Winter Park’s railway station got its first visit from SunRail this Saturday, as local residents and politicians gathered to get a sneak peak of what the new light rail system will look like when in launches next spring.
Winter Park Mayor Ken Bradley and Maitland Mayor Howard Schieferdecker, along with Winter Park commissioners and county officials, came together to cut the ribbon for the system’s newest completed railcar on Sept. 21.
“Isn’t it great to see it come to reality?” Bradley said, snapping cell phone photos of the railcar’s shiny white and colorfully striped exterior.
Hundreds of residents lined the tracks to get a first look inside the car, checking out the two-floor air-conditioned interior, while local officials took a moment to sit inside and relish in the reality of a project many years and billions of dollars in the making.
Taking a seat in a booth with Seminole County Commissioner Lee Constantine and Florida Department of Transportation District 5 Secretary Noranne Downs, Bradley said he was impressed with his first look inside the finished railcars.
“I can tell it’s going to be something people are going to be really excited to ride,” he said.
FDOT spokesman Steve Olson said the SunRail trains are set to start running from DeBary to Sand Lake Road in south Orlando in the spring. He said the trains will run Monday through Friday every 30 minutes at peak commuter hours between 5:30 and 8:30 a.m. and 4 to 7 p.m. Then from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and from 7 to 10 p.m. they’ll drop to two-hour cycles.
Getting aboard the railroad will cost riders $2 per trip, with an additional $1 added on when crossing county lines – and trains will be equipped with free WiFi and bike storage space.
“It’s fun to see our station taking shape and the cars coming into place,” Bradley said. “… It’s going to be a great addition to our city and our region.”