Virgin Trains has officially broken ground on the country’s largest privately funded infrastructure project to expand passenger rail service to Orlando.
The company is developing 170 miles of new track into the completed intermodal facility located in the new South Terminal at the Orlando International Airport as part of phase 2 of its expansion into Central Florida. The project encompasses four zones including the area of the Orlando International Airport and the Virgin Trains Maintenance Facility. It will use 225 million pounds of American steel, will include the laying of 490,000 ties, and the transporting of 2.35 million tons of granite and limestone by 20,000 railcars.
Service is expected to begin in 2022, with Virgin Trains projecting over six million annual riders in Florida and $6.4 billion in direct economic impact. The project between South and Central Florida will generate more than 10,000 jobs and over $650 million in federal, state, and local tax revenue over an eight year period.
Check out the Orlando Virgin Trains groundbreaking event video
The Intermodal Terminal Facility at Orlando International Airport comprises 1.3 million sf of terminal space accommodating the airport’s South Airport Automated People Mover and up to three regional rail systems: Virgin Trains, SunRail, and possibly a third system serving the Orange County Convention Center/International Drive area.
Meanwhile, the Virgin Maintenance Facility is a 200,000-sf building that includes six miles of maintenance and storage track at Boggy Street Road and Weatherbee. It features a deep pit for removing and replacing wheel trucks, a 30-ton overhead crane for removing heavy train components, a 60,000 gallon fuel farm, a train wash facility, and wheel truing capability.
Virgin Trains, formerly Brightline, announced a strategic partnership and trademark licensing agreement with the Virgin Group in November 2018.