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high-speed rail

A planned passenger train connecting Miami, Orlando and Tampa is moving forward even as local elected officials raise concerns that the train is missing crucial stops.

Virgin Trains USA is also working on a line that would connect Orlando with West Palm Beach. That groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled for June 24.

Virgin Trains USA engineer Adrian Share says the plan is to pick up passengers at the Orlando International Airport, make a stop at the Disney theme parks, and then head to downtown Tampa.

Land Rover MENA / Wikimedia Commons

Entrepreneur Richard Branson is adding his name and money to a new privately-owned rail line in Florida. The branding comes at an important time for the new service, as its expanding to Orlando.

Caitie Switalski / WLRN

A $1.7 billion high-speed rail system that would connect Tampa to Orlando is expected to begin operating in 2021.

That's according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing released last Friday.  

FL Officials Renew All Aboard Florida Concerns

May 18, 2015
Wikimedia Commons

As clean-up continues in the fatal Amtrak wreck near Philadelphia, several Martin County officials have again stressed their opposition to All Aboard Florida.

The proposed train route between Orlando and Miami could bring an additional 32 trains per day through the Treasure Coast without making a stop. Mark Robitaille is CEO of Martin Health Systems. He says he worries about having a train between patients and the hospital despite promises they’ll be moving rapidly.

Steve Newborn / WUSF

Charlie Crist has been somewhat quiet on the campaign trail, preferring to hawk his new book rather than take his message to the corners of the state. Today, he campaigned in Tampa for the first time since announcing his candidacy for governor.

Before backers of the $1.5 billion private venture by the subsidiary of Coral Gables-based Florida East Coast Industries expand to other east coast communities, and at more distant points across the state, they want to know they’ll have a chance to recoup their investment before adding stops. That didn’t prevent members of the Senate Commerce and Tourism Committee this week from expressing a desire for the private venture to start making plans to expand the service west to Tampa and north to Daytona Beach and Jacksonville.

While plans for the new Miami-Orlando trains are on target to begin service in late 2015, local officials worry a second phase of the project could bypass Tampa for an Orlando-Jacksonville route. If All Aboard Florida ultimately reaches Tampa, it would strengthen Interstate 4 corridor ties, but a competitive factor is involved as well. The new passenger railroad is providing a boost to Orlando International Airport, which will become the state's first airport with a train station and a direct rail connection, in an agreement signed Wednesday. The concern over falling behind with All Aboard Florida has created a sense of urgency among local invitees to a regional transportation summit scheduled Thursday in Tampa.

Miami-Orlando By Train For Under $100

Aug 23, 2013

It will be the first time a private company will offer intercity passenger rail service without public funds. It is to use 32 trains offering three-hour trips between Miami and Orlando, with stops in Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach. The trains will run on tracks laid by Henry Flagler's Florida East Coast Railway company and not used for passenger service since 1968. They'll call into Flagler's former Miami center, a nine-acre site.

Miami-Orlando Train Plans Gain Steam

Jul 29, 2013

Managers of the project to operate a premium Miami-Orlando passenger train service say they are close to putting out bids to design the railroad corridor stretching from downtown Miami to the Orlando International Airport. The announcement marked yet another milestone in the highly-anticipated train service that aims to lure passengers with luxury service. Project managers hope to draw passengers with high-end offers on trains and in stations where brand name shops will be featured. The service will have four stations: Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and Orlando. The rail infrastructure is expected to cost more than $1.5 billion. Originally announced in March 2012, All Aboard Florida is expected to launch by the end of 2015, 16 daily trains would leave from each of the two terminus stations, at Orlando International Airport and downtown Miami, between early morning and the evening with intermediate stations in Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach. Trains would take about three hours to complete each one-way trip.

Miami-Orlando Train Service on Track to Roll in 2015

Mar 19, 2013

Originally announced in March 2012, All Aboard Florida service was expected to launch in 2014. The start date has been moved back to 2015. Aside from the delay, the project is on track. The company’s $1 billion plan features 16 round trips a day from early morning to late evening with stops in Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach — with service possibly starting in late 2015. Trains would run hourly and each one-way trip would take about three hours.