The All Aboard Florida passenger rail project will be a cost effective and environmentally friendly way to travel between South Florida and Orlando, with potential to expand to Tampa and Jacksonville. Trains will operate at speeds up to 125 miles per hour, meeting the United States Department of Transportation definition of “high speed rail” and thusly reducing travel time between Orlando and Miami and other connections offered. Trains will offer a full range of first-class amenities including Wi-Fi internet service, gourmet meal service, beverage service, reserved business class seating and coach service seating, luggage and bicycle accommodations.
Two crucial pieces popped into place for Florida East Coast Industries and their plans for the proposed high-speed train from Orland to Miami. They received initial approval to construct its railway infrastructure parallel to State Road 528 (Beachline) corridor, and the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority Board approved a “slate of agreements All Aboard Florida to bring its central Florida station to the Orlando International Airport’s future Intermodal Station.” The plan is for Orlando International Airport to request a state grant of $200 million to pay for the station. The proposed depot would have space for any future SunRail commuter trains in the Orlando area.
Exact locations for All Aboard Florida are still being determined, but the route will include stations in Miami and Orlando, with intermediate stops in Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach. All stops will provide access to international airports, seaports and existing transit systems.
The most historic operating railway in the Jupiter area was the Celestial Railroad. It was only 7.5 miles long and the purpose was to link Lake Worth and the Jupiter Inlet for a steamboat company. There were no turning tracks so the locomotives always pointed towards Juno Beach, forcing the returning train to go in reverse. Passenger fare at the time was high, ten cents per mile (75 cents total in 1889) and they traveled in high style. The Celestial Railroad ran along what is now the Intracoastal Waterway.
It is anticipated that passengers will be able to travel from Orlando to Miami via rail, just like the passengers from the Celestial Railroad, if all goes as planned in less than two years.