• Brightline: I-Drive (International Drive) and Universal Connection

  • This is a forum for all operations, both current and planned, of Brightline, formerly All Aboard Florida and Virgin Trains USA:
    Websites: Current Brightline
    Virgin USA
    Virgin UK
This is a forum for all operations, both current and planned, of Brightline, formerly All Aboard Florida and Virgin Trains USA:
Websites: Current Brightline
Virgin USA
Virgin UK

Moderator: CRail

  by Jeff Smith
 
They want in on any extension from the airport as well: https://www.bizjournals.com/orlando/new ... drive.html
The future Orlando-to-Tampapath of the multibillion-dollar Brightline intercity rail system still is being determined, and business leaders are working feverishly to figure out how International Drive can be connected to it.

Stakeholders such as the I-Drive business chamber of commerce and Universal Orlando Resort have been meeting or plan to meet with Brightline after a March presentation with the Central Florida Expressway Authority showed a potential path to the corridor, sources told Orlando Business Journal.
...
Meanwhile, Universal Orlando Resort will make its own push in a future meeting for I-Drive to have a Brightline connection, said sources with close knowledge of the ongoing activity. A rail system connecting to I-Drive would benefit Universal's future Epic Universe theme park that's now under construction.
...
  by Arlington
 
What are the I-Drive landowners willing to pay to buy access? (Including funding what is a potentially longer and more expensive route between MCO and WDW?
  by kitchin
 
An excellent editorial (not op-ed) this week in the Sun-Sentinel gives an idea of the politics involved: If I-Drive merchants want to help workers, they’ll stop being so greedy with tourist tax money. "Universal, SeaWorld and International Drive hotel owners are using their political muscle to make sure Brightline’s proposed Orlando-to-Tampa train route includes a stop at the Orange County Convention Center."
  by Tom V
 
Among the beneficiaries of a convention center train station, these tourist businesses say, are commuters who work on the International Drive corridor. Color us skeptical that Brightline — a high-speed system starting in Miami — is designed or priced to help low-paid restaurant and hotel workers get to and from their jobs every day.
Not Brightline, Sunrail would be able to operate over the route and offer workers an affordable link to MCO, Orange County Convention Center, I-Drive, Universal, Disney. Sunrail is the only option to provide sufficient frequencies between the airport and Disney. Similar to what Tri-Rail and Brightline are working towards with Tri-Rail's Downtown Miami and Coastal Link service over the FEC. Similar to how NJ Transit, Metro North, SEPTA, MBTA, LIRR work in conjunction to Amtrak services in the Northeast.

Someone needs to explain that to the editorial board.
  by kitchin
 
The editorial board would agree with you. They are knocking what "these tourist businesses say" as insincere claptrap. The businesses want Brightline to feed the convention center with visitors, not low-paid workers. They figure it's a free way to get a deluxe non-stop rail connection to the airport. Somebody else pays the $1b.
  by kitchin
 
Or there's always the option of paying Brightline. Besides floating tax-free government bonds, BL wins various small grants. It's a twist on private-public partnerships, where the private part does the planning. It's doing an impressive job ob the easy ground of FLA. And if it improves Amtrak indirectly, good.

Miami-Dade paid $76m for Brightline to build an Aventura station on the current BL segment ( https://www.southeastcorridor-commission.org/ ). The station will have a skyway to the high-end Aventura mall. Roaming Railfan has a thorough and informative Youtube of construction starting at Aventura.

The Southeast Corridor Commission mentions BL repeatedly in its document linked above, adjusting plans in central Florida to consider it. SECC also suggests as an option Amtrak sharing BL's and FEC's corridor between Orlando and Melbourne. That would be another payout to BL.