ORLANDO, Fla. (FOX 35 ORLANDO) - Construction on the Virgin Trains expansion is officially underway at Orlando International Airport.
OIA’s new Intermodal Facility will serve as the last stop of the new phase, connecting Central and South Florida. Virgins Trains, formerly Brightline, announcing construction has started on the $4 billion, 170-mile expansion.
“If I don’t have to drive and I can take the train, I would,” said Lillian Diaz, traveler.
The railway will give Floridians and tourists another option of transportation around the Sunshine State. The President of Virgin Trains USA, Patrick Goddard says the train system will benefit Florida’s economy.
“Connecting Central and South Florida will bring thousands of jobs today and by modernizing infrastructure, we will strengthen Florida’s economy for decades,” said Patrick Goddard, President, Virgin Trains USA.
Accoridng to Virgin, the project is expected to create 10,000 jobs and produce $650 million in Federal, State and local tax revenue. Construction is starting with three miles of track leading up to OIA, in addition to a train maintenance facility. Builders will then lay the remaining 160 miles of track to connect to the existing South Florida system, which runs from Miami to West Palm Beach.
Travelers we spoke to hope the train will reduce traffic.
“I want to see the flow of transportation, I want less cars on the road,” said Diaz.
One woman wants to ride the train, simply for the views.
“I’m just an outdoorsy person, I would enjoy watching the scenery, as I go by,” said Florence French, traveler.
Travelers can expect to hop on board a Virgin Train from Orlando in 2022. The next expansion being considered is from OIA to Disney World, with a connection to the Sunrail system and then on to Tampa.