Blooloop reported last week that Universal Orlando is pledging 13 acres of land for the Orange County Convention Center rail station which will link the Brightline from Orlando International Airport to Universal Orlando Resort. The proposed site for the rail station is close to Universal's Epic Universe.
Maria Triscari, president of the International Drive Chamber of Commerce, which sponsors Orlando’s Right Rail said “We’ve known for years that connectivity between the airport and International Drive area will be essential to our entire region’s future,”.
This SunRail corridor and convention center station aims to make commuting to work and the airport a lot easier for everyone and should enable business growth in the International Drive area. It is expected to be completed by 2030.
Screamscape has posted a number of photos which shows the proposed route for this SunRail link to the Orlando Convention Center Station which would service Universal Orlando Resort. There has also been talk of expansion plans would would see this rail link expanding from the Orlando Convention Centre Station to I-4 along the freeway down to a future South I-Drive station which would potentially be located near to Disney's doorstep. We await further details about this expansion but it seems increasingly likely that this rail link will connect Orlando International Airport directly with Universal Orlando Resort by 2030 and hopefully Walt Disney World Resort beyond that.
June 4th - The Brightline high speed rail project has been ongoing for a number of years. It will eventually connect Miami to the Orlando International Airport with stops in major cities like West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale in between. We heard in November 2020 that Walt Disney World would have a stop on Brightline along with a Rail Station at Disney Springs shopping and dining district. This week we have discovered that Universal Orlando Resort will also hopefully get a stop thanks to a new federal grant.
Brightline has been awarded $15,875,000 by the U.S. Department of Transportation which has then been matched by the company meaning there are enough funds to shift Brightline's planned route between Orlando International Airport and Disney Springs, meaning a second station can be built near the Convention Center, International Drive and Universal.
This alternate route is often referred to as the "Sunshine Corridor" and Brightline CEO Michael Reininger said in the recent press release, “The Sunshine Corridor is a comprehensive, ambitious transportation solution for Central Florida. It represents the missing link in Brightline’s plan to connect Orlando and Tampa with modern, eco-friendly, intercity passenger rail,”.
Brightline is nearly 80% complete with the first test train having pulled into Orlando International Airport on Tuesday May 31. The route from Miami to Orlando International Airport is set to be complete in 2023.
Approval is still needed for the expansion but if construction timelines are followed without delays then this new line from Orlando International Airport to Disney Springs and the Convention Center, International Drive and Universal could begin operating by late 2026.
We will keep you up to date on the latest news regarding Brightline on our news and Facebook page. Let us know your thoughts by leaving us a comment below.