On June 24, Virgin Trains USA held a “Red Spike” groundbreaking ceremony at Orlando International Airport to launch construction on its Phase 2 extension from Miami. See more pictures.
The posh event swelled with business and political figures who believe that fast-moving trains are the future.
“Virgin Trains’ service between Orlando and Miami will launch an American passenger rail renaissance. We expect that this will be the first of many passenger lines in the U.S. that follow this model for connecting city pairs that are too close to fly and too far to drive,” said Wes Edens, Chairman of Virgin Trains USA and co-founder of its backer Fortress Investment Group at the groundbreaking ceremony.
Watch the history and future plans in this video that was played across the walls of the future Intermodal Terminal during the event.
Infographics were posted along the Terminal for guests to appreciate the impact on their community and beyond. For example, the project will generate more than 10,000 construction jobs, $6.4 billion in direct economic impact to Florida, and $654 million in federal, state and local government tax revenue.
One of five contractors chosen for the “Red Hot” expansion, Wharton-Smith will construct a 126,000-square-foot facility with a maintenance shop, wheel truer, commissary, warehouse, fueling depot and train wash at a cost of $51.8 million.