Florida rail director leaves for Qatar

The probability of high-speed rail being developed in Florida has gotten so low that the state’s Rail Enterprise director is leaving the country.

The St. Petersburg Times reported late Monday that Florida Rail Enterprise Chief Operating Officer Nazih Haddad sent an e-mail to friends announcing he had taken a job with Qatar Railways Co.

He'll be responsible for working on a $26 billion light rail, high-speed rail combination that is being built in anticipation of the Arab nation hosting the World Cup in 2022.

Rail supporters in Florida are holding out hope that a group of cities can compete with other states now preparing applications for $2.4 billion in federal money for a Tampa to Orlando railway that was rejected by Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R).

The subject of Haddad's e-mail announcing he was leaving the Florida Department of Transportation after more than 30 years was "Time to Move on."

Here's the Times's Janet Zink's story on Haddad's resignation.