Brightline Reveals Costs and Route Preference for Disney Springs Connection at Walt Disney World

Brightline has revealed a detailed explanation of the costs of its new rail connecting Disney Springs to the Orlando International Airport. With two possible routes, Brightline is leaning towards the $1.03 billion option, which would run parallel to state road 417.

The second route, which was envisioned in 2010, would utilize state road 528 but cost $2.1 billion, require 1.9 million square feet of bridges, affect 76 private properties, and involve an arrangement with SunRail. The cheaper option would require about 342,000 square feet of bridges and only involve three private properties. The routes are approximately the same length of 16.7 miles, as pictured below.


Some do object to the S.R. 417 option. Hunters Creek residents are worried about noise and vibration from a train next to the road. Fans of the S.R. 528 route also want a connection to International Drive and the Orange County Convention Center.

“We think there are better, other ways to connect the important convention center area and I-Drive to the airport. That needs to happen. It’s imperative,” Michael Cegelis, executive VP of infrastructure development, told leaders of the Central Florida Expressway Authority. “We think there are other, more efficient ways to do it than an hourly, intercity train.”

Jay Madara, a member of the Central Florida Expressway Authority, asked for further analysis of costs, preferring the S.R. 528 route.

Brightline is in the midst of a $2.7 billion extension from West Palm Beach to Orlando, which is expected to begin service in 2023. Construction on the Disney Springs station is expected to begin five years from now, and Brightline is also hoping to build 68 miles of rail connecting the station to Tampa.

The Florida Department of Transportation has given Brightline a deadline of mid-summer to secure cooperation with federal, state, and local agencies for the Tampa expansion.

Source: Orlando Sentinel

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  1. Connecting the Airport to both the Convention Center and Disney via the 2.1 billion (probably closer to 3 billion by the end) Option is such a no brainer that it pains me that it’s even a consideration to go with the cheaper plan. This should have been done decades ago for far less money if not for Mears Transportation lobbying bullsh*t and lack of government foresight.

  2. So, let me get this straight. Instead of DME with a direct-to-room service and complimentary baggage handling, now I have to PAY for a ticket on a Brightline train, carry all my bags with me, stop at Disney Spring and connect to Disney bus to take me to my resort? All with multiple bags and kids in toe??? No thanks. Off site accommodations it is!!

    1. Really, how would you have done that if you had not know of DME.. be realistic, comment all you want i wont see it have a great vacation..

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