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Orlando to Miami higher-speed passenger train project getting real

It’s getting real, this long discussed, debated, fought over, raved about, warned against, litigated, lobbied, opposed, permitted, creatively financed, doubted, and relentlessly pushed idea of a privately owned, higher-speed, passenger train service to connect Orlando and Miami.

Real, as in the rail corridor is being cleared and graded. Dirt is being moved. Supplies like railroad ties are being manufactured, hauled in, and stacked for use. And more substantial items like piles are being driven.

“We’re fully under construction,” said Michael Cegelis, Virgin Trains USA executive vice president of rail infrastructure.

Virgin Trains USA, previously known as Brightline and, before that, as All Aboard Florida, has a visible construction zone essentially running about 36 miles from Orlando International Airport eastward along State Road 528 to Cocoa.

It’s not just a back corner Orlando International Airport construction site that could be anything or a few highway construction barrels around heavy equipment that could mean who-knows-what next round of road work.

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