Today, Brightline launched passenger rail service between Miami and Orlando, the fastest passenger rail service in the U.S. outside of the Northeast. Brightline will offer 16 round trips a day on the 235-mile corridor, with the trip taking about 3 1/2 hours, and...
As the first privately held intercity passenger railroad in the U.S. in nearly 40 years, Brightline is creating a model for offering better train service around the country.
On Tuesday, it announced the Sunshine Corridor, a change in the track alignment from Orlando International Airport to Disney Springs. This new alignment, which incorporates a new station at the Orange County Convention Center (OCCC), serves a busy tourist area and job center anchored by Universal Orlando Resort.
This alignment will connect three of the biggest economic centers in Central Florida with frequent train service. The previous route went south of Orlando, avoiding the crowded tourism area for a more direct route to Disney Springs. The new alignment will likely run either in the middle of I-4 or east of the expressway, meaning the Disney station must be moved. But the plan is to have the new station as close as possible to Walt Disney Resort.
How did we get here and what’s next?
The Sunshine Corridor option has been discussed for several years, at the request of a coalition of local businesses and individuals. Universal, which has played a large role in facilitating the change, is donating 13 acres of land for the OCCC station and said it would support up to $125 million in private activity bonds towards the project. Universal and other partners will also contribute to, and collectively guarantee, $13 million in annual ticket sales for the Sunshine Corridor. That’s the estimated operating cost for year-round operation of the corridor.
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