All Aboard Florida is taking its first steps to build the facility that will be used to store and work on the express trains that will be coming into Orlando from Miami, with this maintenance depot to produce millions of dollars of construction work.
With an overall project cost estimated at $2.5 billion, All Aboard Florida has been working with the South Florida Water Management District on environmental and infrastructure permit components of the Orlando-based vehicle maintenance facility and the surrounding area.
It's latest application for the first segment (maintenance facility) was filed on April 14. Environmental studies and approvals for the 73 acre parcel are the first steps that must be taken to get a project of this size underway.
The 200,000-square-foot maintenance facility — the size of three-and-a-half football fields — will be located on property owned by Orlando International Airport, about one mile south of its north terminal. This is the same site that was previously considered for inter-city passenger rail at the airport.
The facility will handle all aspects of maintenance, especially repairs and inspections, for the All Aboard Florida trains that are planned to run between Miami and Orlando's airport. The maintenance site will not be too far from the docking station that is being built for All Aboard Florida trains, SunRail and a "people mover" system the airport will use to get passengers to terminals.
All Aboard Florida will lease the land for the facility for a 49-year term with the option for an extension, Stan Thornton, chief operating officer of the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority, told GrowthSpotter.
Neither Thorton or an All Aboard spokeswoman would discuss financial terms.
In December, GOAA gave All Aboard Florida a year extension and a second option, according to minutes of the authority's meeting that month.
While All Aboard Florida has made Archer Western its point company to work on part of its infrastructure needs at the airport and on developing the maintenance facility, there will very likely be work opportunities for local contractors during the construction, the spokeswoman said.
There is no timetable for construction of the maintenance facility. "We are currently focused on construction of the Miami-to-West Palm Beach segment. Once we get further on construction to West Palm, we'll have a better idea of timing to Orlando," the spokeswoman said. "We are obtaining all of our required permits so we can proceed with construction when ready."
The maintenance facility will have more than 100 employees once complete.
All Aboard Florida will run from Miami to Orlando, with stops in Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach along a 235-mile route.
The company says building has begun on all four stations and the trains are under construction. The spokeswoman could not say when service to Orlando will begin, since the project is originating in Miami and most work is now focused there.
The new passenger rail service is expected to offer 16 daily departures from Miami and Orlando when fully operational, and have a total travel time of approximately three hours with train speeds up to 125 miles per hour.