Virgin Trains continue construction on South Florida to Orlando railway despite COVID-19 pandemic

COVID-19 is not slowing down Virgin Trains. The South Florida to Orlando railway is moving full speed ahead.

“We’re proceeding and proceeding on schedule,” said Michael Cegelis, Virgin Trains Executive Vice President Rail Infrastructure. “We’ve been able to absorb the impact so far, with the impacts being change in work procedures, change in cleaning procedures, sanitation, change in social distancing.”

Rail line officials say changes have been made to daily operations to ensure the work environment is safe for all.

“Our linear type of construction, building a 168-mile railroad, means that by nature, the workforce is more spread out than they would be, in building a building,” said Cegelis.

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Executive Vice President Rail Infrastructure Michael Cegelis said that the pandemic has actually helped with finding labor.

“Because of the shutdown of other construction projects in the region, more work crews have been available, so we’re seeing our contractors be able to relocate crews from projects that have stopped, onto our project,” said Cegelis.

750 workers are building the 168-mile railroad. Virgin reports that the project is about 30 percent complete.

“The rail infrastructure project is crucial to our region, so we need to finish it and get it in service to begin to improve our mobility options,” said Cegelis.

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But Cegelis says the workforce is also driving Virgin to continue building.

“We feel responsible to maintain their incomes, their paychecks so that they can support their families, so we can keep the economy moving,” said Cegelis.

The railway is on schedule to be completed by December 2022.


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