Officials unveil Sand Lake Road SunRail station



ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - Central Florida is just over a month away from when SunRail gets up and moving.

During the past couple of weeks, organizers have been doing everything they can to get people acquainted with the rail service by having open houses.

Organizers hope those preparations will get people on board.

The train includes two phases phases, which will connect four counties together.

Hundreds of people got on board at the new Sand Lake Road station Sunday for a special tour and to become familiar with the train service they can soon use.

The Sand Lake Road station will serve people living in nearby Belle Isle, Edgewood and Taft.

“Hopefully it will mean a lot less traffic on the road. That would be a positive thing for commuters,” said Pine Castle Pioneer Days Chairman Billy Morgan.

The Sand Lake road station will soon offer easy bus access to the theme parks, Orlando International Airport, and The Florida Mall.

“I would use the train to go downtown, maybe to Winter Park to do some shopping,” one of the people touring the train said.

The 61-mile system will include 17 stations when it's complete.

“Phase one goes from DeBary to this Sand Lake Road station and it will be open May 1,” said Noranne Downs with the Florida Department of Transportation.

Service will only be available on weekdays,

Officials said operation on the weekends would be too costly.

The Florida Department of Transportation will cover operation and maintenance costs for the first seven years.

After that, it's up to the commuter rail commission, which is made up of both city and county leaders.