Central Florida’s commuter rail project finally broke ground at the end of January, after decades of planning. Despite some people’s trepidation about the project, I believe the project will lead to substantial economic development. The SunRail project will create jobs. Congresswoman Corrine Brown stated “Transportation and Infrastructure funding is absolutely critical to economic development, and will serve as a tremendous job creating boost, which the state of Florida desperately needs. Sun Rail will also assist people working in the state’s $60 billion a year tourist industry to travel to and from work” (http://corrinebrown.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=625:congresswoman-brown-delivers-remarks-at-sun-rail-groundbreaking-ceremony&catid=3:press-releases&Itemid=35). The SunRail will be laid over sixty-one miles of pre-existing tracks. The rail’s construction will be built in phases. The first phase will be linking Poinciana to DeLand through Downtown Orlando. With the completion of Phase 1, SunRail will run for 31 miles (50 km) with 17 stations along the CSX Transportation “A” Line (former Atlantic Coast Line Railroad main line). The second phase of construction for the rail will consist of adding at least another five stages linking more counties together. The project is expected to be completed entirely by two-thousand and sixteen, however the officials hope for the rail to be operational by two-thousand and fourteen. The SunRail will consist of one to three cars per train with a locomotive. Each car is expected to carry about one-hundred and fifty passengers. The anticipated operating speeds of the rail are around sixty-eighty miles per hour.
This will create so much more efficiency as well as convenience. It is rather efficient to travel by train. One can read, write, and get a lot of work accomplished on their morning and afternoon commute. While this project is projected to cost $615 million (split between the federal government 50%, state 25% and local 25%) it will save the environment and also decrease traffic problems tremendously. The rail is scheduled to have the highest commuting times in the morning and afternoon (work times) to allow for convenience. Scheduled service will be every 30 minutes during peak commute times, (5:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m) off-peak service every two hours. As passenger demand grows, system designed to increase service levels to every 15 minutes during peak periods and every hour during off-peak periods. Freight traffic on the commuter rail line will be restricted during peak travel times, allowing passenger rail trains to run uninterrupted (sunrail.com). This is very exciting for Central Florida and could be a great way to save money while traveling efficiently.