Brightline proposal could revive plans to connect SunRail to OIA

ORLANDO, Fla. — Once again, there’s a plan to connect SunRail to Orlando International Airport.

Before SunRail ever carried its first passenger, there were talks about the system taking riders to and from the airport by 2020.

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Now, Brightline, a privately-owned high-speed rail system, is offering to allow SunRail trains to share their tracks that are planned to the airport and to Disney as part of their larger network to South Florida.

Seminole County Commissioners enthusiastically supported the plan to allow Brightline to study that potential partnership.

“I see this as a very exciting opportunity,” Seminole County Commissioner Lee Constantine said.

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Commissioner Brenda Carey continued, “The most important reason I think that we should support this is because in order for our SunRail system to be successful, we all know it has to get to the airport.”

Previous studies by the FLorida Department of Transportation showed the connection to the airport could cost more than $250 million.

With Brightline involved, some of that cost would be shouldered by them instead of taxpayers.

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“Brightline’s mission is to leverage our infrastructure to improve mobility in the areas in which we operate,” the company said in a statement.

The soonest the trains could be online would be 2025.

Deneige Broom, WFTV.com

Deneige Broom is back at Channel 9 for her second tour of duty. You may remember when the Seminole County native hit the streets as a reporter for Eyewitness News from 2013-2017. Now, she's back helping drivers navigate those streets as Traffic Anchor every morning.