Orlando-Tampa high-speed train plan eliminates obstacle in Florida

TAMPA, Florida – Florida officials Wednesday authorized Brightline to take the next step towards a Tampa-Orlando service on its existing high-speed train line.

The Florida Department of Transportation and the Central Florida Expressway Authority have given Brightline the right to negotiate right-of-way leases with both agencies.

Brightline is seeking access to the railway along I-4 Corridor, including along National Highway 528 west of Orlando International Airport and then to the median of National Highway 417 before to join the I-4 road and head to a proposed station in downtown Tampa, using the median of the highway.

The train would run in the area of ​​Osceola Drive and would connect I-4 more to the east.

Although the right to negotiate rights of way is a big step for Brightline, it is by no means an agreement reached. Brightline must now obtain the approval of both agencies to use the land, which will require guarantees that the public will not have to incur additional costs if Brightline is unable to comply with its agreement. .

The agency should also obtain the approval of the federal railway administration. And he still has to acquire the necessary station locations.

Orlando's main train station would be at OIA, with a Tampa station somewhere in the city center. There are also proposals for a station in Lakeland and an intermediate station in the connection area of ​​National Highway 417 with I-4. Brightline says she is negotiating with the current owners of this land.

Brightline is currently operating a service in South Florida and is building a high-speed rail service between Miami and Orlando, scheduled to open in 2021. The train will run at a maximum speed of 125 mph, which will take a little more than 3 hours to arrive at destination. between Orlando and Miami.

Brightline, a private company, recently entered into a partnership with Virginand will be part of the Virgin Trains USA label in 2019.

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