Treasure Coast Essay
Mon March 24, 2014
Hear that lonesome whistle blow
Are you old enough and country enough to remember this Hank Williams classic? “I heard that lo-oh-oh-ohn-some whistle blow.” People on the Treasure Coast wonder if they will hear that lo-oh-oh-ohn-some whistle blow 32 times a day as high-speed passenger trains streak by. A business called All Aboard Florida -- affiliated with Florida East Coast Railroad – wants to start a passenger service between Miami and Orlando. Sixteen trains in each direction every day at speeds up to 110 miles an hour. Trip will take three hours. Trains will stop only in Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach – not in Stuart, Fort Pierce, Vero Beach or any other place north of West Palm. As it approaches a crossing, a train must sound its horn – TOOT-TOOT-TOOOOOOT -- unless the crossing is secured so that a motorist cannot dodge around the gates. In which case the approach qualifies as a “quiet zone.” No TOOT-TOOT-TOOOOOT required. And who will pay to secure a crossing and make the approach a “quiet zone?” The local government, of course, maybe with help from the state and the feds. Will we be hearing that lo-oh-oh-ohn-some whistle blow? We may know-oh-oh by late next year. For 88.9 FM, this is Paul Janensch.