Just the Facts: Canaveral Rail Resources

As you are probably aware, I've been doing a lot of research on the Canaveral Port Authority and its plan to erect an 11-mile commercial railway through the Banana River Lagoon and Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. As the discussion heats up and more Space Coast residents are becoming interested I wanted to put together a summary of the information that's out there, and what it contains. Click on the blue links and they'll take you where you want to go. If you have any issues with links not working, please contact me at ted@tedlund.com.

Canaveral Port Authority

The Port's website is a great resource for what meetings are scheduled, as well as current and future plans for the Port like the projected fourth turning basin that is planned to extend into 50 acres of submerged bay bottom in the northern Banana River No Motor Zone (scroll down to Cruise Master Planning.) You can find all of the Port Commissioner's biographies and email addresses. Their phone numbers are not listed on the website. 


This is the contract that was negotiated in secrecy with Gulftainer by the CPA under the name Project Pelican. It was negotiated and executed without any public input and guarantees operational rail by time certain dates (June 1, 2015 for rail-to-barge and Dec. 1, 2017 for direct cargo rail.)

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This is the company that started it all; GULFTAINERUSA, a wholly-owned subsidiary of UAE-owned GULFTAINER negotiated a secret, no-bid contract with the Canaveral Port Authority that guarantees rail by barge on or about June 1, 2015 with direct rail service to follow on or about Dec. 1, 2017. The contract was executed on June 23, 2014. This is the only facility that GULFTAINER operates in North America, and is considered key by them to continue their 12 percent annual growth of cargo capacity.

The National Surface Transportation Board (STB)

This website was set up by the STB and is important, because this is where the CPA sends people with questions about the Rail Project with the caveat that this is "the most current and update information on file" regarding the project. The STB is a federal board with broad oversight and exemption privileges, and can countermand virtually any government entity when permitting rail projects. It is charged with conducting the Environmental Impact Statement that will identify all of the challenges that the CPA must overcome to build its rail.

You can find the scoping comments and other documents that the STB is currently evaluating in putting a draft EIS together here. It's an interesting place. Here you'll find:

Former CPA Commissioner Sue Ford's Petition to Stop the Rail

Stop the Canaveral Rail Petition. Former Port Commissioner Sue Ford is no stranger to the spotlight. A firebrand during her time in office, Ford has been one of the most outspoken critics of the CPA in general, most recently regarding the expansion of cargo and rail.