Zone 2 Construction Complete for Orlando Airport Intercity Rail Service

Brightline has completed the first major construction zone for its 170-mile intercity rail extension from West Palm Beach to Orlando International Airport (OIA). This completed zone is the first of its kind in the US, bringing high-speed passenger rail into an active airport.

Zone 2 is one of four zones along Brightline’s airport corridor project. The 3.5-mile double track section travels under the airport’s active taxiways and leads into the centre of OIA.

Beginning in 2023, Brightline trains will travel along the airport corridor at 35 miles per hour before heading towards Cocoa, where they will reach top speeds of 125 miles per hour.

Intercity Rail Zone 2 Orlando Airport
The construction for Zone 2 included six bridges, two underpasses, and numerous airport improvements, including the airport’s first roundabout to assist with traffic flow

Trains travelling along Zone 2 will have access to the airport’s new Intermodal Terminal Facility, which consists of approximately 1.3 million square feet of terminal space to accommodate the airport’s automated people mover, taxis, shuttle buses, and public bus operations, alongside regional rail systems.

Brad Friel, director of planning and development of the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority, said:

“The inclusion of intercity rail service at Orlando International Airport has been part of our vision since the planning and design of our world-class facility. It’s very rewarding that the Brightline team is able to help meet that goal nearly 40 years later.”

Throughout the project, Brightline completed additional infrastructure to also accommodate future transport options at the airport. This included embankment, bridge foundations, and a shared underpass.

The project was constructed over a period of 33 months in partnership with The Greater Orlando Aviation Authority, with The Middlesex Corporation serving as the general contractor.

Michael Cegelis, executive vice president, development and construction for Brightline, said:

“Our construction through OIA presented one of the most complex construction efforts of this entire project and our successful completion is a testament to partnership, teamwork and out-of-the-box thinking. The collective efforts of the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority, The Middlesex Corporation and our team resulted in the first ever high-speed rail corridor in one of the busiest airports in the nation.”

The Orlando extension is now 70 percent complete and is scheduled to be finished by the end of 2022.

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