Recently, Orlando residents received some exciting new about a new, and green, transportation solution. Orlando Florida will be getting a brand new light-rail train system that comes packaged in a high-tech futuristic style. This innovative version of a light rail comes complete with an electro-magnetic levitating system which helps lift the train from the tracks and propels it along to the next stop at a high rate of speed.
Here are a few more details of this newly approved plan:
- This train is a privately-funded venture undertaken by a company called American Maglev Technology, Inc.
- Maglev is based in Marietta, GA, which has long been a proponent of green rail technologies
- Maglev first proposed the solution in 2012 to the Florida Department of Transportation.
- After careful review of the plan and the proposed benefits, the state of Florida put out a request for bid in 2013, of which Maglev was the sole bidder
- In late May of 2014, the state of Florida approved Maglev’s plan for the rail system
- Maglev’s next step is to gain right-of-way leases for the land around which the train will operate. The land to be used to build the rail system is currently owned by multiple public departments, including the Florida Department of Transportation, Orange County and the city of Orlando.
- The train will connect the Orlando International Airport to the Orange County Convention Center, which is slightly less than a total of 15 miles. An intermediate stop will be made at the Florida Mall and there are talks to connect to the existing SunRail system as well.
- It is a floating magnetic train line run on an elevated track system, the very first of its kind to be built in the United States of America.
- However, trains like this are already in place and functioning in China, South Korea and Japan
- There is no carbon-based emissions from operating this kind of train
- The total cost is estimated to be right around $350 million dollars
- The cost of the project will not be underwritten or subsidized by taxpayer dollars
- Early surveys predict that the train will carry 4.1 million riders per year in the beginning and may increase to more than six million within the first ten years
- The fare for a one-way ticket is estimated to be $10
- Each one way ride would take approximately 12 minutes
- More than 100 jobs will be created
- The current plan includes construction starting in 2014 with the train being operational by 2017
- Future phases of the project will connect the airport and convention center to some of the local theme parks
In closing, even though the proposed version of our new train reminds us more of the Jetson’s futuristic view of the world than the classic rock view, I’ll leave you with these parting words:
Down around the corner
A half a mile from here
You see them old train runnin’
And you watch them disappear