In January 2018, Virgin Trains USA — a new privately-funded passenger rail system founded by billionaire Richard Branson — teamed up with Brightline to offer rail service between Ft. Lauderdale and West Palm Beach, Florida. In April 2018, the companies added service to Miami. The service is now looking to add stations in Tampa and Orlando.
And with a stop in Orlando, it only makes sense to provide passengers access to the Most Magical Place on Earth — Disney World!
“We currently have a letter of intent with Walt Disney World to have a stop right 20 miles west of the Orlando International Airport where our first station will be into Walt Disney World,” Virgin Trains USA president Patrick Goddard told WPTV.
Early financial documents speculate the cost of a “theme park extension” to the proposed Virgin Trains USA routes could run at least $200 million. This could entail either a stop near the Orlando International Airport or one within the Walt Disney World Resort area. Construction could take up to three years to complete, according to Goddard.
Branson, who also has a Virgin Trains line in Great Britain, sees the potential for bringing international guests to and from Walt Disney World and Miami.
“We have a number of flights coming in from Britain on Virgin Atlantic, so we can bring a lot of holiday people into this region,” Branson told the Miami New Times. “A lot of people go to Disney, and we can bring them down to Miami afterward.”
Virgin Trains USA looks to offer transportation to passengers on board rail cars that are not only high-tech but also high-speed. The trains could run up to 125 mph, making a trip from Miami to Orlando in about three hours. That’s at least 30 minutes less than the trip would take if you were driving there in a car.
Would you hop the train to Disney if you had the chance?