Port Canaveral hoping to use trains to expand cargo business

By Jerry Hume, Brevard County Reporter
Last Updated: Wednesday, May 21, 2014, 6:53 AM EDT

The Canaveral Port Authority is hoping to use trains to help grow its cargo business.

The Port Authority will brief community members this week on a plan to bring rail to Port Canaveral.

They said connecting rail to Port Canaveral will create 5,000 jobs within five to seven years and up to 15,000 jobs in 10 to 15 years.

It’s why the port is trying to move forward with the $65 million on-dock rail program.

The port is hoping to grow its already growing cargo business by allowing shippers to dock on the Northside cargo area and transporting its goods by freight train to the Florida East Coast Railway.

But in order to do so, the port will have to use 17 miles of track inside the Kennedy Space Center and extend them 11 miles to the port.

Because of security issues, NASA is hesitant but cooperating with the proposal.

It could take some time to get rail connectivity as the port works with NASA over the plan.

In the meantime, the port is looking at using barges to haul cargo to the Florida East Coast Railroad near South Titusville.

Port Canaveral is hosting a Community Awareness Rail Briefing Thursday at the Maritime Center, located inside the Commission Chambers at 445 Challenger Road.

Two sessions will be held at 9 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.

The public is invited to attend.