• Magnetic levitation trains could be coming to Orange Co.


    ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - A new high-tech magnetic levitation transit system could be closer to being built in Orange County.

    The system would start at Orlando International Airport and connect to Disney World and the Orange County Convention Center.

    The line will also connect to a SunRail station once it's finished.

    A private developer wants to build the transit system.

    Supportes of the project said they hope the trains will soon be take visitors from the airport to the convention center.

    Orange County leaders, such as Commissioner Fred Brummer said they like the idea because the project does not require taxpayer money.

    The latest proposal is the work of a small Atlanta-based company called American Maglev and its CEO Tony Morris.

    Morris said private investors, including a giant Spanish construction firm called Grupo ACS, are ready to foot the $315 million bill.

    "We think this technology holds great promise," Morris said.

    Morris' trains are suspended in the air using powerful magnets, cutting energy use and lessening wear and tear. He has been perfecting the science on his Atlanta test tracks.

    "It's met all of our safety reliability and operational requirements, and its ready for prime time," he said.

    The train would run about 15 miles along the north shoulder of SR-528 and in the median of Sand Lake Road.

    But there's reason to be skeptical of Morris' plan. 

    Eighteen years ago he vowed to build a Maglev train in Volusia County.  The project failed after wasting millions in state and federal funds.  Morris said the difference this time is private money and technology.   "In 1994, we had nothing more than an idea," Morris said.

    A ridership study commissioned by American Maglev predicted at least 3.1 million riders by 2014, 4.6 million by 2025 and 6.4 million by 2035.

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    Magnetic levitation trains could be coming to Orange Co.