SunRail, Brightline May Come Together to Extend Rail Service
The possibility of high-speed rail connection to Walt Disney World from Orlando International Airport continues to provoke talks at the local, state, and federal levels. According to U.S. Representative Darren Soto (D-Kissimmee), plans to utilize both SunRail and Brightline to make the dream into a reality took a huge step forward today.
“.@RideSunRail /@GoBrightline deal reached! Connects workers & tourists from Sunrail to @MCO, @Disney @UniversalORL @SeaWorld & I-Drive & Brightline to Tampa. Proud to support grants to keep Central Florida moving!” Soto posted this afternoon on Twitter.
According to an Orlando Sentinel report yesterday though, plans need to move along in order to take advantage of much needed funding. Soto specifically mentioned the need for urgency in order for plans to take advantage of federal funding. The rail work would greatly benefit from funds about to be allocated this summer as part of the Infrastructure bill.
Proud to support grants to keep Central Florida moving! https://t.co/vVHUGYgDaY
— Rep. Darren Soto (@RepDarrenSoto) April 6, 2022
The Possible SunRail/Brightline Connection
In the Sentinel article, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer discusses how the new option for rail service would extend the existing SunRail service. SunRail already serves a 49-mile long route that runs north to south. The proposal would take SunRail east and west, connecting Orlando to Walt Disney World and eventually Tampa. According to the piece, Dyer called the proposal the “Sunshine Corridor Program,” with trains hopefully arriving at Orlando International Airport every 15 minutes. The plan would involve Brightline leasing its tracks for use by SunRail as well as allow Brightline to create their own tracks to connect Tampa to “the most magical place on Earth.”
“This is the type of big vision project that Central Florida needs and one that will improve the quality of life for Central Floridians while ensuring an economic advantage for decades,” said Brightline spokeswoman Christine Kefauver in the recent Sentinel article. Now, those involved in planning must prepare their proposals for those important federal funds.
Feature Image Credit: All Aboard Florida