It appears that Brightline will get some federal money to help finish its expansion from Orlando International Airport(MCO) to The Walt Disney World Resort and then on to Tampa.
According to the Orlando Sentinel,
SunRail, Brightline and Central Florida have landed a small but vital federal grant for early environmental, construction and cost studies needed to install rail service from east of Orlando’s airport to the International Drive and theme park district and on to Tampa.
Receiving bipartisan congressional support, the grant of up to $15,875,000 will be matched with an equal amount by Brightline to evolve a concrete plan for Orlando-to-Tampa rail. That plan will be the basis for seeking grants for hundreds of millions of dollars in additional federal money.
Officially called the “Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements” Grant (CRISI), the announcement follows shortly after a $1 Billion proposal was put forward, parterning Brightline with Orlando’s public commuter rail line SunRail to develop what officials are calling The Sunshine Corridor. Included in this plan is a rail station at Disney World as well as rail stations for Universal Orlando Resort and International Drive. Click the link below for more on that story.
“The Sunshine Corridor is a comprehensive, ambitious transportation solution for Central Florida,” said Brightline’s chief executive officer, Michael Reininger. “It represents the missing link in Brightline’s plan to connect Orlando and Tampa.”
Florida’s private high-speed rail system has nearly completed its extension to MCO from its South East corridor, which already runs passengers between Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach. Service from MCO to South Florida is expected to begin in the beginning of 2023. There is still no word at this time when construction will begin on the Disney World station at Disney Springs.
We at Disney Fanatic will continue to monitor the story, and we will update our readers as more developments come to light.