‘Show me the money’ is what Florida Department of Transportation officials kept asking developer Eugene Garfield. But Garfield and his privately-held Bee Line Monorail Inc. couldn’t do it. Now Garfield’s plans for a $1.5 billion, magnetically-levitated high-speed rail system are dead. The project would have opened up hundreds of miles of potentially lucrative developable land surrounding the proposed rail stations.

Before starting the project, Garfield needed access to state right-of-way along the Bee Line Expressway. The rail system would have linked Orlando, Port Canaveral, Orlando International Airport and International Drive, transporting tourists and commuters faster and easier among the destination points.

Garfield can appeal the state’s decision. The first trains were originally scheduled to run by early 2002. The company later revised the opening schedule to late 2004. The levitated system has been tested in Germany for several years but is not operating anywhere as a transit system.

Similar high-speed rail plans by other developers in 1992 and 1994 crumbled also when funding problems and environmental hassles disrupted the project.

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