Virgin/Brightline Trains on Right Track to Orlando amid COVID-19
Apr 30, 2020 April 30, 2020
With the coronavirus outbreak taking its toll on almost every aspect of life, it’s refreshing to see at least some things are on track and making progress, particularly public transportation. Even as the pandemic has managed to stall many construction projects, Virgin Trains USA (Brightline) is keeping their South Florida railway project running and taking advantage of the slow down on the tracks since commuter service was suspended to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
The South Florida-to-Orlando high-speed railway line, which will allow Miami residents to be able to ride to Walt Disney World and the Orlando International Airport, as well as allow Disney visitors a chance to visit Miami, is on schedule, with a completion date of December 2022.
According to Michael Cegelis, Virgin’s EVP for Infrastructure, the pandemic has actually helped the railroad company find more workers. With other construction projects in the region being temporarily shut down, contractors have been able to hire additional crews onto the tracks, boosting construction timelines along with keeping jobs secure.
Photo courtesy of Brightline
South Florida - Orlando Track Stats
- Construction on the extended line connecting Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach to the Orlando International Airport began last year
- 30% of the 168-mile railroad is complete (as of the time of this post)
- A total of 750 workers are on the job, with workforce expected to peak at around 1,000
- Completion is on track and scheduled for December 2022
This project is one of many Miami public transportation initiatives in the works, making moving to and living in Miami a major perk, even over the appeal of the beaches. Once in place, the line will allow high-speed travel beginning from Downtown’s MiamiCentral Station at Miami Worldcenter. The main station spans over six downtown city blocks offering a true mixed-use urban experience, including apartments, office spaces, a food hall and retail options. The line will then make stops including Aventura (Virgin recently bought the site near Aventura Mall from Miami Dade County), Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton, Palm Beach and more, all the way to Orlando.
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