For many, the first ride they have when they visit Orlando is not at a theme park but instead on the the APM trains that connect the airsides to the main terminal building at Orlando International Airport.
Now, after over 35 years of service and more than 2.8 million miles, the original APMs are being replaced and today the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority board members unveiled models of the next generation of train that will succeed them.
The APMs were the vision of John Wycoff, one of the original planners of the airport and former executive director of the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority.
“When I see a parent lean down and tell their child that they are about to take their first ride in Orlando, I can’t help but smile and think that John Wycoff has achieved his vision,” says Stan Thornton, chief operating officer of the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority (GOAA).
“It is time to retire the original APM cars and bring in the next generation that will continue to provide that wow moment in welcoming visitors to Orlando.
GOAA chairman, Frank Kruppenbacher, says: “Today’s travellers are sophisticated and they expect the United States’ number one travel destination to provide state-of-the-art amenities and services, these new trains do just that."
“These automated people movers are some of the first and last impressions that travelers to Orlando will have of our area so it is our responsibility to make sure it is a positive one.”
The new trains are currently being built by Mitsubishi Heavy Industry.
Along with the replacement trains for airsides 1 and 3, trains are also being constructed for the new Automated People Mover station which is currently under construction to the south of the main terminal complex.
The cost for the replacement trains is $90 million while the cost for the new trains servicing the south are included in the overall $470 million south airport APM Complex project budget.
The new trains are scheduled to be operational by fall of 2017.