We have been on quite the journey following along with the progress of the Brightline train to Disney World.
Previously, the high-speed train was supposed to run from the Orlando International Airport to a station right at Disney Springs. But, plans for that were scrapped when Disney backed out of its deal for that Disney Springs train station. However, there’s been a new update on the progress of the train today!
So, what exactly does that mean? Well, this shows support for the Sunshine Corridor, a program that would see a corridor built for SunRail’s commuter trains that would lead from the airport to SunRail’s existing tracks. Importantly, Brightline would lease the rights to use that east-west SunRail corridor.
The proposed route was shared earlier this summer, and more specifically, would include potential stops at Universal Orlando’s Epic Universe, the Orange County Convention Center, and a stop nearby Disney World (on South International Drive). Disney had previously confirmed that plans for the stop at Disney Springs had fallen through because the configuration of the train’s line “did not support” the station.
For the Epic Universe station, Universal Orlando will be donating land for the station along Destination Parkway.
This new resolution shows unanimous support for the program to move forward. In speaking with the Orlando Business Journal, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer shared, “We wanted to be able to show [the Federal Transit Administration] and the rest of the [U.S. Department of Transportation] administration that we are united as a region behind this, and we also wanted to show our private partners like Brightline and the tourist interests that we are supporting it on the public side, as well.”
What will come next for Brightline? Next steps will include a “ridership study” for the corridor, which should be taking place in mid- to late-October. This study is what will be used to help estimate costs for the route.
Previously, in March 2021, the Orlando Sentinel had shared that the passenger service between the airport and Disney Springs was slated to start in 2026. That could still be the case with this alternative station, especially given the fact that they’ll have to first find the appropriate land to build the station on.
Recently, we had the BIG update that construction of the Orlando International Airport station (which will be located at the new Terminal C) is 83% completed, with an anticipated 2023 opening.
As more information comes out about the train line, along with the potential expansion, we’ll continue to keep you updated.
For now, you can read our full guide on how to get to Disney World from the Orlando Airport, along with a look at WHY Disney backed out of their plans for a Disney Springs station.
And, as always, stay tuned for more Disney news!
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What do you think of the latest development with the proposed train route? Tell us in the comments!