Brevard County, Cocoa hoping for local Virgin Trains stop
Passenger railroad connecting Central, South Florida expected to be done in 2022
COCOA, Fla. – At the Beachline Expressway and US-1, Brevard County transportation leaders envision 30 Virgin Trains running every day east-to-west to Orlando and north-to-south to Miami.
Formerly known as Brightline, Virgin Trains' original plan was to speed through the Space Coast without a stop.
County leaders said they're now showing the company that it's worth building a passenger train station at the site leaders call the "Cocoa Curve."
"That would provide a great economic opportunity for the city of Cocoa and all of Brevard," said Laura Carter, with the Space Coast Transportation Planning Organization.
Cocoa Assistant City Manager Matt Fuhrer called a possible station a potential tourism boost, as well.
Another proposed location the county suggested to Virgin Trains was at US-1 and Rosa L. Jones Drive in Cocoa's Diamond Square neighborhood.
There used to be a train station there.
Resident Demetri Water said a new station would boost a neighborhood that needs it more than the north end of town.
"It gives us an opportunity to expand in a low economic area," Water said. "It would change the focus of my community and I ask the county commissioners and all parties involved to reconsider."
Leaders said the land around US-1 and State Road 528 is already owned by Virgin Trains.
Those trains will travel at speeds of 85 to 120 mph.
City and county officials listened to some residential concerns about the noise.
Leaders said the trains will not blow horns as they bring in scores of tourism dollars.
"We're centralized here with Port Canaveral. We also have the Kennedy Space Center. This train might be an opportunity to bring even more tourists to Brevard County," Carter said.
The first trains could be running in 2022.
Leaders believe a station will likely be built sometime after that.
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