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SunRail rolls forward, gets okay to acquire CSX tracks

SunRail took a big step yesterday in starting commuter rail service in Central Florida.

The Florida DOT (FDOT) successfully completed closing documents and finalized the closing in escrow which clears the way for the transfer of the CSX right-of-way to Florida. The action follows last week’s decision by the Surface Transportation Board to not object to the transfer and sale.

Rep. John L. Mica (R-Fla.) said, “This is a significant milestone in the project and meets the goal of completing the corridor acquisition by the end of 2010,” said Mica. He added, “With the sale now complete, the next step for SunRail will be to finalize a full funding grant agreement for the project, with a target date of spring 2011, that will keep the project on schedule.”

Mica said the SunRail corridor property will transfer to FDOT after the agreement is signed, according to Florida law.

The 61-mile commuter rail project is planned to be operational in 2013, with construction and rail line improvements beginning in early 2011. Initial segment of the commuter rail project will provide service from DeBary, about 15 miles north of Sanford, to Sand Lake Road.

DeBary is near U.S. Highway 17-92, and the DeBary station will be accessible to I-4. The SunRail station is within walking and biking distance of the 210-acre Gemini Springs Park. SunRail station plans call for a park and ride lot with a bus drop off area.

The next station, going southward, will be in Sanford.

Mica is the Chairman designate of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and is the current Ranking Member.

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