Virgin Trains breaks ground on South Florida to Orlando route

New phase expected to be complete by 2022

ORLANDO, Fla. – Officials are breaking ground on a new phase of a private train line that will connect South Florida to central Florida.

A groundbreaking ceremony was being held Monday for the construction of "Phase 2" of the train line that will run from Miami to Orlando, and eventually to Tampa if all goes as planned.

"Construction of high speed rail between West Palm Beach and Orlando is finally underway!" Virgin Trains USA President Patrick Goddard said. "Once operational, trains will arrive and depart from these very platforms. At top speeds over 125 mph, Virgin Trains will be the safest, most convenient, fastest, most productive, eco-friendly means for getting between Central and South Florida."

Virgin Trains already has been operating from Miami to West Palm Beach.

"This is the reinvention of passenger rail in America," Goddard said. 

The new phase will connect South Florida to Orlando International Airport on 170 miles of track. It represents a $4 billion investment by Virgin Trains, which is backed by Fortress Investment Group.

The new phase is expected to be completed by 2022.

Goddard said he's sure the rail line through Central Florida will succeed because it gives drivers a better alternative.

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