September 29, 2023
Economic Engine

Photo: Brightline

Once the Orlando station is operational, Brightline expects to make the trip from Miami to Orlando in about three hours.

Economic Backbone: Transportation/Trade/Logistics

Economic Engine

Amy Keller | 5/22/2023

Brightline’s upcoming train service to Orlando is providing an economic boost to Central Florida. The company’s $100-million vehicle maintenance facility — dubbed Basecamp — will employ 100 workers, and the train carrier has partnered with Siemens USA (which manufactures its trains), railroad contractor Herzog and Valencia College to create a curriculum to train students for careers as train mechanics.

Brightline can service up to 16 trains every night at the facility near Orlando International Airport, where Brightline's passenger station will be located. Features include a fully automated train wash, a drop table system for wheel changes and maintenance, and an 80,000-gallon fuel farm.

“This is your one-stop shop train maintenance facility,” says Katie Mitzner, Brightline’s director of public affairs.

Orlando service is targeted to begin in 2023. Brightline is continuing testing along the corridor, at speeds up to 130 mph, as it pursues certification from the Federal Railroad Administration. Once operational, the trains will make the trip from Orlando International Airport to Miami in about three hours. 

Shipping News

Blue Water Industries, a bulk material supplier, struck an agreement with Port Canaveral Terminal operator Ambassador Services International to import 400,000 to 800,000 metric tons of gravel, crushed stone and other aggregate materials annually through Port Canaveral to be distributed throughout Florida and the Southeast.

Airport Upgrades

Orlando International Airport landed $69 million in federal funds for two projects in its new terminal C that were previously suspended during the COVID-19 pandemic amid budget concerns. The airport will use $49 million to add four multiple aircraft ramp system gates that can accommodate up to four wide-body or eight narrow-body aircraft. The other $20 million will fund a portion of a 450-foot, enclosed pedestrian bridge connecting the terminal to the airport’s train station. The funding comes from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), which provides $1 billion annually for airport terminal grant programs for five years. Melbourne Orlando International Airport received $5 million through the program to expand gates and update the fire sprinkler system, plumbing, lighting and flooring in the existing terminal.

Tags: Transportation, Feature

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