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Keeping Florida on Track with the SunRail

Building the SunRail commuter rail system in central Florida was a complex and costly undertaking that required careful coordination between multiple contractors, as well as rail services that continued to operate on the 32-mile track while it was under construction.

SunRailThe need for the commuter rail system evolved as roads around the greater Orlando area became increasingly congested for local and tourist traffic. To help alleviate congestion, four central Florida counties and the City of Orlando agreed to jointly finance, with state and federal support. The project involved buying a rail segment from CSX Transportation, double-tracking 32 miles of track next to an existing line, building 12 stations, improving signal and grade crossings along the corridor, improving a rail bridge, building an operations and control center, and a rail vehicle storage and maintenance facility.

Construction on the $615 million project stared in January 2012. Equipment used to clear right of ways, build stations, move material and make track improvements included dozers, loaders with various attachments for specialized operations, trenchers, excavators, compressors, forklifts, dump trucks, trailers, backhoes with extended arms and mini-excavators. All of the equipment met the general contractors’ stringent safety requirements, which included back-up alarms, fully charged fire extinguishers and operator manuals.

The project had specific milestones that had to be met at certain times in order for the contractors to receive work-completion bonuses. Therefore, equipment deliveries had to be made on time and where the contractors needed the equipment along the 32-mile project. To make their milestones, jobs were sometimes worked at night and the early mornings. Therefore, 24/7 service and support was an absolute requirement.

Neff Rental supplied the general contractor and subcontractors on the project with equipment from its Sanford and Orlando branches, providing a majority of the rentals on the project.

Completed in May 2014, the system today carries about 3,200 paying passengers daily from DeBary, FL, which is north of Orlando, to a station in Pine Castle, FL, in south Orlando.

For your next rail construction project, give the closest Neff Rental branch a call at 888-709-NEFF, or visit We put you on the right track with quality equipment and the 24/7 service and support. And like the railroad, we’ll deliver the equipment you need on time.

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