Posts Tagged ‘Orlando’

Brightline Orlando Line 45% Done

November 27, 2020

Brightline said its line to Orlando is about 45 percent completed.

The route is expected to be completed in 2022 and will link with the carrier’s current northern terminus in West Palm Beach.

An Orlando station facility is about a quarter completed. It is expected to have 109,000 square feet of space.

Brightline may share 28 miles of tracks in the Orlando area with commuter railroad SunRail, which would enable Brightline to reach Walt Disney World while allowing SunRail to serve the Orlando airport.

Although Brightline hopes to eventually  create an extension to Tampa, it has yet to reach an agreement for a lease of right-of-way with the Florida Department of Transportation, Orlando Utilites Commission, and the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority.

Supreme Court Declines to Take Case in Florida County’s Bid to Block Brightline Extension

October 10, 2020

The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the county’s appeal of an appellate court decision that gave Brightline the approval to use tax-exempt private activity bonds to fund construction of a line to Orlando.

Local news reports said the court’s decision not to take the case was expected, but county officials made the appeal because they felt they had to exhaust every opportunity to try and block the rail expansion.

The county has spend $3.8 million in public money since 2014 fighting the line extension and local residents donated $200,000 to help finance the case.

Brightline spokesman Ben Porritt said in a statement that the high court’s decision “closes out the county’s repeated and baseless attempt to disrupt our efforts of connecting Florida by passenger rail.”

Virgin to Start Laying Rails in January

November 27, 2019

Virgin Rails USA had told an Orlando news outlet that is will begin laying rails in January 2020 for its extension from West Palm Beach to Orlando, Florida.

The carrier said it will begin construction in February 2020 of a $70 million, 138,000 square foot maintenance center that it said will create 160 new jobs.

The 170-mile line to Orland will have 55 bridges that will cost $35 million apiece. Virgin projects that each bridge will take 12 to 30 months to build.

“Obviously our goal is to maximize mobility for the Central and South Florida communities,” said Virgin Trains USA CEO Patrick Goddard said. “We are looking at stations. We are in a dialogue with the Treasure Coast, we are in a dialogue with the Space Coast. We would like to see stations every 50 to 60 miles. I think that’s feasible and reasonable to have an express train service so we will continue to pursue to update those as we make progress.”

Virgin said the steel being used in construction of the line is being purchased from American Steel in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Approximately 1,000 will be employed to build the line.

Goddard said before building west of Orlando International Airport that Virgin must reach an agreement on a lease from the Central Florida Expressway Authority and the Florida Department of Transportation.

Virgin plans to build along existing highways between Orlando and Tampa.

Brightline to Create Station for Orlando Tourists

January 29, 2019

Tourists will be the primary beneficiary of a station that Brightline plans to develop in Orlando.

The idea behind the concept is to cater to those traveling to Orlando’s theme parks.

Brightlight has not yet said where the station will be located but in documents submitted to the Florida Department of Transportation the carrier hinted that it might create a connection with SunRail, a commuter service in Orlando, and create a station in Lakeland.

Brightline has also indicated an interest in creating a stop for Disney World.

“On our way to Tampa we will likely have a station somewhere around theme parks in Orlando and we think that’s going to be a great thing for our partnership with the Tampa airport,” said Bob O’Malley, Brightline’s vice president of governmental affairs.

Service to Tampa is expected to begin in 2021. Brightline is in the process of transitioning to the Virgin Rail brand.

Brightline Gets OK to Seek Land Lease

December 4, 2018

Brightline has received a green light from the Florida Department of Transportation to seek a lease of land to be used for a proposed Orland-Tampa intercity rail service route.

The private passenger carrier will have 90 days to negotiate the lease with the Central Florida Expressway Authority for land adjacent to Interstate 4.

Brightline was the only company that submitted a proposal to the state to operate a rail passenger service between the two cities, which are 88 miles apart.

The right of way will be 44 feet wide footprint and would extend from Orlando International Airport through Osceola and Polk counties to downtown Tampa.

Intermediate stations would be established in Celebration and Lakeland, Florida.

The passenger carrier must also hold talks with utilities, local land owners and leaders of local communities along the route.

Amtrak’s Silver Star currently provides service between Orlando and Tampa.