to photograph No. 645 from the platform.

It would be the last time that I saw an SDP40F in revenue service still wearing the Phase I paint scheme that is still a favorite of mine.

Miami Amtrak Station Platform Built Too Short

January 30, 2017

The opening of Amtrak’s new station near Miami International Airport is not only late, but it has a size problem.

The platform is too short to accommodate the length of the Amtrak trains that will use it.

Amtrak 4Officials in the Florida Department of Transportation say that an engineering error in designing the platform means that the Miami Intermodal Center will not open until late 2017.

“FDOT is in the process of finalizing an operations and maintenance agreement with Amtrak to provide their passenger service at the MIC Central Station,” said FDOT spokesperson Ivette Ruiz-Paz in an email to the Miami Herald.

Ruiz-Paz said Amtrak will continue to use its Hialeah station for the New York-Miami Silver Star and Silver Meteor.

The design error means that the platform at the station is short by about 200 feet. Trains would be forced to block Northwest 25th Street.

Officials say the error was the result of confusion between FDOT and Amtrak. The designers were expecting shorter trains than Amtrak typically operates on the route.

Rather than extend or rebuild the platform, FDOT has decided to live with trains blocking 25th Street and reconfigure nearby streets to accommodate traffic detours.

“A crossing has been developed and constructed from NW 28th St. connecting to NW 37th Ave.,” Ruiz-Paz said. “Other roadway elements have also been added to improve connectivity to the infrastructure.”

Amtrak is one of four rail services at the Miami Intermodal Center, or MIC.

Also using it will be Metrorail, Tri-Rail and the elevated trains to the airport.  There will also be bus terminal and rental car center.