Engineering and Design Work Now Underway for Virgin Trains USA’s Walt Disney World Terminal

As a Miami native who practically lives at Walt Disney World, any news about the upcoming Virgin Train expansion is enough to make me excited about even easier day trips to the parks. For Walt Disney World guests, it could mean a fun day trip to the beaches of West Palm Beach or Miami, and for cruise line passengers, adding on a trip to the parks will soon become a no-brainer.

Last we checked in on the status of the South Florida to Orlando expansion, Disney and Virgin Trains USA were already in advanced talks for a train station to built on or near the resort. Michael Cegelis, Virgin’s EVP for Infrastructure, told local officials that talks with Disney were in a “rather advanced state.” Now, it seems like Virgin Trains USA is making quick progress on its planned stop at Walt Disney World.

Since memorandum of understanding that was established in November, work on engineering and design work for the proposed project is coming to fruition, according to a new monthly revenue and ridership report from Virgin Trains, reported on by the Orlando Business Journal.

Here’s an excerpt from the report:

The station and related rail infrastructure would provide a direct connection between Disney, the most visited theme park destination in the world, and South Florida. With a seamless connection to our planned station at PortMiami, the busiest cruise port in the world, cruise passengers would more conveniently be able to supplement their cruise voyage with a visit to Disney theme parks. The extension of our system from the Orlando airport to the Disney station would also serve as the first phase of a potential future connection to Tampa.

Disney executives were not available for comment when the Journal reached out, but a Virgin Trains spokesman said that while the project is still in its preliminary stages, work with Disney has gone beyond the November memorandum of understanding.

This station, whether built on or near Disney property, would be a part of the proposed rail line to Tampa. The Tampa rail line would start at the Orlando International Airport, the termination of the Miami to Orlando line which is slated to open in 2022.

“While we have not yet made any definitive commitment, we have mutually agreed to more formally explore developing a train station on our property.” stated a Disney official during the last press conference. “As the top vacation destination and largest single-site employer in the United States, Walt Disney World Resort is an obvious choice for a rail station between Orlando International Airport and Tampa.”

Virgin is still working with the Central Florida Expressway Authority, the Florida Department of Transportation and the Orlando Utilities Commission to negotiate leases and right-of-ways for the Orlando to Tampa line. Additional proposed stops on this rail line include the SunRail Meadow Woods station and Lakeland.

Stay tuned to WDWNT for updates on this story and many more.

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Jack B
Jack B
1 year ago

What’s the over/under on whether Virgin will get their trains in operation before Disney even orders replacements for their decrepit monorail equipment?

Trish Blassingame
1 year ago

Certainly, it would be exciting!