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Rail News: Passenger Rail

FTA inks SunRail grant agreement


It’s official: The Florida Department of Transportation now can begin construction on the SunRail project. Yesterday, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood signed a $178.6 million Full Funding Grant Agreement (FFGA) for the central Florida commuter-rail project.

The grant marks the largest federal transit investment to date in central Florida, according to a Federal Transit Administration press release.

The FFGA will cover half the capital costs for SunRail’s initial 32-mile segment, which will connect downtown Orlando with Orange, Seminole and Volusia counties along existing CSX Transportation tracks. FTA plans to allocate the funds through 2013. The remainder of the project will be funded with state and local dollars. 

Seven locomotives and 14 passenger cars will operate along the 12-station line, which will provide access to the Orlando central business district.

FDOT plans to build a second phase of the line that would extend north to DeLand and south to Kissimmee and Poinciana, bringing the total length of the system to 61 miles.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 7/19/2011