This morning the Tampa City Council rejected a proposal to have the Florida Department of Transportation apply for federal funds to study extending the Tampa-Orlando high speed rail line to Tampa's International Airport.
The 70 minute long discussion featured several speakers who told the Council that they did not believe it was viable to extend high speed rail to TIA, but instead support having a light rail link go there.
City Council woman Mary Mulhern, who has single handedly been a force in driving the discussion about getting funds to study the possible link, challenged those speakers, such as TIA interim director John Wheat and Ed Turanchik, currently a consultant with an agency working with the FDOT on the rail line, saying there has never been a definitive study to determine whether or not it in fact was viable.
Mulhern began the discussion by calling it "astonishing" that in the 26 year history of high speed rail in Florida, it had never been studied.
Turanchik said in his remarks that the high speed rail technology didn't lend itself to going to TIA, mentioning the size and speed of the trains and the "curvature" that is also demanded. He also said that the high speed rail in Tampa, in being located close to downtown, would be a boon for development around the area, something that because of height restrictions and the like could not happen at the airport.