The private passenger-rail service Brightline announced an agreement Monday with Walt Disney World to build a station at Disney Springs as part of expansion plans from South Florida to Central Florida.
The station, which would link the Disney shopping, dining and entertainment complex with Orlando International Airport, potentially by 2022, is conditioned on Brightline obtaining needed government approvals. “We’re excited to work with Brightline as they pursue the potential development of a train station at Walt Disney World Resort, a project that would support our local economy and offer a bold, forward-looking transportation solution for our community and guests,” Walt Disney World Resort President Jeff Vahle said in a prepared statement.
Brightline is working on a $2.7 billion expansion of its service from West Palm Beach to Orlando International Airport that is expected to be completed in 2022. The prospect of a station near Disney was first made public in 2018 when Brightline sought and later was awarded the right to execute lease agreements with the Florida Department of Transportation and the Central Florida Expressway Authority for a line that would link Orlando International Airport and Tampa.
Brightline President Patrick Goddard said in statement Monday that Brightline will offer “a car-free connection to the millions of visitors from around the state and the world who plan to make Walt Disney World Resort part of their vacation plans.” Brightline is currently shut down because of the COVID-19 pandemic but has operated between between Miami and West Palm Beach. Additional stations are planned at Aventura, Boca Raton and Port Miami.
–News Service of Florida