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    Posted May 10, 2014 by
    Orlando, Florida
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Travel photo of the day

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    Central Florida Hits the Rails


    Commuters, shoppers, the curious, and tourists all hit the rails in Central Florida this inaugural week. Around 10,000 people a day rode the currently 32 mile long SunRail system from the city of Debart in Volusia County to Sand Lake Road in Orange County near the Orlando International Airport (MCO). [After report: This day had a record 14,500+ riders.]


    People mentioned that the humor and conviviality of the riders, even in packed commuter hours, was unlike any mass transit experience they had ever had. As you can see in the photographs, the riders were laughing and talking with the strangers around them. We barely noticed the low-sulfur diesel-electric locomotive engines.


    The two most beautiful stations are the legendary Central Florida locations of Winter Park and Church Street Station. The actual park of Winter Park houses the station and is luscious, cool, and comfortable. Church Street Station is located on famous Church Street and is the site of the downtown entertainment district and the Arena. The modern architecture of Lynx Central Station makes it a standout stop, also.


    My guests and I picked up the SunRail in Altamonte Springs in Seminole County and traveled to the current south termination of the system. The train was full, with just a few standing riders.


    We dined and caught the northbound train stopping at Church Street Station for dessert. When we were ready to return, the station was packed with hundreds of riders and the train was even fuller. All floor space on all three levels of the train cars was filled.


    When we arrived at the Winter Park Station, the landing was filled with what appeared to be nearly a thousand people. Upon the train stopping, 2/3rds of the riders exited and were replaced with as many or more new riders headed north.


    The fun bubble of voices continued on the #SunRail line. It was a beautiful and fun day to try the rail and experience the new mass transit opportunity in Florida. It was a fun surprise adventure sprung on my guests, the Hammetts, for their 37th anniversary.

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