USA: Florida East Coast Industries Inc has announced that it is to produce an 'investment grade' ridership study for a $1bn privately owned, operated and maintained inter-city passenger service carrying business travellers and tourists between Miami and Orlando.

Revealing outline plans for All Aboard Florida on March 22, property and railway company FECI said the target launch date is 2014. FECI would own and operate the line, and 'Florida's taxpayers will have no ongoing construction or operating risks'.

The 380 km route would connect Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and Orlando, using a 320 km route between Miami and Cocoa which belongs to FECI's Florida East Coast Railway subsidiary. A further 60 km of new track would provide the link to Orlando.

Journey times would be around 3 h and frequent services would run throughout the day.

FECI says that eventually the system could eventually be extended to serve Tampa and Jacksonville.